Thu, 03 Jul 2003

Megawati cancels North Sulawesi visit

MANADO, North Sulawesi: President Megawati Soekarnoputri has decided to cancel her visit to the new regency of Talaud in North Sulawesi, which shares a border with the Philippines.

Spokesman for the North Sulawesi provincial administration Edwin Silangen confirmed the cancellation of the President's visit to the new regency on Wednesday.

"We have just received a confirmation from Jakarta that the visit, which was scheduled for July 5, has been canceled and there was no reason given," he said.

An informal leader in Talaud, Nelson Sasaw, said many people in the province expressed their disappointment with the President's decision since preparations had already been made to welcome her.

"We will be very glad if the President considers renewing her plans to visit the regency because her presence has long been anticipated to solve various problems," he said.

A councillor of the provincial legislative council Rony Tanos agreed that the President's visit had been anticipated to resolve many issues, including the people from each country crossing the border. --JP