Jakarta. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said a misspelling of Pancasila, the name for Indonesia's state ideology, was not the official stance of the Australian government and that it was the personal action of an individual officer.
Ryamizard said this includes an insult against Indonesia with the mention of controversial issues surrounding Papua, Timor-Leste and the former Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
"In principle, it is not their [Australia's] policy. It was a personal act. They regret what happened and have acted firmly against the perpetrator," Ryamizard said in Jakarta on Thursday (05/01).
The Australian government has sacked the officer responsible from his position as principal of a military academy and launched an investigation into the incident.
"They [Australia] have apologized and sacked the principal of the institution," Ryamizard said.
The incident occurred when a language instructor from the Indonesian Army's Special Forces Command (Kopassus) received learning material that contained references deemed offensive to the country, such as a misspelling of Pancasila as "Pancagila," which can be translated as "crazy five."
The materials were identified during a joint training session at an Australian military base in Perth.
Separately, Indonesian Military chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo has confirmed that he had received a letter of apology from the Australian Defense Force, sent by Australian Air Force chief of staff Air Marshall Mark Binskin.
"I am a friend of Air Marshall Mark Binskin. I have replied to his letter thanking him for the apology. We have suspended the joint training, as discussions will continue after the investigation ends," Gatot said.