Monday, September 10, 2007


RI, Russia strike historic deals
TNI reshuffle promotes SBY relative
Forest pact a birthday present for SBY
State aircraft maker declared bankrupt
Supreme Court rejects final Amrozi appeal
RI, Russia strike historic deals
Urip Hudiono, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, 07 SEPT 07
Indonesia and Russia dusted off and greased up their somewhat rusty relationship with the signing of a US$1 billion defense deal during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Jakarta on Thursday.Russia, intent on boosting its diplomatic and military influence in Asia, should be able achieve just that through the deal, which will provide credit lines for Indonesia to buy Russian-made helicopters, tanks and submarines.
In addition to the military deal, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Putin also witnessed later in the day the signing of agreements for cooperation in the financial sector, financial audits, foreign loans, investment protection, terrorism, the environment, sport and tourism -- with the latter envisaging a "visa-on-arrival" facility for Russian tourists coming to Indonesia.
Speaking to reporters following the signing of the military agreement, Yudhoyono said that defense cooperation would help Indonesia modernize the arms and military equipment of its land, air and naval forces. The arms agreement follows Indonesia's signing of a deal to buy six Sukhoi-30 fighter planes at a Moscow airshow last month, and is seen as being part of an effort to reduce its dependence on U.S. weaponry. Commenting on the deal, Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono told reporters that the military cooperation would allow Indonesia to gain access to a broader selection and supply of arms, and would entail simpler procurement procedures and savings of up to 40 percent.
"Purchasing arms from Western countries is complicated compared to Russia, with many conditions concerning human rights, accountability and licensing being attached," he said. Indonesia plans to buy 10 transport helicopters, five assault helicopters, 20 amphibious tanks and two submarines from Russia, Defense Ministry spokesman Edy Butar Butar had said. The arms agreement follows Indonesia's signing of a deal to buy six Sukhoi fighter planes at a Moscow airshow last month.
Putin, meanwhile, said that Russia was also interested in expanding cooperation in the energy, mining, aviation, telecommunications and other technical fields with Indonesia, which he said was "among the most dynamic and influential nations in the Asia Pacific region." Adding further geopolitical nuance to the new defense deal, Putin referred to the common interests in international affairs that he shared with Yudhoyono during a closed-door meeting before the signing of the agreements. These common interests included Palestine, Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
"Russia and Indonesia's approach to global issues are very much alike," Putin said. "We both support relations between nations on a equal basis and peaceful resolution to conflicts." Both countries, among the worlds' most populous, will be members of the United Nation's Security Council until next year, with Indonesia holding the chairmanship and Russia being a permanent member with veto rights.
Putin's one-day visit follows Yudhoyono's visit in December last year to Moscow, and is the first by a Russian leader in almost five decades, after Nikita Kruschev came here in 1960 at a time when the relationship between Indonesia and the former Soviet Union was at its peak -- politically and economically. After the signing of the agreements, Putin addressed the Indonesia-Russia business forum and attended a state banquet, before heading to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney. After Australia, he will fly to the United Arab Emirates.
TNI reshuffle promotes SBY relative , 07 SEPT 07
Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The Indonesian Military (TNI) announced Thursday a major reshuffle which included the promotion of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's brother-in-law as the new TNI chief of general affairs.
Lt. Gen. Erwin Sudjono, a 1975 graduate of the Armed Forces Academy and the husband of First Lady Ani Yudhoyono's older sister, is the current commander of the Army's Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad). His elevation to the post of chief of general affairs will see him filling the post of Lt. Gen. Endang Suwarya, who has been moved to "administrative tasks" at TNI headquarters.
The reshuffle, which was decided at a meeting of the TNI's High-ranking Officers Promotion Council (Wanjakti), was presided over by TNI commander Air Chief Marshal Djoko Suyanto on Tuesday and involved a total of 129 high-ranking officers from all the three forces -- the Army, the Navy and the Air Force -- including 32 officers entering retirement age.
