Asian Countries Lead Development Progress

Tuesday, 9 November 2010, 5:55 pm

Press Release: UNDP

2010 Human Development Report: Asian Countries Lead Development Progress Over 40 Years

Dili, Timor-Leste, 8 November 2010

Most developing countries made dramatic, and often underestimated, progress in health, education and basic living standards in recent decades, reveals a detailed new analysis of long-term Human Development Index (HDI) trends.

The 20th anniversary edition of the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

The “Top 10 Movers” (those that have improved most in HDI terms over the past 40 years) highlighted in the 2010 report were: Oman, China, Nepal, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Laos, Tunisia, South Korea, Algeria and Morocco.

East Asia and the Pacific had by far the strongest HDI performance of any region in the world, nearly doubling average HDI attainment over the past 40 years.

Timor-Leste’s HDI value for 2010 positions the country 120th out of 169, constituting a rise of 14 places. Timor-Leste now ranks in the medium human development category.

UNDP Resident Representative in Timor-Leste, Finn Reske-Nielsen, congratulated the people of Timor-Leste on the results of the 2010 Human Development Report:

“This progress is a great achievement for the country. Especially given that Timor-Leste is a new nation while the global human development trends are being measured over a 40 year period. The hope is that these improvements will continue to be built upon, and all people will have the opportunity for a longer, healthier and more productive life”.

The HDI is not designed to assess progress in human development over a short time period, because some of its component indicators do not change rapidly in response to policy changes. This is particularly so for mean years of schooling and life expectancy at birth. It is, however, useful to review HDI progress over the medium to long term. Between 2005 and 2010, Timor-Leste’s HDI value increased from 0.428 to 0.502, an increase of 17%.

Between 2005 and 2010, Timor-Leste’s life expectancy at birth increased by over two years, while mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling remained the same. Timor-Leste’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita increased by 228% during the same period.

The Human Development Reports and the HDI have challenged purely economic measurements of national achievement. They helped lay the conceptual foundation for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, calling for consistent global tracking of progress in health, education and overall living standards.

The 2010 HDI, which features some technical adjustments in method and indicators, including GNI and number of years of schooling, illustrates the wide range of development achievements in East Asia and the Pacific. It also introduces three new indices that capture multidimensional poverty, inequality and gender disparities.

In East Asia, most countries have higher income inequality today than was the case a few decades ago, due in part to widening gaps between rural areas and the rapidly industrializing cities.

The UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, said that although “people today are healthier, wealthier and better educated than before, there is much that countries can do to improve people’s lives. This requires courageous local leadership as well as the continuing commitment of the international community”.


UN elects Executive Board of new agency for women’s empowerment

ECOSOC President Hamidon Ali (left) chairs election of members of the Executive Board of UN Women

10 November 2010 – Member States today took the next step in enabling the newly-created United Nations agency on gender equality and women’s empowerment to begin its work by electing countries to serve on its Executive Board.

The elections, held in the 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will enable the new Board to come together prior to the official establishment on 1 January 2011 of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

The 41 board members were selected on the following basis: 10 from Africa, 10 from Asia, 4 from Eastern Europe, 6 from Latin America and the Caribbean, 5 from Western Europe and 6 from contributing countries.

Elected from the African Group were Angola, Cape Verde, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Lesotho, Libya, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste were elected from among the Asian States.

Estonia, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine were elected from among the Eastern European States, while Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden were elected from the Western European and Other States.

In addition, the Council elected Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada and Peru from the group of Latin American and Caribbean States.

The Council also elected Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States from among the “contributing countries,” for three-year terms beginning today.

The 35 members elected from the regional groups will serve two-year and three-years, beginning today, as determined by the drawing of lots.

Chosen to serve two-year terms were Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, El Salvador, Estonia, France, India, Italy, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Tanzania and Timor-Leste.

Angola, Cape Verde, China, Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Grenada, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sweden and Ukraine were selected to serve three-year terms.

Headed by former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, UN Women is the merger of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).

