Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note:  The inclusion of ‘commoners’ in the celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day makes sense, as they represent the majority, just as in the United States.  The inclusion of a Christian of Chinese descent was also laudable.  However, recognition of the important role played by Christians and other minority religions in Indonesia needs to be put into action by Indonesia’s government leaders – they need the freedom of religion promised in Indonesia’s constitution! 

By Leo Jegho

08/17/2015 Indonesia (Global Indonesian Voices)

President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo appeared presidential when leading the solemn flag raising ceremony at the Merdeka Palace on Monday morning (17/8) to commemorate the 70thanniversary of the country’s independence. This was against his day-to-day look which many said as ‘ndeso’, or a countryside village appearance.

“Carry on!” said Jokowi in a military styled tone to the ceremony commander, Marine Col. Umar Faruk, at the opening part of the gathering.

In front of thousands of guests, Col. Umar Faruk had reported to the President that the flag raising ceremony was now ready to start.

It was the first Independence commemoration ceremony at the Merdeka Palace which was led by Jokowi. He was inaugurated as the seventh president of the country last October.

Today’s ceremony at the Merdeka Place lasted 75 minutes, starting from 10 AM as reported by television stations. Highlighting the event were a group of jet fighters flying over Merdeka Palace with one of their pilots voicing an independence congratulation message from the air, arousing applause from Jokowi and the whole audience at the Merdeka Palace. Meanwhile, a large choir of junior and high school students from Jakarta and other provinces presented a series of national anthems and country songs.

(Read more: 70 Years of Indonesian Independence)

What also made the flag raising ceremony special was the presence of a large number of ‘common people’ from kampongs near the palace compound and from other parts of Jakarta metro areas. These guests made up to 70 percent of all participants in the gathering.

Also special was the girl who carried the duplicated Red and White flag after receiving it from President Jokowi. She was Maria Felicia Gunawan, an Indonesian of Chinese descent and a Christian from the reknown Penabur High School in Gading Serpong, outside Jakarta. Those doing this task normally get public attention like a celebrity.

[Full Story]