Iin Yumiyanti, Jakarta – TNI (armed forces) headquarters has denied it has issued an order to collect data on ex-members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in the lead up to the 2004 elections. If there has been an order to collect this kind of data it diverges from the duties of the TNI.
This was stated by the head of public information department of the TNI headquarters, Dj Nachrowi when contacted by Detik.com on Monday January 21.
“There has been no special instruction concerning the collection of data on members of banned organisations anywhere in Indonesia”, said Nachrowi.
The statement was made in response to an order which was issued by Dandim (district military command) Simalungun/0207 commander Lieutenant Colonel Marwan Saragih for his officers to collect data on ex-PKI members. Dandim said that such data collection is vitally important in relation to maintaining security during the elections.
According to Nachrowi, collecting data on the population is not part of the TNI’s territorial duties but is the role of the respective local government. As well as this, data on ex-members of banned organisations is usually held by government departments.
“This [collection of data] is not [one of] the TNI’s territorial duties. But as the territorial institution, [of course] they want to know about [ex-PKI members], that’s natural”, he said.
TNI headquarters will seek clarification on the validity of the order first. “[First we will check whether it is] true or not. If it is true that we let [such an order] slip out, we will request clarification from the relevant [party], said Nachrowi. (iy)
[Translated by James Balowski.]