Sun, 14 Jan 2001

All Navy plane crash fatalities buried

JAKARTA (JP): Nine victims of the Navy Cassa U-614 plane, which crashed in the remote mountainous village of Silimo, Jayawijaya, Irian Jaya on Monday were buried in different cities on Saturday.

Trikora Military Command chief Maj. Gen. Tonny A. Rompis and Irian Jaya Prosecutors' Office head Bismar Mannu were buried at Jakarta's hero cemetery of Kalibata, while speaker of the Irian Jaya legislative council Nathaniel Kaywai and governor adjutant police Chief brigadier Jeheskia Z. were buried at the Kusuma hero cemetery in Abepura, Jayapura.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Endriartono Sutarto led the military ceremony for the funerals of Tonny at the Jakarta Kalibata hero cemetery. Jakarta Bishop Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, acting as the TNI's bishop, led the last prayer for Tonny.

Thirty minutes later Attorney General Marzuki Darusman led the funeral ceremony of Bismar at the same cemetery, while the military-style funerals of Nathaniel and Jeheskia in Jayapura were led by chief of Jayapura Police Operation and Control Command Sr. Comr. Kusnadi.

Bismar, who had served duty for over 28 years, was posthumously promoted to chief prosecutor, the highest rank in the force. Jeheskia was also posthumously promoted to Second Adj. Insp.

In Yogyakarta, Deputy National Police chief Comr. Gen. Panji Atmasudirja, on behalf of National Police chief Gen. Surojo Bimantoro, led the ceremony for the funeral of Insp. Gen. FX. Sumardi, the Irian Jaya Police chief at the Kusuma Negara hero cemetery.

During the ceremony Panji announced that Sumardi was awarded Bhayangkara Pratama Star for his life time service. "The star was awarded based on a Presidential Decree on January 11," he said.

Meanwhile, the body of Maj. Sutopo Waluyo, the pilot of the ill-fated Cassa, was buried at the hero cemetery in the small town of Tuban in East Java, while the First Lt. Dedi Haryanto, the co-pilot, was buried at Kusuma Bangsa hero cemetery in Surabaya.

First. Sgt. Sultan and Ordinary Seaman Gunawan, the plane technicians were buried at public cemeteries in Sidoarjo and Blitar, also East Java, respectively. The funeral of Sultan was conducted as soon as the body arrived at Surabaya's Juanda airport on Friday night.

Before the burials, Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri was seen to pay homage to Tonny at his residence, after going to the Attorney General's Office to join a special ceremony to pray for Bismar.

Tonny and Bismar's funerals were also attended by Military chief Adm. Widodo AS, and Attorney General Marzuki Darusman, Coordinating Minister for Political, Social and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former attorney generals Andi M. Ghalib and Ismudjoko.

Also present at the funerals were Air Force chief Marshall Hanafie Asnan, and the Deputy of Navy chief Vice Adm. Fred S. Lonan, Minister of Industry and Trade Luhut B. Panjaitan, and the State Minister for Administrative Reform Ryaas Rasyid.

The fate

"This (the death) was predestined, yet my husband hadn't given any prior signs that he would leave us forever," Tonny's wife Syane Wuisan said in a soft and deep voice after receiving the Red and White National flag, which was used to cover the coffin, from Endriartono and Widodo.

She sat along with her three children in front of Tonny's new grave.

"We, all of the Indonesian Military's (TNI) big family have lost one of its best soldier," Endriartono said after the ceremony.

Endriartono said, the Army had yet to decide on anyone to replace Tonny. "Some candidates have been proposed to be examined in the Council for High Ranking Promotion and Duty Rotation in April."

"The new officer must be as qualified as him (Tonny), with a clear concept and good understanding in handling specific troubled territories like Irian Jaya."

Separately Marzuki also said that he would soon appoint a new official to replace Bismar.

Bismar, born in Bone, South Sulawesi, was officially promoted as prosecutor in 1972 to Makassar office, South Sulawesi and had mostly served in intelligence affairs until 1995.

Bismar was assigned to the head of Irian Jaya Prosecutors' Office on July 28, 2000.

In Yogyakarta, thousands of people attended Sumardi's funeral. Among the attendants were governor of National Police Academy Inspector General Dai Bachtiar, Sumardi's classmate in the academy. They both passed the academy in 1972.

Walking on the left-hand side of Sumardi's coffin to the cemetery, Bachtiar hid his sadness.

Other prominent police figures attending Sumardi's burial were, among others, inspector general of the National Police Headquarters Comr. Gen. Nurdin S., Central Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Ansjaad Mbai, and Yogyakarta Police Chief Brig. Gen. Logan Siagian.

Inspector General of the Diponegoro (Central Java) Military Command May. Gen. Soemarsono, the Diponegoro Military Command Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Djoko Santosa were also at hand.

Thousands of people who wanted to pay their last respects to Sumardi blocked Jl. Kusuma Negara, where the hero cemetery is located. Traffic was totally jammed. (02/23/35/bby/sur)