May 22 Action, Senior Generals are taking part, What’s Up?

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IO – Senior generals – three from TNI and POLRI – will definitely take part in the demonstration at the General Election Commission (KPU), Tuesday and Wednesday (21-22/5)

“We had to take part because our sovereignty as a nation and as a country is threatened,” declared TNI General (Ret.) Tyasno Sudarto at the Grand Mahakam Hotel, Jakarta, Monday (20/5).

Together with more than 100 generals from TNI-POLRI, Tyasno, former KSAD (1999-2000) announced the formation of the “Front of National Sovereignty Defenders” (FPKB).

In addition to Tyasno, former KSAU Vice Marshall TNI (Ret.) Imam Sufaat, and former KSAL who had also been the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs (Menkopolhukam) TNI Admiral (Ret.) Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, along with several high ranking TNI officers with the rank of three stars to one star will be in attendance.

In addition to high-ranking officers, thousands of retired mid-level officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted officers will take part in the field. They will wear berets or the attributes of each unit while in the line of duty.

In the row a number of former high-ranking troops of Kopassus will also be attending: former Deputy Minister of TNI, Lt. Gen. Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, former Danpaspampres and TNI Danjen Kopassus, Lt. Gen. Agus Sutomo, former Head of the ABRI Intelligence Agency (BIA) Maj. Gen. Zacky Anwar Makarim, former Danjen Kopassus Maj. Gen. Soenarko, and many others. 

“It is our duty to protect the people – to protect the mothers who will be involved in the demonstration to fight for their rights in the KPU,” added Police Commissioner General (Ret.) Sofjan Jacoeb.

Along with Sofjan there are also a number of retired Polri officers, including Police Inspector General Abimanyu.

Tyasno hopes that the presence of retired officers can serve as a reminder to all security officers, both from POLRI and TNI.

“They must remember the eight mandatory moral message of TNI/POLRI to never harm the people, and to never scare and hurt people’s hearts,” Tyasno added.

New History in Indonesia

Many old heroes who take part in these protests are recording new history in Indonesia’s mass protest. Usually mass protest movements are started by college students.

It’s never happened before: hundreds of retired high-ranking officers, and thousands of former troops take part in acts of protest, together with the people. “In fact, there are many active mid-level officers whose hearts are with us,” added Tyasno.

These high-ranking officers are not playing games. They know what consequences they’ll be facing. A three-star high-ranking officers shows his wife’s message with a smile.

“in the past, every time we are assigned to duty, we submitted our husband’s safety to God the Almighty. Now we also submitted their safety completely to God.”

Tyasno admitted that he never imagined that in his retirement and in his 70’s, he would be compelled to step back into the street. “My children also questioning my decision,” he said with a smile.

These retired officers taking part in the protest are clearly not to be considered as playing around.

First, their presence imparts confidence to the protesters.

The composition of the protesters, consisting of mothers, ulama, ulama apprentices (santri), pro-democracy groups, parties which supported presidential candidate number 02, and retired TNI/POLRI.

Second, their presence pressures police officers and TNI to hold themselves back. They will not easily resort to violence to disperse protesters.

As stated by KSAD TNI General Andhika Perkasa, they were their commanders and their superiors when they were still active, and now are present among the demonstrators.

Third, the presence of the officers eliminated the stigma of Right-Winged movements, radical movements, and also terrorists which the government and the POLRI were trying to pin onto the protesters.

Among the Generals who supported Prabowo, there were a number of high-ranking non-Moslem officers. They include TNI Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Johanes Suryo Prabowo, TNI Lt. Gen. (Ret) Romulo Simbolon, and TNI Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Glenny Kairupan.

Fourth, the stigma that the protesters are anti-NKRI were instantly refuted. These officers had risked their lives and their bodies to defend NKRI since they were young.

It’s too naïve, desperate, and too inconsequential to claim they’re more NKRI than them, even calling them anti-NKRI.

Fifth, they confirm the existence of fraud as stated by the BPN.

Sixth, the personal presence of theses officers will make Jokowi grow more uncomfortable. In past ballots, in a number of TNI residential complexes Jokowi’s votes were down, including the residential complexes for the Kopassus and the Paspampres.

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