Military initiates 171717 ‘love and affection’ movement to safeguard national unity

Detik News – June 13, 2017
TNI Commander Gatot Numato - Undated (Detik)
TNI Commander Gatot Numato - Undated (Detik)

Syahdan Alamsyah, Sukabumi – Indonesian military (TNI) chief General Gatot Nurmantyo says that the simultaneous 171717 events that are to be held nationwide on August 17 at 5pm, which are being initiated by the TNI, will be a love and affection (kasih saying) action that will involve all religious elements, particularly Muslims as the majority religious in Indonesia.

The 171717 action, which will be held at all TNI commands across Indonesia, will involve joint prayers and Quran recitations for the sake of Indonesian national unity.

“A khataman Alquran ceremony [khatam al Quran – joint recitation after reading the Quran] will be held starting at 17.00 Western Indonesia time and ending at 18.00 followed by evening community prayers. Following this joint prayers will be held between all religious congregations including Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Konghucu, who will pray together so that there is no discord and love and affection will arise”, Nurmantyo told Detik News after attending an event earlier this afternoon in the West Java city of Sukabumi on Tuesday June 13.

Nurmantyo explained that world population levels are rising rapidly, energy consumption will continue to grow and eventually this will result in a food, energy and water crisis. Indonesia meanwhile is the largest archipelago located on the equator so there are many parties given these conditions that are eying Indonesia’s [resources].

“The mandate under the law is that it is the TNI’s duty to safeguard national unity, this is what we are reminding people of and it cannot be done alone, it must be done together with the people. The easiest avenue to tear apart unity as a nation is creating divisions through sensitive issues such as SARA [ethnic, religion, race, inter-group inspired conflict]”, said Nurmantyo.

Nurmantyo continued by saying that if the people love and respect each other, then national unity can be safeguarded. Then other countries will stand in awe of Indonesia and its position will indeed have to be reckoned with.

“Don’t let our country be divided because the ordinary people cannot safeguard [national] unity. One again [I] warn, our nation is great because diversity in its entirety is embodied in [the state ideology] of Pancasila as the foundation of the country. And the other day Pak Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] called on us to implement Pancasila on June 1, now, later at Independence Day on August 17 we will again invite the people to put independence and Pancasila into practice through diversity and love”, he concluded. (rvk/rvk)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was “ Ini Alasan Panglima TNI Gatot Nurmantyo Gagas Gerakan 171717”.]