Mon, 14 Feb 2000

Top post open to indigenous

DENPASAR, Bali: Indigenous people will be given more chances to hold the top post in provincial police offices in the future, National Police chief Lt. Gen. Rusdiharjo said on Saturday.

Speaking after swearing in Brig. Gen. I Wayan Ardjana as Bali Police chief, Rusdiharjo said the policy to name a local for the post was a response to growing demand for regional autonomy and a manner to improve relations between police and the people.

"Aspirations from the bottom, as heard in Aceh and Papua, is all that we have to accommodate," Rusdiharjo said, referring to turmoil in Aceh and Irian Jaya, where demands for independence have been on the rise.

But Rusdiharjo said that the National Police would still maintain the strict qualifications for selections for the top job.

"Brig. Gen. Wayan was selected not only because he is a Bali native, but he qualifies for the post. The local factor is just a minor requirement in the selection," Rusdiharjo said.

Ardjana, former secretary for the National Central Bureau of Interpol in Indonesia, replaced Brig. Gen. Togar Sianipar, who ended his term after just three months. Togar has been appointed South Sumatra Police chief. (zen)