Pramono Edhie Wibowo; Goodbye, General

6
Pramono Edhie Wibowo, the upright supporter, has passed away. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – The Indonesian military world mourns. Former Army Chief of Staff (KSAD), Pramono Edhie Wibowo passed away at Cimacan Hospital on Saturday 13 June. 

The body of the former Army Chief of Staff General (Retired) Pramono Edhie Wibowo was buried in the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery, South Jakarta, Sunday 14 June alongside the graveyard of Ani Yudhoyono. 

Pramono is the brother-in-law of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He is the younger brother of the late Ani Yudhoyono, SBY’s wife. 

Pramono was born in Magelang, 5 May 1955, the son of the military leader Sarwo Edhie Wibowo; his life indeed could not be far from the military world. 

When he was in the fifth grade of an elementary school in Cijantung, he and his brother boarded a plane to Medan, following his father, Brigadier General Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, who was assigned as Commander of the Bukit Barisan Military Regional Command (Kodam). 

During his junior high school, he had lived in Jayapura, Papua, following his father’s duties as Commander of the Cenderawasih Military Command. Before graduating from junior high school, he had to move again to Magelang. He completed his High School Level in Jakarta. 

When his father was assigned as Ambassador in South Korea, Pramono went along. While there, he was trained by his father through physical exercises. He was prepared to enter the Indonesian Armed Forces Academy (Akabri). And when he returned to his homeland, he immediately became the second registrant on the first day of registration for the Indonesian Military Academy. Soon he was accepted and again had to stay in Magelang. 

Before graduating from the Military Academy, Pramono had an internship at the 744 Infantry Battalion in Dili, East Timor, which was in turmoil. After graduating from the Indonesian Military Academy and being appointed Second Lieutenant of Infantry on March 1, 1980, he joined the Red Berets Corps. In 1980 the corps was named the Sandi Yudha Troop Command (Kopassandha); it later changed to Special Forces Command (Kopassus). In 1981 Pramono returned to East Timor. 

When Prabowo Subianto became Commander of Kopassus between late 1995 and March 1998, Pramono was believed to be the commander of group 1 (1997) and commander of group 5 (1998) with the rank of Colonel. 

In 2001, Pramono was appointed as an aide to Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who later became President. In 2004, Pramono, who was still the President’s aide, was conflicted when Megawati and her brother-in-law, SBY, competed in the Presidential Election that year. However, Pramono showed a professional attitude. 

“Edhie Wibowo’s position as an aide was ‘squeezed’ between Megawati and Yudhoyono (SBY), but he still tried to be humble in carrying out his duties as Megawati’s aide,” Rajab Ritonga wrote in “Pramono Edhie Wibowo and the Blueprint for Indonesia”. 

Pramono was appointed Commander of Kopassus in 2008. After that, his rank became Major General. A year later he became Commander of the Siliwangi Military Command. When he became Commander of the Army Strategic Command (Kostrad), he was promoted to Lieutenant General. His career continued to climb and ended as Army Chief of Staff (KSAD). 

Retired from the military, Pramono joined the Democratic Party founded by SBY. He had participated in the Democratic Presidential election convention and was ranked second below Dahlan Iskan. 

“One thing for sure, Om Edhie is a good and upright supporter. Still, you are a great uncle for me,” said Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono alias Ibas, the son of SBY and also the Chairperson of the Democratic Party Faction in the Indonesian parliament. 

Ibas recalled that when his mother Ani Yudhoyono was ill with cancer and being treated in Singapore, Pramono Edhie was very ready to donate his bone marrow if needed. 

“And he is willing to leave everything to focus on helping his sister.” 

Goodbye, General! (rp)