RI reiterates opposition to foreign powers patrolling Malacca Strait
Indonesia reiterated on Wednesday its opposition to foreign militaries helping to guard the Malacca Strait against terrorist attacks, despite welcoming their help for humanitarian efforts following the tsunami disaster.
Vice Adm. I Wayan Rampih Argawa, deputy chief of staff of the Indonesian Navy, said Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia were already conducting coordinated naval patrols in the area and there was no need for an outside power to get involved.
"Our stand is that other international stakeholders should help in information and intelligence sharing, but not to send military patrols," he told reporters here on the sidelines of a regional meeting on maritime security cooperation.
The waters in the Malacca Strait are "within the jurisdiction of the coastal states and to send (an outside) military power there, we will not allow that," he said.
The Malacca Strait is bordered by Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The narrow waterway and the adjacent Singapore Strait host two of the world's busiest commercial shipping lanes.
Security analysts and officials have called for increased international cooperation to beef up security in the area after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist strikes in the United States.
Merchant ships plying the routes are regarded as potential targets for terrorists aiming to cripple global trade, while piracy has long been a problem in certain parts of the Malacca Strait.
However, the involvement of outside military powers to patrol the Malacca Strait has been a sensitive issue because of the issue of national sovereignty. (3/2/05 Jakarta Post)
"...Indonesia reiterated on Wednesday its opposition to foreign militaries helping to guard the Malacca Strait against terrorist attacks, despite welcoming their help for humanitarian efforts following the tsunami disaster..."
If they can't stop pirates from taking over ships, kidnapping or dispensing with the crew, how do they expect to prevent terrorism in that area?