"The reshuffle has been conducted as part of the routine tour of duty to refresh the military organization. It has been held in accordance with principles of professionalism and fair proportion among the three forces," TNI spokesman Rear Marshal Sagom Tamboen told The Jakarta Post after a ceremony that saw the chief of the National Air Defense Command Vice Marshal Eris Haryanto pass his position on to his successor Rear Marshal Gandjar Wiranegara. Eris was appointed the new Director General for Defense Planning and Weaponry at the Defense Ministry.
Some 51 senior officers were transferred to new positions while maintaining their military ranks, while 46 others were promoted to higher ranks. Other officers affected in the reshuffle include Lt. Gen. Cornel Simbolon, currently commander of the Army's Education and Training Command, who was appointed as Deputy Army chief. He will replace retiring Lt. Gen. Herry Tjahjana.
Maj. Gen. George Toisutta, currently chief of the Siliwangi Regional Military Command overseeing West Java and Banten provinces, was promoted as the new Kostrad chief. He is expected to get his three-star-general rank in the immediate future. Maj. Gen. Bambang Darmono, assistant to the TNI chief for General Affairs, was promoted to lead the Army Education and Training Center (Kodiklat) in Bandung. He will also get his three-star-general rank soon.
Rear Marshal Subandrio, currently assistant to the Air Force chief on logistic affairs, was promoted to deputy Air Force chief, while Brig. Gen. Sunarko, currently chief of staff of Kostrad's First Division, was promoted to commander of the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus). Both Subandrio and Sunarko will be awarded a higher rank.
Brig. Gen. Suwarno, currently a senior officer at Kodiklat, was promoted to be commander of the Presidential Guard Command, while Brig. Gen. Haryadi Sutanto, chief of staff of Central Java's Diponegoro Military Command, was promoted to chief of the Trikora Military Command overseeing the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
Forest pact a birthday present for SBY
The Jakarta Post, Sydney
On the sidelines of the second day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Sydney, world leaders congratulated President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on his 58th birthday.
"Happy birthday to you," the Australian Prime Minister John Howard told the President, while other leaders applauded. Pictured here are (left to right) Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Earlier in the morning, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who was celebrating his 56th birthday on the same day, visited the President at his suite in the Four Seasons Hotel. Yudhoyono witnessed the signing of a forests partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between Downer and his counterpart Hassan Wirayuda.
The deal aims to preserve 70,000 hectares of peat forest in Kalimantan and Australia is initially contributing A$30 million ($22 million) to the project. It will contribute up to A$100 million in the next four years, which includes the planting of up to 100 million trees and the re-irrigating of 200,000 hectares of dried peat land. The project aims to cut greenhouse gas emmissions by about 700 million tons over 30 years, Downer said. Annual forest fires in Indonesia are in part caused by the burning of the peat lands, contributing to the country's greenhouse gas emissions. On Monday morning Yudhoyono is scheduled to meet with Indonesian students in Sydney. A lunch is scheduled with Howard at the prime minister's residence, Kirribili House, before Yudhoyono's departure to Jakarta on a special Garuda flight. JP/Kornelius Purba
State aircraft maker declared bankrupt
Tony Hotland and Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Bandung - 05 SEPT 07
State-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara (PTDI) was on Monday declared bankrupt by Indonesia's commercial court system.The court said PTDI was on the verge of demise and had several long-overdue debts but PTDI said it would appeal to the Supreme Court.
The company said its defense would continue to be that it was still operating and had orders from overseas that would see it through to at least 2017. The lawsuit against the aircraft manufacturer was filed last month by some 6,500 former employers who were dismissed in 2003. They were told then the company was being restructured. The employees have demanded the company pay their pension funds and retirement allowances as per their last salaries. PTDI currently employs 3,200 employees and has said it has no further obligations to pay said pension or retirement funds, which amount to some Rp 200 billion (US$21.5 million). The presiding panel of judges said the evidence against Bandung-based PTDI was incriminating.