The new agency was established on 2 July by a unanimous vote of the General Assembly to oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights and their full participation in global affairs. One of its goals will be to support the Commission on the Status of Women and other inter-governmental bodies in devising policies.

It will also aim to help Member States implement standards, provide technical and financial support to countries which request it, and forge partnerships with civil society. Within the UN, it will hold the world body accountable for its own commitments on gender equality.

In carrying out its functions, UN Women will be working with an annual budget of at least $500 million – double the current combined resources of the four agencies it comprises.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

In historic move, UN creates single entity to promote women’s empowerment


East Timor kicks Iran off the UN Women Agency but Saudi Arabia is in

November 10th, 2010 1:55 pm ET

Last July, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution which created a new, super agency, to promote women's rights and gender equality. The new agency merged four U.N. bodies dealing with women's issues into a single agency with greater clout to represent half the world's population.

Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet will run UN Women, which will have a 41-member executive board, with 35 members chosen by regional groups and six representing donor nations.

The Canadian Press reported that Iran had been among the 10-nations on an uncontested slate put forward by Asian nations for Wednesday's elections to the board of UN Women until East Timor, prodded by Australia, announced its candidacy, and won the seat thus eliminating Iran from the agency. Diplomats who wished to remain anonymous confirmed that East Timor's entry was designed to get Iran out.

The first person to protest Iran's entry into the new body was none other than Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi; she still believes that the admission of Saudi Arabia is a joke. It is hard to disagree with her, as today's news brings to light a case against a Sri Lankan woman, living in Saudi Arabia, who has been condemned to death by beheading. However, it seems that Saudi Arabia received a free pass as it is expected to be one of the 'donor' nations. Equally farcical is the uncontested admission of Libya and Congo to the agency.

French philosopher Henri Bernard Levy delivered a stinging op-ed yesterday in the Huffington Post titled ' Iran to Defend Women's Rights and Philosophy? No, Unfortunately, it's Not a Joke'.

In the event you have not been reading this column, Iran is one of the countries with the worst human rights record, especially when it applies to women. It has been embarassed worldwide into 'suspending' the death sentence of Sakineh Ashtiani wrongly accused of adultery; another female and human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, is languishing in jail and is on a hunger strike; and who can forget Neda? The beautiful, vibrant Iranian young woman shot to death during a protest against Iran's rigged presidential election.

"We are relieved that the Asia group in the end is not offering Iran a free pass to the board of UN Women," Philippe Bolopion, UN advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.


Malaysia not ready to endorse Timor solution

Published:Monday, November 1, 2010 10:39 AEDT
Expires:Sunday, January 30, 2011 10:39 AEDT

Julia Gillard's visit to Indonesia has resulted in frustration, after Malaysia's deputy prime minister requested more information on Australia's plan for a refugee processing centre in East Timor.

Breaking News: Indonesian Army, Kopassus, Implicated in New Assassinations. Forces Chosen By Obama for Renewed US Aid Ran '09 Activist Murders.

By Allan Nairn

According to senior Indonesian officials and police and details from government files, the US-backed Indonesian armed forces (TNI), now due for fresh American aid, assassinated a series of civilian activists during 2009.

The killings were part of a secret government program, authorized from Jakarta, and were coordinated in part by an active-duty, US-trained Kopassus special forces General who has just acknowledged on the record that his TNI men had a role in the killings.

The news comes as US President Barack Obama is reportedly due to announce that he is reversing longstanding US policy – imposed by Congress in response to grassroots pressure – of restricting categories of US assistance to TNI, a force which, during its years of US training, has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The revelation could prove problematic for Obama since his rationale for restoring the aid has been the claim that TNI no longer murders civilians. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress that the issue is whether there is a "resumption" of atrocities, but, in fact, they have not stopped: TNI still practices political murder.

A senior Indonesian official who meets frequently with top commanders and with the President of Indonesia says that the assassinations were authorized by "higher ups in Jakarta." He provided detailed accounts of certain aspects of the program, including the names of victims, the methods, and the names of some perpetrators.

