Sunday, 3 May 2009

Indonesia's murderous military, again!

Indonesia's murderous military, again!
By Bali BS News
Oct 13, 2005, 05:51

At 10:50 a.m. on the 19th September 2005 in the Arafuru Sea, which is part Indonesian, part Timorese and part Australian, the Indonesian frigate KRI Tanjung Dalpele fired ten 20mm rounds directly at the Chinese fishing vessel MV Fu Yuan Yu (Fuyuan 123) killing one civilian fisherman and injuring two others. Why? The Chinese boat had an expired permit to fish in Indonesian waters and allegedly fled when it saw the navy vessel. The KRI Tanjung Dalpele is one of Indonesia's most modern and prominent warships; it was used recently in Singapore waters to sign a joint accord with the Singaporean and Malaysian navies. The MV Fu Yuan Yu is a rusty old tub.

The Indonesian government has said proper procedure was carried out by the warship, in that radio and light signals were first allegedly ignored by the Chinese boat, as were three warning shots. The Indonesians confirm that a total of thirteen 20mm rounds were fired by the frigate, the first three were warning shots, the others directly at the fishing vessel itself. Indonesia believes its course of action was justified. It claims the stricken fishing boat, having been already hit, then tried to engage the modern Frigate, so they fired more rounds into her. We believe the Indonesian military are guilty of yet another murder and insulting the world's intelligence.

When Britain and Iceland had their famous cod wars over many years, not a single shot was fired at a vessel. Yet Indonesia feels it is appropriate to fire 10 shots actually at a fishing vessel its naval officers must have known the fishing boats only crime was it had an expired license, so it was hardly as tense a situation as the battle over Icelandic cod. Is 10 shots justified because Indonesia’s navy are such lousy shots that the majority of their battery were way off course? We think not, we believe they repeatedly fired large shells into an unarmed civilian vessel. Was this claimed justified action more appropriate than trying to board the old, bumbling fishing boat as other, dare we say more humane and professional naval officers would have done? Was it more appropriate than identifying the boat, taking photographs of them with their coordinates and making an official complaint to the Chinese authorities? No, we don’t think so. We think it shows just goes to show how nasty the Indonesian military really are yet again and we believe the captain of the KRI Tanjung Dalpele, Lt Col Estu Prabowo should be tried for murder.

And isn’t it so ironic that the Arafuru Sea is normally plagued with not illegal Chinese fishermen, but illegal Indonesian fishing vessels which the Australian navy has an uphill job of stopping. Does the Indonesian Government therefore think it is appropriate for Australian naval vessels to fire at Indonesia's civilian fishing fleet, killing their civilians? Of course this would never happen as Australia can credit itself with having professional sailors who value human life. But none the less, it seems to be murderous double standards yet again by the bully boys of Indonesia who only seem capable of picking on the unarmed without getting their noses truly bloodied.

When the Indonesian military took on the small band of Free Aceh guerillas, they suffered much greater losses than the rebels, except if you count the number of innocent civilians many claim were murdered by Indonesia’s proud boys in uniforms. Even when Indonesia sent disproportionate numbers of military to try and quell the independence movement, they still struggled. If it were not for the tsunami, the conflict against Aceh separatists would have almost certainly just kept going on. And let us not forget East Timor, where thousands of civilians died at the hands of government soldiers and sponsored militias over the 27 year occupation of their country by Indonesia.

Indonesia clearly puts great stead by and pride in its military might, but it seems they are not that mighty. Humbled by untrained, poorly equipped independence fighters in Aceh and living with the reality that tiny Singapore has a more powerful and better trained navy then their own. Indonesia’s military seems reduced to killing innocent civilians around the archipelago in order solely to prove their might to their own populous and egos. In a spectacular show of stupidity and inhumanity, the Indonesian navy risked an International incident they could never win simply because of an apparent knee jerk expression of their age old unfounded hatred of anything Chinese. No wonder the country struggles to find International investors.

The worrying thing about even visiting Bali is that the nasty Indonesian mentality is clearly alive and well, a potential risk to any foreign visitor or investor. Indicative of this are the histories of two very important men as far as Bali goes, the president of Indonesia and Bali’s own chief of police. As a military officer, the now President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono served directly under General Wiranto, the former head of Indonesia’s armed forces who has been indicted for war crimes by a special tribunal in East Timor. While General Made Pastika, Bali’s police chief stands accused by many of covering up and perhaps worse an incident where Indonesia’s elite Special Forces are believed to have murdered two western volunteer teachers in August 2002. Hardly a comforting thought.

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