Mon, 02 Jun 2003

Rachma, Amien visit Sukarno's grave

JAKARTA: National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman Amien Rais and Pioneer Party chairwoman Rachmawati Soekarnoputri celebrated Pancasila Day on Sunday with a joint visit to the grave of her father and founding president Sukarno in the East Java town of Blitar.

The two have previously met several times, which may indicate a possible coalition between the two parties for the 2004 elections.

Rachmawati has tended to make friends with those who oppose her elder sister, President Megawati Soekarnoputri, including former president Abdurrahman Wahid.

Amien said the visit had been planned for some time, and he did not deny the political motives behind the trip to Sukarno's hometown.

"We call on all Indonesians to reinstate the values of our country's state ideology Pancasila," Amien told the press before the visit.

Sukarno proposed Pancasila as the state ideology on June 1, 1945, but the national day has never been widely celebrated.

Amien and Rachmawati watched the traditional puppet show, wayang kulit later on Sunday. -- Antara

;JP;DJA; ANPAa..r.. Scene-Megawati-auction Megawati's collection auctioned for cancer foundation JP/4/SCENE

Megawati gives to cancer foundation

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Cancer Foundation raised Rp 61.5 million (US$7500) from auctioning several items from the private collections of President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwono X on Saturday.

At a gala dinner held in Yogyakarta, the foundation auctioned watches, photos and other belongings of the President to raise funds for the anti-cancer campaign in the province.

The foundation raised Rp 50.4 million from Megawati's collection, Rp 7.5 million from the Sultan and Rp 3.1 million from the sultan's wife Queen Hemas, organizer Ida Idham Samawi said.

She added that the foundation also managed to raise an extra Rp 73.5 million in donations.

Megawati contributed several wristwatches, clocks, family pictures and a signed biography to the auction, which was attended by 500 guests comprising businesspeople and officials.

"We are glad all the items were sold," Ida said. -- Antara

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TNI Chief attends regional conference

JAKARTA: Indonesian Military (TNI) Chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto visited Singapore on Sunday for a meeting with counterparts from six Asia-Pacific countries, an official report said.

Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Australia and the United States, which was represented by its Pacific command, participated in the meeting.

TNI said in its press release that the meeting, held at Singapore's Shangri-la Hotel, was aimed at enhancing military relations among Asia-Pacific countries.

The military chiefs also attended a security conference sponsored by the International Institute of Strategy Studies (IISS). -- Antara

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Students scold lackluster govt

JAKARTA: Hundreds of students and activists from Greater Jakarta rallied on Saturday to demand that the government improve its performance.

The rally started at the University of Indonesia campus on Jl. Salemba and headed toward the State Palace on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara, both in Central Jakarta.

Some of the demonstrators demanded the resignation of President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Vice President Hamzah Haz.

"The government of Mega and Hamzah has failed to fulfill their mandate, as indicated by the country's deteriorating conditions," said Rudi Kartono, chairman of the Assyafiiyah University's Student Executive Board.

Rudi said poor people in particular had suffered due the government's inability to control the prices of basic commodities, as well as fuel prices and utility rates.

The students also condemned the repressive measures used by authorities against protesting students in some regions.

"Many students were injured and had to be hospitalized," Rudi said. -- Antara