A letter sent from the UK Foreign Office to human rights group Tapol has revealed that British taxpayers money is being used to sponsor a Master’s degree course in Defence and Security Management, attended by members of the TNI. This revelation comes hot on the heels of footage showing TNI members attacking villagers in West Papua, amid reports of widespread abuse by them in the province.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South East Asia Pacific Team
King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH
1 November 2010
Dear Mrs Budiardjo,
Thank you for your letter of 19 October to the Foreign Secretary about Papua. We are aware of the incident referred to in your letter and have seen some excerpts of the video footage.
We immediately raised our concerns about this case with the Indonesian authorities, in London with Ambassador Thamrin and in Jakarta with the President’s Foreign Policy Adviser. We have expressed our hope that there would be a full and transparent investigation into the incident and that those responsible would be held accountable.
We have encouraged the Indonesian Government to respond constructively to allegations of human rights abuses, and welcome the Indonesian military’s admission of wrongdoing in this case. We hope that details of the investigation will be made available to the international community.
We continue to stress to the Government of Indonesia that if there is credible evidence of wrongdoing, it should be investigated and those responsible brought to justice.
We believe that the best way to encourage further progress within the Indonesian armed forces is through constructive engagement and the delivery of appropriate training. This has included regular Indonesian placements on MOD flagship courses (e.g. Royal College of Defence Studies, Advanced Command and Staff College), regional training focused on Peace Support Operations and maritime/border security, including an annual Exclusive Economic Zone monitoring course, ship visits and senior level engagement.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) sponsors a Master’s degree course in Defence and Security Management, delivered by Cranfield University, at the Defence University in Jakarta. This course has been very successful over the last 4 years and many of the students are from members of the TNI. The MoD also supports development of the TNI in human rights by offering training in the Law of Armed Conflict.
Indonesia Desk Sout East Asia Pacific Group