The details cited in this piece were verified by other officials, including senior members of POLRI, the Indonesian national police. Some were also verified by the Kopassus General who helped run the killings.

The senior official spoke because he said he disagreed with the assassinations. He declined to be quoted by name out of fear for his position and personal safety.

Verified details that are known so far concern a series of assassinations and bombings in Aceh -- on Indonesia's western tip -- where local elections were being contested by the historically pro-independence Partai Aceh (PA), a descendant of the old pro-independence GAM (Free Aceh) rebel movement.

At least eight PA activists were assassinated in the run-up to the April elections. The killings were, according to the officials with knowledge of the program an attempt to disorient PA supporters and pressure the party to not discuss independence -- an act regarded as proscribed speech, not just in Aceh but across Indonesia under edicts from the country's president, Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

One of the PA activists, Tumijan, age 35, a palm oil worker from Nagan Raya, was abducted and found two days later in a sewage ditch. His throat was slit, his body mutilated and bound with electrical wire. His corpse appeared near an army outpost. Some of his family blamed the security forces, and, as has happened frequently in such cases, started receiving anonymous death threats.

Another PA activist, Dedi Novandi, age 33, known as Abu Karim, was sitting in his car outside his house with the drivers' side window cracked open when a plainclothes man strolled up with a pistol and put two bullets in his head.

A POLRI official with detailed knowledge of the crime called it a professional killing, employing lookouts and advance surveillance of the movements of Abu Karim.

As it happened, hours earlier, Karim had sat down with a member of a World Bank - sponsored delegation and expressed his worry about the pre-election killings of PA people as well as a skein of arson and grenade attacks on PA offices.

Soon after, the BBC came to the scene of the Abu Karim murder. Their correspondent, Lucy Williamson quoted one of the neighbors as saying that she "thinks it strange the police have not found the people who killed [Abu Karim]. 'Maybe it's because there were no witnesses,' she said. 'And I think it’s weird that there were no witnesses but what can I say? Everyone said they didn’t see anything.' "

"Inside the house," Williamson continued, "Abu Karim’s wife, Cut Dede, watches nervously over her four-year-old son. Like many people here she is in no doubt this was a political killing."

In fact, according to the senior official and the others who confirmed him, the Tumijan and Abu Karim murders were part of the TNI assassination program coordinated on the provincial level at that time by General Sunarko, the PANGDAM Aceh (chief of TNI forces in the region).

Sunarko had recently been sent to Aceh by the President, Gen. Susilo, after having been the nationwide commander of Kopassus, the TNI Special Forces. Prior to that, Gen. Sunarko had been the chief of staff of Kostrad, the TNI army's huge Strategic Reserve Command that operates across the archipelago and is headquartered in Jakarta near the presidential palace.

Sunarko had been elevated to these key posts after overseeing militias in occupied Timor. He was a Kopassus intelligence chief there during the 1999 TNI terror, an operation that included mass arson and assassinations and was launched while the East Timorese were preparing to -- and ultimately did -- vote for independence.

The '09 PA killings occurred across Aceh. The Abu Karim murder, in Bireuen, was said by the officials to have been managed for Gen. Sunarko by Lt. Col. R. Suharto, the local TNI army commander, using troops aided by civilians from the old military-sponsored FORKAB and PETA militias.

Lt. Col. Suharto has long worked with the TNI's BAIS intelligence unit, which played an integral role in these assassinations and others nationwide, and is famous for its killings and torture in formerly occupied Timor and, currently, in de facto occupied Papua.

When I asked knowledgeable POLRI officials about Lt. Col. Suharto and the killing of Abu Karim, they became as nervous as the neighbors cited in the BBC report.

They reluctantly discussed his role, but privately. We then went on the record and I asked whether Lt. Col. Suharto had in fact run the Abu Karim and other assassinations, and further asked whether he was among those still running "black operations." The key POLRI official did not deny anything but instead said "I cannot comment on that," and then insisted that his name not be attached to even that remark.

On Friday, around 10:30 pm Western Indonesia Time, I called Lt. Col. Suharto's cell phone.