Presiding judge Andriani Nurdin said a document issued by the Committee for Central Labor Disputes (P4P) in January 2004 showed the company had been required to pay the compensation. A warning letter issued by the then-manpower and transmigration minister in October 2004 obligated PTDI to pay the funds within 30 days. The court also saw the company had outstanding debts to other creditors including Bank Mandiri at Rp 125 billion, as well as individuals Supriadi Jasa at Rp 79 million and Neli Ratna Sari at Rp 15 million. The court found the company's defense was baseless. "The document simply shows estimates that are not supported by adequate infrastructure and capital," judge Heru Pramono said, adding that there was no reason left to sustain the company. The court appointed curator Taufik Nugroho to appraise the company's standing assets and Zulfahmi as the overseeing judge. Legal expert Frans H. Winarta said a bankruptcy status would force the company to pay back all of its debts and compensation to its current employees. If the value of its assets is lower than the overall debts, the company should pay according to a proportion based on the amount of debt of each creditor, Frans said.
"But this cannot be executed until there's been a verdict from the Supreme Court." A pioneer in Asia's aviation industry, PTDI was set up as PT Industri Pesawat Terbang Nurtanio in 1976 with then-research and technology minister BJ Habibie as president director. The 1997 Asian financial crisis forced it to restructure and reduce its payroll from almost 10,000 to less than 4,000. In Bandung, West Java, company spokesmen Rakhendi Priyatna said the company was "starting to pick up its pieces with orders coming from in and out of the country". "A bankruptcy verdict will lead to complaints and even penalties regarding our current production," he said. Workers at the company appeared unaffected but said they deplored the verdict. They said they believed the company would win the case at the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court rejects final Amrozi appeal
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, 08 09.07 == The Supreme Court announced here Friday it has rejected a case review appeal from Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, a convicted bomber in the 2002 terrorist attacks on Kuta, Bali.Separately, Vice President Jusuf Kalla was quoted by AP as saying the ruling "abides by the law" and it was up to the attorney general to decide when to carry out the death penalty.
The 2002 bombings are considered one of the most high-profile cases in the country's judicial history. 202 people, mostly foreigners, were killed in the blasts. The Supreme Court's verdict was issued by a team of judges led by Iskandar Kamil. The team also included panel members Bahauddin Qoudry and Djoko Sarwoko. The verdict, issued on Aug. 30, upheld the death sentence issued by the Denpasar District Court against Amrozi in August 2003. The sentence was upheld by the Bali High Court in late 2003 and then by the Supreme Court in January 2004. Justice Djoko Sarwoko, who is also spokesman for the Supreme Court, said the court had decided to reject Amrozi's request for a review of the court's January 2004 verdict on the grounds that Amrozi had failed to provide any new evidence.
In his statement, Amrozi quoted a ruling by the Constitutional Court establishing that the 2003 law on antiterrorism could not be applied retroactively. Amrozi argued that he could not be convicted under the 2003 law since the Bali bombing occurred in the previous year. "However, the Constitutional Court's verdict does not automatically negate the verdicts of the Denpasar District Court and the Bali High Court, both of which sentenced him to death," Djoko said as quoted by Antara news wire. "The Court's panel of justices decided that the Constitutional Court's ruling was not new evidence in the case. It also concluded that there had been no mistakes (committed by the Denpasar Court and the Bali High Court) in issuing the death sentence," he added.
Djoko said the Supreme Court was aware the 2003 antiterrorism law was not without its flaws, including articles in contradiction to other legislation. Djoko added that the court believed the verdicts of the District Court, the Bali High Court and the Supreme Court met all the stipulations of the Criminal Code Procedures. The other two men currently serving sentences for the Bali bombing -- Imam Samudra and Amrozi's brother Ali Gufron -- have also filed for a case reviews with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has yet to issue its ruling on the two convicts' plea. Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Ghufron are currently serving their jail terms at Batu Prison in Nusakambangan, Central Java.
The 2002 Bali bombings were blamed on the Al-Qaeda-linked Jamaah Islamiyah terror network. None of the three condemned convicts has expressed remorse over the attacks.

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