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6 Jan, 2017

Indonesia suspends military training programme with Australia over insult to Pancasila

5 January 2017 Jakarta (ANTARA News) – A language training program with the Australian Defense Force (ADF) has been suspended over insults to Indonesia’s Pancasila ideology, Indonesian Military Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo has affirmed.

“The military cooperation between the two countries was suspended as an Australian military education curriculum was found making fun of Indonesia’s Pancasila ideology,” he said, while delivering a speech at the National Meeting of Agricultural Development here Thursday.

The insult to Pancasila has deeply hurt feelings, as Australia made a pun of the ideology by spelling it “pancagila” that roughly translates to “crazy panca” in English, General Nurmantyo revealed.

The insults reportedly occurred over some teaching materials and remarks made at an army language training facility in Australia.

It was constitutionally agreed that Pancasila will be the national ideology of the Republic of Indonesia and will be used as the states official symbol, hence the military chief takes the insult seriously, Nurmantyo asserted.

“I will not go to Australia, but I will wait for the result of their investigation. In the meantime, we will put on hold and evaluate the military cooperation (with ADF),” Nurmantyo confirmed.

Bilateral ties with Australia will remain steady, irrespective of the suspension of military cooperation with the ADF, President Joko Widodo announced Thursday morning.

The Indonesian government had raised concerns regarding some Australian “teaching materials and remarks” at the Perth base, which were reportedly witnessed by an Indonesian undergoing training there, Australias Defense Minister Marise Payne confirmed.

“Indonesia has informed Australia that defense cooperation will be suspended. As a result, some interaction between the two defense organizations has been postponed until the matter is resolved. Co-operation in other areas will continue,” she added.