Friday, March 11, 2011


     Jakarta, March 11, 2011 (ANTARA) - While Japan was rocked by a powerful earthquake on Friday, the presidential palace in Jakarta was also "shaken" by Wikileaks documents published in two Australian dailies, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
      "He was shocked, it`s unexpected. We see that the news is inaccurate and presented in a careless way," presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said at a press conference here Friday, describing the first reaction of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when finding out about the news on Thursday evening.

      Pasha denied the validity of the news from Wikileaks which accused President Yudhoyono of being involved in corruption and abuse of power.
      The presidential palace could not find any truth in the news report and it was not based on facts, he stated, adding that the Wikileaks source referred to by the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, itself needed to be verified.
      He said the government was preparing to use its right of reply to the two Australian newspapers, while the foreign affairs ministry asked for a clarification from the US Ambassador to Indonesia because the Wikileaks` source was diplomatic cables sent by the US embassy to Washington DC.
      Daniel Sparingga, a special presidential aide, said on a separate occasion that President Yudhoyono was very unhappy about Wikileaks documents published by the two Australian newspapers.
       "The president is very unhappy with the false news full of lies which were published in the Australian dailies, SHM and The Age, this morning," said Daniel , a special adviser for political communication to the president, here Friday.
      Yudhoyono was seen walking with Minister/State Secretary Sudi Silalahi towards the presidential office on    Friday morning. He looked very serious and had no smile on his face.

According to Daniel Sparingga, the two media were irresponsible and only seeking sensation, as the news came from a source whose credibility could not be guaranteed. The media had also violated the journalistic code of ethic, he said.

"We very much regret the carelessness of The Age and consider it a shameful news scandal, as it published news from a source that cannot be validated," Daniel said.

The Age reported that secret US embassy cables, leaked to WikiLeaks and provided to Fairfax Media, revealed allegations of corruption and abuse of power that extend all the way to the presidential palace in Jakarta.

According to the diplomatic cables, Yudhoyono personally intervened to influence prosecutors and judges to protect corrupt political figures and put pressure on his adversaries. He reportedly also used the Indonesian intelligence service to spy on rivals and, on at least one occasion, a senior minister in his own government.

Yudhoyono`s former vice-president reportedly paid out millions of dollars to buy control of Indonesia`s largest political party, while the President`s wife and her family have allegedly moved to enrich themselves on the basis of their political connections, according to Wikileaks documents.

The US embassy`s political reporting is mostly classified as "Secret/NoForn" - meaning for American eyes only.

The Wikileaks documents were refuted by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto.

The news was absolutely not true, Minister Djoko Suyanto said here Friday.

Therefore, the Indonesian government has asked the US government to clarify the diplomatic cables sent by its embassy in Jakarta to Washington DC.

According to the admiral, the government has also prepared a statement to exercise the right to reply to be sent to the two Australian dailies for publication.

The Wikileaks documents have also caused Indonesia`s National Defense Forces (TNI) commander Admiral Agus Suhartono to react.

"We consider the reports as news or information that we need to immediately analyze and verify," Admiral Agus Suhartono said.

After completing the analysis, the TNI would take concrete steps regarding the reports quoted by two Australian media, the Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, he said.

The admiral denied the reports which accused President Yudhoyono of using the military intelligence agency to spy on his political opponents.

"It`s absolutely not true, there is no such thing," he said.

"TNI`s intelligence agency is used only to support the TNI`s main tasks, and not for political interest of certain individual, group or organization," he said.

On behalf of the Indonesian government, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has lodged a strong protest to the US Ambassador regarding the diplomatic cables.

"In relation to the report of the two Australian media, I simply put that Indonesian government has formally submitted its strong protest," said Minister Marty in a press conference in his office, Friday, where US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel was also present.

The US embassy in Jakarta in its press release issued on Friday said that the United States deeply regretted the disclosure of any information that was intended to be confidential, "including private discussions between counterparts or our diplomats personal assessments and observations".

"This type of publication is extremely irresponsible and we express our deepest regrets to President Yudhoyono and the Indonesian people," said the press release.

"Any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by Wikileaks has harmful implications for the lives of identified individuals that are jeopardized, but also for global engagement among and between nations. Given its potential impact, we condemn such unauthorized disclosures and are taking every step to prevent future security breaches," the US embassy`s statement said.

The publication of the Wikileaks documents in the Australian media was coinciding with the working visit of Vice President Boediono to Australia.

The news prompted the Vice President to hold an unplanned press conference at the Indonesian embassy in Canberra, Friday.

Boediono said he did not have the slightest doubt about the President`s sincere intention to advance the nation and improve the people`s welfare by continuing the reform process, eradicating corruption and implementing good governance.
(T. F001/A/HAJM/17:55/a014)
(T.F001/A/F001/A/A014) 11-03-2011 17:59:52

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