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Insensitive Australians? What's new

Postby Going South » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:46 pm

Why making fun of Pancasila is no joke to Indonesians

Charis Chang

“PANCASILA”, a word that embodies the Indonesian national philosophy, is at the centre of a high-profile spat between Australia and its close neighbour.

Many Australians may be scratching their heads at the Indonesia’s reaction to an apparent play on words making fun of their national ideology, but one expert has explained why it’s so offensive.

According to Indonesia’s Kompas newspaper, the country suspended relations with Australia in early December after an Indonesian special forces trainer who was teaching at an Australian military facility in Perth discovered writing that insulted Pancasila, the national philosophy.

Associate Professor Greg Fealy of the Australian National University said the furore appeared to be over a joke.

According to The Australianan instructor from the Indonesian special forces unit Kopassus, went to the Perth base for training but felt uneasy at some of the topics discussed in class, which ­allegedly included how the Indonesian military was involved in war crimes and human-rights ­violations during Indo­nesia’s occupation of East Timor.

While it has not been confirmed, it’s believed the Indonesian officer went to the academy’s head office to complain and reportedly found a play on words referencing Pancasila, but ending the word with “gila” which means crazy or mad in Indonesian.

Not every military officer would have been offended by the apparent joke, said Prof Fealy, but there was a high risk of offence.

The professor, who is an expert on Indonesian politics, said Pancasila — meaning “five principles” — was very important to Indonesians as these represent the country’s national ideology.

“Every schoolchild, every Indonesian knows what the five principles are, they are thoroughly ingrained and taught in the education system,” Prof Fealy told news.com.au. “For a strongly nationalistic military officer, the Pancasila has an almost sacred status.”

Pancasila is made up of two Old Javanese words, “panca” meaning five, and “sila” meaning principles, and was first spoken about by Indonesian nationalist leader Sukarno in 1945, just before the country’s independence. He argued the country should be based on five principles and these were later referenced in the constitution, with slight alterations. They were:

1. Belief in one God

2. Just and civilised humanity

3. Indonesian unity

4. Democracy under the wise guidance of representative consultations

5. Social justice for all the peoples of Indonesia.

Indonesians celebrate Pancasila Day on June 1 and country’s coat of arms also features a shield with five symbols reflecting the principles of Pancasila.

“A lot of people see the Pancasila as very important,” Prof Fealy said. “They regard it as the common statement or basis of Indonesian unity and diversity.”

It was aimed at helping to resolve the conflicting priorities among Muslims, nationalists and Christians in Indonesia.

“People might be from different regions, ethnic or geographic backgrounds, but this is a way to see themselves as having a common identity and set of values,” Prof Fealy said.

“Anything insulting the Pancasila is potentially harmful to Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s coat of arms features a shield with five emblems representing the principles of Pancasila. Picture: Probst/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Indonesia’s coat of arms features a shield with five emblems representing the principles of Pancasila. Picture: Probst/ullstein bild via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Meanwhile, the ABC reports that Indonesia stopped sending its best soldiers to Australia because it was concerned they were at risk of being recruited by the Australian military. The suspension of relations is the most high-profile spat between the two countries since the Bali Nine execution, phone-tapping scandal and live exports suspension.

Indonesia’s Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu last night played down the incident, saying the insult to the Pancasila was made by a low-ranking Lieutenant in the Australian Defence Force who had since been punished and reprimanded.

Australia’s Defence Minister Marise Payne said an investigation into the incident was being finalised, with some interactions between the two nations’ defence forces postponed until the matter was resolved.

“Australia is committed to building a strong defence relationship with Indonesia, including through co-operation in training,” Ms Payne said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will work with Indonesia to restore full co-operation as soon as possible.”

Indonesian military spokesman Major General Wuryanto told AAP on Wednesday that while the teaching materials and remarks at the Perth training base contributed to the suspension, there were other matters of concern.

“Maybe that’s one (of the reasons) but the main point is, there are technicalities that must be solved in improving this co-operation relationship,” he said.

Military co-operation would resume as soon as the issues were resolved, he said, adding “the sooner the better”.

There have been other tensions between the Indonesian and Australian militaries in the past.

Australia suspended training with Indonesia’s notorious special forces unit Kopassus over its role in human rights abuses in East Timor in 1999 as the then-Indonesian territory geared up for independence, but it resumed several years later.

In 2013, Indonesia halted military exercises with Australia due to allegations Australian spies tried to tap the phone of then Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. They resumed in 2014.

The latest military suspension is the first serious row between the neighbours for some time, with relations having improved since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister in 2015.

— with AAP

charis.chang@news.com.au

http://www.news.com.au/national/politic ... 4a8898430b?

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Re: Insensitive Australians? What's new

Postby Going South » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:51 pm

In India it's coined by Nehru as panchasheel

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Pr ... oexistence