>> Standing to attention head to toe in camo gear, these Indonesians recruits may look like army troops.>> Yes sir.>> But they're are actually civilians members of Bela Negara or defend the nation, a state back program aiming to protect Indonesia from what equals foreign influences>> Reuters' Eveline Danubrata visited a training camp outside Jakarta to find out more.
>> Officials at the training center told me that the concept has existed even before Indonesia's independence in 1945. But they see the need to revise it in recent years because of they see threats like gays, communism, radicalism and drugs. These elements are seen as threats because they are perceived to deviate from the founding principles or the societal norms of Indonesia.
>> At the heart of the Bela Negara revival, fears of a communist resurgence in Indonesia. More than 2,000 members taking to the streets of Jakarta recently, alongside Islamic groups in protest.>> The resurrection of communism is not a fantasy but a fact. That's why all Indonesians who love their country should safeguard the nation.
>> Bela Negara insist it's building better citizens not soldiers but its trainers come from the military and police forces. And for some, that's controversial. Critics say the program is a form of militarization. Officials deny that, though Reuters did see recruits learning how to assemble guns. According to one army general nearly 2 million people have signed up to Bela Negara and it's got big plans to expand.
Aiming for 900 training centers across Indonesia by 2018.