Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne, left, with her Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu in Jakarta in March 2016. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Australian Defense Minister Promises to Dump 'Offensive' Training Materials


JANUARY 06, 2017

Jakarta. Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne has promised to dump training material deemed offensive by the Indonesian military which led to the temporary suspension of joint operations earlier this week.

Payne told local media in Canberra on Thursday (05/01) that Australian military officials must ensure training materials be crafted "according to Indonesian culture."

"We have delivered our apologies that this incident occurred and violations had been made. I think it is a proper thing to do when one of the important partners stated their concerns to you.”

The incidents included materials misspelling Pancasila, the country's state ideology, evoking Papuan history and the involvement of late Gen. Sarwo Edhie Wibowo — the father of the wife of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — in the 1965 anti-communist purge and the 1969 Papua referendum.

The material, allegedly taken from Wikipedia, has been said to defame Sarwo Edhie.

“It is inappropriate for me to discuss such matters before the investigation is concluded and I chose not to do that,” Payne said.

“We comply with the Lombok Treaty, an agreement between Australia and Indonesia that acknowledged the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Indonesia. It is our certain and firm position."

The minister also denied any accusations that Australia had attempted to recruit top Indonesian military officers as spies.

“I heard about that report. Clearly it is not happening,” she said.