There was no answer so I sent a text message and he replied by text asking who it was. I told him and we began a text message exchange that lasted until after midnight. In the midst of the texts I tried to call him five times, but each time he merely let the phone ring.

By text, Lt. Col Suharto asked me where I was, and then, how I'd gotten his number. He asked me why I wanted to speak to him. I replied, to discuss the PA assassinations, including that of Abu Karim. Suharto wrote back that that was a police matter. I asked him if TNI did the killings. Lt. Col. Suharto replied no, so then I asked by text "So, does that mean you know who the killers are?" He said no to that too, so then I asked him "So how can you know TNI wasn't involved?"

At that point, Lt. Col. Suharto disconnected his cell phone. I tried to call but got a phone company recording. I then sent a text message asking whether he, Lt. Col. Suharto, was "involved in the murder of Abu Karim, or the murders of other PA activists." Phone company signaling indicates that that message was delivered, but as of now, more than 51 hours later, Lt. Col. Suharto has not replied.

Militia members have said that Lt. Col Suharto's men also burnt and threw grenades at the PA offices.

But all this was apparently only one small part of the operation.

In Nagan Raya, in another part of Aceh, the snatching and assassination of Tumijan was carried out by another TNI team, also working under Gen. Sunarko. This is according to numerous officials, including some from POLRI, and, in part, according to Gen. Sunarko himself.

In the Tumijan murder the evidence includes not just statements by inside officials, but also a complex series of actions including the unpublicized detention of some of the low-level hit men who were subordinates of Gen.Sunarko.

The senior Indonesian official who first spoke of the assassination program said that Tumijan had been taken and finished by a group of young Kopassus and other soldiers who, as in the Abu Karim case, also used civilians from TNI's old militias.

He gave the names of some of them, the soldiers Capt. Wahyu and Oktavianus, and the civilian TNI-run militia followers Muhyari, Supardi, Kadir, Herwan, M. Yasin, Suprayogi, Tahmid, and Suparno.

He then made the remarkable claim that though no outsider yet knew it, these lower-ranking killers of Tumijan had been secretly detained and held for many months as part of a sensitive political deal involving POLRI, TNI, and officials who had unexpectedly gotten wind of certain aspects of the still-secret TNI assassination program.

POLRI, he, said, agreed to take the militiamen, the military police handled two of the soldiers, and the officials who had stumbled upon the operation agreed to not discuss it publicly, as did the POLRI which never announced the detentions or attempted to charge the men.

Most importantly, the detentions were confined to street operatives in just one of the murders. The more senior officers were left untouched to continue the operation.

POLRI officials I spoke to confirmed the senior official's account. But they did so with evident reluctance, even fear. They made it clear that they had no intention of going after the "higher ups in Jakarta," or Gen. Sunarko, -- or even Lt. Col. Suharto, who is a mere local commander.

POLRI also kills and tortures civilians, and mounts joint task forces with TNI, but they are fierce institutional rivals, wrestling for money, power, and extortion turf, and though POLRI has recently ascended somewhat, TNI still has more guns and cash, and they lack POLRI's political burden of having to claim that they're enforcing the murder laws.

On Thursday, I reached the Aceh POLRI commander, Police Gen. Aditya, on his cell phone, and though he first said he would only speak privately, face to face, and then tried to end the conversation, he did confirm -- for the first time publicly -- that the lower level hit men in the Tumijan assassination had indeed been detained.

When I asked him if it was true that TNI Gen. Sunarko had in fact supervised assassinations of activists, Police Gen. Aditya replied “It is not in my capacity to disclose that information,” and abruptly hung up the phone.

On Friday, I reached Gen. Sunarko on his cell phone and asked him about the assassinations, and Sunarko acknowledged that his TNI men had a role in the killings.

But he said that assassinations by TNI officers and men should not necessarily be classified as being official acts of TNI "as an institution." Gen. Sunarko was remarkably calm.

Though it was not yet public, he knew about the detention of his subordinates for the Tumijan murder (Gen. Sunarko raised the matter before I mentioned it), but the General indicated that he was not worried about any follow-up action by POLRI or other authorities.

