Focus on TNI role

SINGAPORE Oct. 5. Even as Indonesia seeks to reorient its ties with the United States in the campaign against `terrorism', the military establishment (TNI) has again come under the international spotlight.

The President, Megawati Sukarnoputri, today called upon the TNI to stay attuned to the country's requirements. Expressing concern at the state of the civilian political elite's inadequate preparedness to take over the TNI's political-social role, Ms. Megawati underlined that her apprehensions should "not be misconstrued as a recommendation to revive military domination''. Indonesia's praetorian system of governance, under which the TNI has played a pivotal political role, is now set to be scrapped after the scheduled general election in 2004. Ms. Megawati made these observations at a ceremony in Jakarta to mark the 57th anniversary of the founding of the TNI. The circumstances in which the TNI was born as a nationalist force have had much to do with its rise as the major political player in Indonesia.

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