National Heroes Day
Today has seen the annual pilgrimage to the National Heroes cemetery in Kalibata, South Jakarta, to put flowers on the graves of those deemed worthy of remembrance.
The prerequisite for a hero's funeral
is simple: being a recipient of a state medal (like the Bintang Mahaputera, Guerrilla's Medal and the Kartika Eka Paksi medal). Most of these recipients are former military men, which explains why a majority of names etched on the gravestones in Kalibata and other local heroes cemeteries are preceded by a military rank.
That means that many Suharto cronies are there and that Munir isn't.Many say rights activist Munir deserved to be declared a hero after he was fatally poisoned, allegedly by people who regarded him a traitor for revealing to the world the brutal abuses that occurred in this country. But as far as administrative requirements are concerned he has little chance of being buried next to men whose career was built around defending the very institutions that Munir fought against.
These men are still doing their utmost to be avoid being implicated in his assassination, which is one reason that 70 American congressmen have urged SBY to make "a clear legal move" to resolve the murder and to publish the report of by the now-defunct independent fact-finding team that has indicated the involvement of several high-ranking officials from the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).
Former deputy chairman of the fact-finding team Asmara Nababan, however, said the President had been reluctant to act on the team's recommendations because of "political bargaining with certain parties."
"I guess the President is powerless against the power of the suspected murderers, and that is why he (the President) seemed to drop our recommendations," said Asmara, a former secretary-general of the National Commission on Human Rights.
"I also think that the President is worried about the political impact if he pursues the mastermind behind the murder," he said.
Presumably the mastermind behind the murder plot also has a plot awaiting him in the Kalabata Heroes Cemetery.
However, Jakartass, not a great admirer of the military and police forces as you may have noticed, would like to nominate the officers behind the detective work which finally led to the end of the hunt for terrorist mastermind and Indonesia's most wanted man
, Malaysian bomb-maker Dr Azahari bin Husin.
Allegedly the mastermind of the 2002 bombings in Bali and three other deadly attacks in Indonesia, he was killed yesterday when he set off a massive blast to avoid capture.
National Police chief General Sutanto said that police were alerted to the location of the hideout, in Malang in East Java, by a member of Azahari's terrorist network, identified only by his initials of C.H., who was arrested on Wednesday morning in the Central Java capital of Semarang.
C.H. had been arrested following the identification
of one of the three suicide bombers in October's Bali restaurant blasts.
This has been a truly heroic effort of detection, not that their work is over.
Police Chief Sutanto expressed hope the public would help police to track down other terrorists, including Azahari's main cohort, fellow Malaysian fugitive Noordin Mohammad Top.
Police had spent three years hunting for Azahari, who is accused of playing key roles in a series of terror attacks that killed about 250 people. While his elimination is a clear blow to regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, Indonesia remains at risk of further bombings. The network has reportedly attracted many recruits and Noordin, who specializes in training suicide bombers, may well be seeking vengeance.