Gen. Sunarko seemed familiar with the Tumijan killing, and said that Capt. Wahyu and Oktavianus, two of those detained, had worked for his, Sunarko's, then-headquarters in Aceh, the Iskandar Muda regional KODAM (the command covering all of Aceh).

When I asked specifically if he, Gen. Sunarko, was involved in the assassinations, he responded lightheartedly: "That would be the work of a crazy person," he said, "and I am not yet crazy."

When I asked Gen. Sunarko about his subordinate, Lt. Col. Suharto, he said that he knew him well, but when I asked him if Lt. Col. Suharto had run the killing of Abu Karim, Gen. Sunarko replied "I don't know," but then added: "If that had happened, I'd know.”

General Sunarko also said, before I broached the matter of the assassinations, that he was an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama's plan to boost aid to Kopassus and to TNI generally.

Sunarko said that the US and TNI had had a long, close partnership that had "raised the capacity of TNI," and that Obama's restoration of aid would make for "a still more intimate ("akrab") collaboration."

The general said that he was himself was a longtime colleague and admirer of US forces, having received US training at various sites in Indonesia "many times" since the 1980s.

Using the English-language names of some of the courses and of the US units that gave them, he said that US Army instructors in Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) from the Pentagon's Pacific Command (PACOM, in Hawaii) had trained him in “Jungle Warfare” and “Logistics” as well as in other subjects that he did not name. He said that his US training included special exercises in 1994 and 1998, and that his fellow TNI trainees included other Kopassus and Kostrad men. Gen. Sunarko said his most recent US training was in 2006, when he was the chief of staff of Kostrad, soon to become the Kopassus commander.

The general also suggested that the training was good for the Americans too, since it enabled TNI and the US military to “learn lessons from each other,” and best situated the US to "get what it needs" from TNI.

President Obama had been due to leave for Indonesia today, but the visit has been postponed.

Still on the table is a big aid package for TNI, negotiated over recent months, the political centerpiece of which is an apparent renewal of open aid for Kopassus.

Though most every unit of TNI (and POLRI) has been implicated in mass atrocities, those of Kopassus are the most celebrated, and, as their former commander, the US-trained Gen. Prabowo, once told me, they have historically been the unit most closely identified with Washington. It was thus especially galling to TNI when US activists -- myself included -- were able to successfully press Congress to interrupt US aid to Kopassus in the 1990s .

Obama's planned give-back of aid to Kopassus is now awaited by TNI as sweet vindication, and by many of the survivors of TNI terror as America's green light for more.

But, as with most of the other atrocities by TNI, the assassination program reported in this piece involves multiple TNI components beyond Kopassus: Kopassus, but also BAIS intelligence and the mainline regional and local commands, KODAM, KOREM, and KODIM, all of them, most importantly, reporting ultimately to the national TNI commanders and other "higher ups in Jakarta."

And regardless of whether the US restores the aid for Kopassus, TNI as a whole already has the green light.

2,800 TNI men are now reportedly being trained in the US (this according to Indonesia's Defense Minister; see Olivia Rondonuwu and Ed Davies, "Interview -- Indonesia Sees U.S.Lifting Military Training Ban ", Reuters, March 4, 2010) and Obama's Pentagon is pushing weapons and equipment sales and US loans that would further empower TNI overall.

That being said, Kopassus does indeed have a special swagger and symbolic potency.

During the recent Obama - TNI aid negotiations in anticipation of his trip, the Kopassus commanding general came to Washington and was welcomed by the Obama team. Back in Indonesia, also during the talks, a Kopassus man felt confident enough to attempt to board a commercial flight out of Aceh while carrying a pistol fitted with a silencer -- a classic assassination weapon. This was of interest to the Indonesian official who described the incident, because one victim in Aceh had apparently been executed with a silenced pistol, at night (The victim's roommate didn't awaken).

An airport security man affiliated with the air force took the Kopassus man's pistol away.

But later, a Kopassus delegation arrived and made him give it back.

