Thursday, March 24, 2011

Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono Slams WikiLeaks at International Defense Conference

Despite previously stating that he wanted discussions on WikiLeaks to end, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono publicly slammed the organization in front of an international audience.

“A small group of people, in WikiLeaks, with anti-establishment agenda has caused serious difficulties for governments across the world, with all its attendant political and security implications,” Yudhoyono said at the opening of the Jakarta International Defense Dialogue on Wednesday.

The last time Yudhoyono spoke publicly about the recent WikiLeaks scandal involving himself, ministers and his family, he said he wanted the discussion on WikiLeaks to be put to bed.

But Yudhoyono on Wednesday warned that non-state actors, including WikiLeaks, had the power to influence the public, hence reinvigorating discussion on the organization.

“Significantly, in the geopolitics of the 21st century, non-state actors will assume a much greater role,” he said at the opening of the three-day conference, where representatives from 30 countries have gathered to discuss regional security issues.

“The media, civil society, NGOs, companies, individuals — they are all changing the strategic landscape and forcing us to think differently.”

Yudhoyono has issued a blanket denial of the allegations first published in Australian newspaper The Age based on leaked US diplomatic cables made available to the newspaper through WikiLeaks, but so far has refused to comment on specific allegations.

The article alleged that Yudhoyono stopped former Deputy Attorney General Hendarman Supandji from pursuing an alleged graft case against Taufik Kiemas, husband of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, and that his family had received money from banking and construction tycoon Tomy Winata. It is also alleged that the president used Indonesian intelligence to spy on his political rivals. Jakarta Globe

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