Linmas and Wanra, Uniformed but Unarmed

Wanra members practicing self defense in Koramil (the subdistrict military commands) Mertoyudan, Magelang Regency. Photo credit: David

Wanra members practicing self defense in Koramil (the subdistrict military commands) Mertoyudan, Magelang Regency. Photo credit: David

By: Sahrudin – @SahrudinSaja

INDONESIA is a country with many political, governmental and social activities. It is also a place with many celebrations. From village head to presidential elections. From cultural performances in a street near the rice fields to the capital’s main roads.

Orderliness and safekeeping, of course, are very needed during the activities. And therefore, sometimes we see pale lime green uniformed officers among police and soldiers in an outdoor crowd event.

The pale lime green uniformed persons are referred to as “Linmas” and “Wanra”. Linmas stands for Perlindungan Masyarakat, literally means civilian neighborhood guards.

Linmas (formerly known as “Hansip”) is structurally organized under local governments (municipality/regency, subdistrict and village). A village government, Indonesia’s lowest level of government administration, has at least 10 Linmas officers.

Another paramilitary group is Wanra, which stands for Perlawanan Rakyat, or people’s resistance. Wanra is a group of civilians trained by Indonesia’s military, or TNI.

Unlike a soldier or TNI’s military officer, Wanra members are unarmed. They do not have weapons equipped, and only act as a supporting element in defense system, but often times, to help maintain security during a specific event.

Both Linmas and Wanra are sideline professions. Neither Linmas nor Wanra officers work every day. Their monthly cash incentives are relatively low.***[alwaysmagelang@gmail.com]

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