Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Whose Fault?

So, Indonesian President's trip to the Netherlands has been cancelled due to a law suit against him brought by RMS in The Netherlands. RMS asked the Dutch Government to arrest SBY for violations of human rights. Despite the reassurance from the Dutch government that SBY has Immunity during his visit, the president decided last minute to cancel his trip, citing that such law suit is an insult to Indonesia's dignity.

The next thing I knew, RMS's president declared that RMS won and they will sue the President every where he's going. I am very concern about this. This incident set a precedent for other separatist movements all over the world to follow suit. If SBY keeps doing this, he wont be able to visit any foreign countries. I am also concern that his gesture could be interpreted as him admitting that he did something wrong and he's afraid of getting arrested. By cancelling his trip, SBY gave RMS more power then they ever had against Indonesian government.

On the other hand, I understood that Indonesian government is upset someone in The Hague didnt lobby RMS enough to not filing the suit prior to SBY visit. For the Dutch the RMS is an insignificant matter, but it is a huge deal for Indonesia. I guess it's an oversight during the months of preparation for this visit.

Just now on the telly, Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Joko Suyanto said that the President wished that the trial process to run its course, so that there would be a clear court decision before he travels to the Netherlands. Apparently Indonesian government found it would've been a bad decision for the president to be in the Netherlands while the Dutch court is settling the law suit, especially if the court decision is not in favor of the President. Mr. Suyanto also mentioned that the government wants for the presidential visit to be conducive for the both countries. The law suit is deemed not conducive.

I guess the bottom line is they wanted to avoid bad PR, instead they created a worse one.

Seriously, for someone who is into image creation SBY has been making a lot of mistakes lately. I wonder who have been advising him.


colson said...

It was not the first postponement/cancellation of this state visit. It was however the first last minute postponement.

I'm not sure what the President's real motivation is ( was). I But if it was a pending court's order to arrest SBY on arrival, it was absolutely bullshit. Moreover today RMS lost it's case in court ( quite like each and everybody predicted).

And if it was the alleged insult to the President's office and the country, it would be pretty incomprehensible ( to me).

In the first place because individuals or groups protesting heads of state visiting other countries are inseparable parts of any of these occasions in the free part of the world. It should be int he President's job-description.

And, by the way, such a last minute cancellation can be perceived by the hosting country's head of state and government as an insult as well.

I too think this incident is bad PR for SBY. And an unexpected PR success for John Wattilete and his organization which was practically brain-dead.

It's a pity it occurred. But then relations will not really be damaged and Dutch investments in Indonesia (The Netherlands moved form third to second place among European countries)or trade relations will continue to flourish.

PS: I don't think it would have been wise to try to ( hard) talk ( lobby) RMS out of it's plans to press charges against SBY. My best guess is it would not have succeeded ( and it should not have succeeded in my opinion). On top of that it probably would have backfired in domestic politics I guess.

triesti said...

It doesnt have to be the Dutch government who lobbied RMS. But hey, it's too late any way.

I dont get the advisors who told SBY not to go is more conducive than going. The minister said that Hasan Wirayuda also consulted. I thought Hasan is pretty smart, I dont get why they came up with this decision.

As for the insult part, it's a Javanese thing, I am also still learning about it. There are things in this part of the world they deemed as insulting while I thought the opposite, I wrote about it before.

Ok, I am biased, I am still pissed about this cancellation. If I were his advisor, I put him on the plane tonight, and sign that bloody agreement!