Indonesia has finally accepted an apology from Australian military authorities over the usage of insensitive training material at an army base in Perth. The acceptance came following Australia’s pledge to “sanction” those involved in finalizing such offensive materials at the base.
Indonesian military chief General Gatot Nurmantyo said that Army Chief of Australia, Chief Angus Campbell, has promised to handle those responsible for the approval of such materials. “General Gatot has accepted the apology, and realized that in the era of global competition right now, unity and friendship are needed for neighboring countries, without putting aside their differences,” the statement released by Indonesian military on Wednesday read.
During the military training, one of the documents used offended the Indonesian ideology. It mocked Pancasila, the nation’s principles of unity. The country said that the materials were not confined to offending Pancasila but they also targeted “soldiers in the past” as well as controversial “Papuan independence.”
Indonesia said in January that it would not conduct any military training with Australia after the incident. Nurmantyo said that Pancasila is the “ideology of Indonesia and its citizens.” “Indonesians are willing to die to defend its ideology, especially for the military, this is a very sensitive matter and hurtful,” he added.
Australia Promises to Punish Officials Involved
Campbell said that the nation would not spare those involved the matter. The Aussie military chief also said that it would suspend its Indonesian language program within the army. The military authorities will first focus on bettering the staff and teaching materials.
Indonesian military spokesman Major General Wuryanto said that the suspension will be temporary. “The Australian Defence Force said they will also apply strict sanctions on all personnel (who were) involved and responsible for that incident,” the statement added.
Campbell traveled to Jakarta on Wednesday for a meeting with Nurmantyo. He aimed at convincing Indonesia that Australia did not intend to hurt Indonesian ideology. The Indonesian chief thanked the Aussie military official for the instant and strict steps taken by the nation.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Security Minister Wiranto said that he was pleased to see both the military leaders setting the issue “together like a family,” the BBC reported. He said that the small incidents are likely to occur in international dealings. However, the nations must not “destabilize the strong relationship” because of such incidents, he added.