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Balancing act for Obama on Indonesia security ties

JAKARTA (Reuters) – The United States and Indonesia have plenty of common security interests, but U.S. President Barack Obama faces a difficult stumbling block when discussing closer military ties during his visit this week -- human rights.

Indonesia's military, and in particular its Kopassus special forces, have an abysmal rights record in past campaigns against separatists in East Timor, West Papua and Aceh. A new video showing the torture of Papuan men has brought the issue back under the spotlight as Obama visits Indonesia.

The two countries have a longstanding security relationship. Indonesia's Detachment 88 anti-terrorist unit, set up after the 2002 Bali bombings, is funded, equipped and trained by the United States and Australia, and has scored impressive successes.

The militant threat in Indonesia has been greatly reduced in the past decade. Groups loyal to al Qaeda have been scattered and many key leaders have been killed by forces from Detachment 88. Obama needs to ensure that close cooperation continues in the fight against militancy in the world's biggest Muslim country.

Jakarta, too, wants to foster security ties, partly to act as a bulwark against an increasingly hawkish China which has been flexing its muscles in territorial disputes in the South China Sea with some of Indonesia's southeast Asian neighbors.

"I think any president in the U.S. must take Indonesia as a good friend," said Indonesian security analyst Noor Huda Ismail, vice president of Sekurindo Global Consulting.

"They have no choice but to make friends with us because we will be their bastion in the region, to contain China."

Obama's balancing act is to foster and deepen security cooperation without appearing to condone human rights violations by Indonesia's military and police.

His Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also has a balancing act to perform. China is the dominant power in Asia, in economic as well as military terms. In his cooperation with Washington, Yudhoyono must try to avoid antagonizing Beijing.


In July, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced during a visit that Washington was ending its ban on ties with Kopassus. He said this followed steps by Indonesia to remove convicted human rights violators from the ranks of the special forces.

But human rights organizations reacted with outrage, saying Kopassus still harbors officers guilty of crimes against humanity. And the leaking of a video showing the torture of Papuans, where a low-level separatist insurgency has simmered for decades, has made the issue even more sensitive.

The video shows two Papuan men being interrogated and tortured. They are beaten and kicked. One man has a knife held to his throat, and another has a burning stick held to his genitals.

Data on the video -- which appears to have been filmed with the mobile phone of one of the interrogators -- suggests it was taken on May 30 this year. It is not clear what unit of the Indonesian security forces was involved.

"The U.S. seems to be very cautious on military cooperation with Indonesia, and one of the main problems is Papua," said Andi Widjajanto, security analyst at the University of Indonesia.

"It is more of a problem now with the release of the video tape of Indonesian military torture."

What makes the issue even more sensitive is many Indonesians accuse the United States of double standards -- particularly after numerous reports of American abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan, above all theAbu Ghraib scandal.

Some Islamic groups in Indonesia say the United States is waging a war against Islam and only cares about the human rights of Christians. Papuan separatists are Christian, as were the East Timorese who won independence from Indonesia in 1999 after decades of heavy-handed military efforts to crush them.

Detachment 88, too, has been accused of rights abuses.

Ismail said that if the battle against militancy in Indonesia was to be won, it was essential that security forces were able to capture hearts and minds and avoid alienating Muslims.

"Most of the assistance from the U.S. for Detachment 88 is by providing weaponry, but if you look at the situation, it is a narrative war, you cannot really counter narrative with bullets, you have to counter with another narrative," he said.

Also, Kopassus remains a highly influential political force. Many of Indonesia's leading politicians are former officers in the special forces. Yudhoyono's brother-in-law is a former head of Kopassus and is tipped as a future Indonesian army chief.

"Kopassus is a machine for making Indonesia's future leaders. Strategic army posts in this country are almost always filled by Kopassus officials," Widjajanto said.

"With the U.S. not co-operating with Kopassus it is losing its chance to get closer ties with future Indonesian political and military leaders."

(Additional reporting by Telly Nathalia and Chris White in Jakarta; Writing by Andrew Marshall; Editing by David Fox)