Why Indonesia will kill them

Written By komlim puldel on Rabu, 04 Maret 2015 | 20.01

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Long road ... Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, pictured in 2006, are nearing their execution over drug smuggling. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

THE countdown to death has begun with a carefully stage-managed display of overkill force by Indonesia, which could see them extinguish the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran just after midnight on Sunday.

There will be no mercy and no pity, but it appears the two Australians did not ask for any once they learned their fate was sealed, instead shaking hands and saying goodbye to their guards and old friends at the jail.

Bali Nine ringleaders ... Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in an office of Kerobokan Jail moments before they were loaded into security vehicles and transferred to Nusakambangan Island. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Chan and Sukumaran got special treatment in their high-impact transfer today, the type no other foreign death-row drug trafficker has ever received in this country.

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Heavily armed men in armoured personnel carriers took the men from their cells before dawn, taking them in convoy to the airport where they were loaded onto an ATR turboprop charter plane under heavy guard.

Just before 6am, local time, fighter jets began taking off, followed by the ATR, for their flight west to the southern Java city of Cilacap, close by the prison island of Nusakambangan.

Excessive force ... an Indonesian armoured vehicle stands by for security back up in the streets outside Kerobokan prison in Denpasar on Bali island. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Armed ... Indonesian police stand guard as Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran arrive at Wijaya Pura Port, en route to Nusa Kambangan prison. Picture: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

The jets, which over the last week had been making deliberate flyovers of Kerobokan prison, presumably for the benefit of the Australian media stationed there, were on Tuesday loaded and locked with what appeared to be sidewinder missiles.

Altogether hundreds of police and military were involved in the operation. The United States Navy Seals used less men and equipment to kill Osama bin Laden.

Indonesian police stand guard around Kerobokan prison as authorities move Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

This ludicrous show of force was not because there was any chance Chan and Sukumaran could make a break for it, or that Australian special forces were going to stage a rescue mission.

It was all about telling Australia to mind its own business, in a furious backlash to what it perceived as interference in its sovereign right to enact its own laws.

Bali Nine trafficker .. Myuran Sukumaran, at left, on the plane as he and Andrew Chan are transferred to Nusakambangan Island. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

A soldier stands guard as a police armoured vehicle carrying Chan and Sukumaran arrives at Wijaya Pura Port, Central Java. Picture: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

But Australia never questioned Indonesia's rights. It only asked, as politely as possible, that they reconsider the plans to kill the men.

Things became distorted when Tony Abbott reminded Indonesia of the help Australia had given after the 2004 tsunami, causing Indonesia to react with indignation.

President Joko Widodo was never going to do Australia any favours. Instead, he did the opposite, using the two men in a high-viz. display that appeared designed to punish Australia for daring to speak out for their rights as humans.

Indonesian police stand guard ... to secure the area around Kerobokan prison in Denpasar today. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

The President may consider what happened a show of national strength, but has instead only revealed that he personally lacks mercy and compassion.

Indonesia is a great country with a deserved sense of self-pride, but it wasn't evident during the transfer. It was more like a nightmare circus.

It has let itself down in treating two rehabilitated criminals like the world's most dangerous men.

Chan and Sukumaran must be baffled that they, after 10 years in prison, have at the end become used in what is a game of one-upmanship by Indonesia.

The way the four fighter jets circled over the Cilacap airport, doing victory wing tilts after escorting the charter plane, was melodramatic and impressed no one apart from some schoolchildren behind the airport who did not understand what they were doing.

The kids cheered as a Sukhoi flew low over their school. But this is not the Indonesia they want to grow up in, the country that so many around the world, not the least in Australia, admire and respect for its kind and gracious people.

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