Thu, 23 Nov 2000

Kamra demands extension of their service

JAKARTA (JP): Accompanied by Yogyakarta's monarch Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, 11 representatives of the People's Security (Kamra) converged at the House of Representatives to demand an extension of their service on Wednesday.

In a hearing with the House Deputy Speaker Soetardjo Soerjogoeritno, Kamra chairman Rubiyanto said the paramilitary members wanted the government to absorb them into the Indonesian Military (TNI), police force or civil service.

"The demand is reasonable since we have experience in security matters. We are now worried after learning that we are to be disbanded," Rubiyanto remarked.

Hamengkubuwono, who is also Yogyakarta's governor, said the demand was the result of a national meeting of Kamra members in Yogyakarta recently. The meeting was held as the government had decided not to extend their working contract which will expire at the end this year.

"I just helped them deliver their demands through the right channel," he remarked, hoping that the House would convey their demands to the government.

Soetardjo promised to discuss the demand with the Minister of Defense Mohammad Mahfud M.D., National Police chief Gen. S. Bimantoro and Minister of Home Affairs and Regional Autonomy Soerjadi Soedirdja.

"Actually, we have sent a letter to the minister of defense about Kamra but we have not received the reply yet," Soetardjo, a senior legislator of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), said.

Deputy chairman of the House Commission I for political, security and foreign affairs Ferry Tinggogoy promised to discuss Kamra's demand during a meeting with the government officials on Tuesday.

"Believe us, we will be on Kamra's side when discussing it," Ferry, a legislator of the TNI faction, remarked.

Kamra whose members amount to thousands, most of them previously unemployed, was established early last year to help police maintain order during the general elections. (jun/rms)