The Jakarta Post – Senior lawmakers in the House of Representatives lashed out at top security officials following the latest terror attacks in Poso, Central Sulawesi . Some even demanded the removal of the officials because of what they said was the officials’ inability to ensure security in religiously-divided Poso.
“We should learn from Japan where a minister who fails to resolve a crucial problem will resign from office,” said House deputy speaker Soetardjo Soerjogoeritno from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI), which is one of the opposition parties.
He singled out for particularly criticizing the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo A.S., Minister of Home Affairs Muh. Ma’aruf, Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto, and National Police chief Gen. Sutanto, whom he said should be held responsible for the return of violence to the region, despite a government-sponsored truce at the end of 2001 aimed at ending a two-year Muslim-Christian conflict that killed over 1,000 people.
The President is currently in the process of evaluating the performance of his Cabinet amid high public expectations of a reshuffle. Senior House security commission member Yuddy Chrisnandie called on the President to set a deadline for the security authorities to end the brutality in Poso.
“There has to be a rewards and punishment mechanism. If they are unable to perform, then we must remove the provincial police chief and provincial military commander,” he said, referring to Insp. Gen. Oegroseno and Maj. Gen. Ari Budi Sampurno of the Wirabuana Military Command, which oversees military affairs in the Sulawesi region.
House Speaker Agung Laksono was also infuriated by the latest terrorist outrages in Poso, and called on security officials to work harder to return stability to the region.
“The government must take action, not talk only,” he said.
Agung said that he would ask the House security commission to summon Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo AS in the near future to seek explanations regarding the preparedness of the security authorities in dealing with terror threats.
The statements came after Poso residents were shocked by the shooting of two teenage girls in the town on Tuesday evening by unidentified men more than a week after masked assailants beheaded three Christian schoolgirls late last month.
Susilo said that the series of attacks in Poso was aimed at “provoking religious conflict in Poso.”
Presidential spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said that the President had ordered the security forces to bring the perpetrators to justice, and urged residents not to launch revenge attacks.
Meanwhile, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Djoko Santoso confirmed that the Indonesian Military (TNI) had apprehended five men who were believed to be the perpetrators of the beheadings.
But he said that none of them were TNI members.
Earlier reports said that the Army’s 714th Battalion in Central Sulawesi had apprehended five men, including a retired soldier, in connection with the beheadings.