Australia Says TNI Insult Investigation Being Finalized

Australia expresses regret for offending Indonesia's military
Australia expresses regret for offending Indonesia's military

05 January, 2017

Senator Payne said only some defence activities had been "paused" awaiting an investigation into the materials.

An Indonesian military spokesman would not confirm the reason for the suspension, saying it was for "technical" matters and that there were "ups and downs in every co-operation between two national forces".

'Jakarta governor's politically-motivated "blasphemy" trial genuinely contravenes Pancasila, so odd cause cited for Australian-Indonesian military cooperation problem, ' the Canberra-based think tank said.

According to Kompas newspaper, the suspension began in early December after a trainer from the Indonesian Army special forces known as Kopassus, who was teaching at an Australian special forces school in Perth, found the content of lessons insulting to the Indonesian army.

'As a result, some interaction between the two Defence organisations has been postponed until the matter is resolved.

All forms of co-operation with the Australian military, including joint training, have been temporarily withheld. "Cooperation in other areas is continuing".

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An Indonesian military officer was upset his nation's Pancasila symbol of independence had been mocked.

A retired ADF major general says Indonesians can be "overly sensitive" to slights and the country's ban on military ties with Australia will likely blow over soon.

Senator Payne said she knew about the concerns at the training facility in Perth in November, but said she wrote to Indonesia's Defence Minister this week for the first time about the matter to assure him of the progress of the inquiry.

The offices of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop declined to comment.

"Everyone acknowledges that the threat of an attack is the highest it has ever been", he added. Indonesia and Australia had cooperated on fighting terrorism ever since bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

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