|Sign ETAN’s petition: Tell President Jokowi indicted war criminal Wiranto is not fit to be Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs.|
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WHY WIRANTO’S APPOINTMENT AS MINISTER IS CONTROVERSIAL
JAKARTA POST 5.8.2016
AETFA SA COMMENT:
It is very appropriate that Nicholas Koumjian, the Chief prosecutor for the UN Serious Crimes Unit in Timor Leste from 2003-2005, has written this article in the Jakarta Post (5.8.2016) about President Joko ( Jokowi) Widodo’s decision to appoint retired general Wiranto as the minister for security, political and legal affairs to replace another retired general, Luhut Panjaitan.
Many people will say “So what!” however, this action is equivalent to a post World War 2 German government appointing a Nazi war criminal to a senior posting. World leaders who claim they value democracy, human rights, social justice and the rule of law should be shouting loud condemnation at such an ill-advised decision.
Wiranto’s leadership of the fascist Indonesian army (TNI) in East Timor during 1999 led to the deaths of nearly 2000 more East Timorese and the destruction of 80% of the nation’s infrastructure. The TNI had already wiped out about a 1/3 of East Timor’s population in its brutal and barbaric 24 year illegal occupation of the tiny nation.
If a criminal like Wiranto had faced the Nuremberg Tribunal he might have served imprisonment for life sentence or been executed for his crimes. Instead, he is being rewarded by President Joko Widodo. This decision is very controversial indeed because the President had promised a genuine inquiry into the crimes committed in 1965 during the CIA/TNI brutal coup that smashed Indonesian democracy and ushered in the 33 year of brutal fascist rule of the Suharto dictatorship.
He also promised looking into human rights abuses in West Papua and appointed Luhut Panjaitan, another former senior TNI officer, to be responsible.This man has a cloud hanging over him because of human rights abuses that occurred in East Timor under his watch.
President Joko must be advised that if he continues to make decisions like this, he will not be seen as being either genuine or serious about resolving the crimes of the TNI, attaining justice for its victims or about improving the human rights of the West Papuan people and others who are forced to live under its jackboots.
Amnesty International is correct when it describes this move as an insult to international human rights. After all, Wiranto and many of his fellow generals have committed genocide and gross human rights abuses and the question has to be asked why world leaders who frequently promote the concepts of the rule of law and human rights are strangely silent about these war criminals?
It is to be hoped that when the new Indonesian minister for security, political and legal affairs goes overseas to meet leaders of other nations that he will face extradition to the International Court of Justice. Of course, this is most unlikely as Indonesia is a client state of the US and most US allies would do nothing to criticise human rights crimes committed by the TNI as we have already seen.
Australians who care about human rights, the rule of law and fairness between nations should be questioning their federal politicians about why they are not speaking out against the Indonesian criminals. They might also demand that the Australian Government cease its continuing policy to steal oil and gas from Timor-Leste’s half of the Timor Sea in contravention of the UN Congress of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). After all, this is a violation of international law and Timor-Leste is the poorest nation in our region of the world.
Andrew (Andy) Alcock, Information Officer AETFA SA