Sat, 03 Apr 2004

Marine to safeguard polls

JAKARTA: The Navy will make available three battalions of its Marine troops to help the National Police safeguard the election day on Monday, a top Navy officer said on Friday.

"The three battalions are ready to be deployed upon request by the National Police," said Navy chief of staff Adm. Bernard Kent Sondakh.

"We should be thankful that currently the security conditions seem conducive to a safe election day."

Bernard was speaking on the sidelines of a sending off ceremony in Jakarta for the KRI Dewa Ruci which is on a three- month journey around Asia.

When asked about the Navy's ability to secure Indonesian waters (over 5.8 million square kilometers of open sea), Bernard said that there were more ships to safeguard Indonesian waters now. -- Antara