Big crowds continued to call on Monday (June 22) to pay their last respects to former Indonesian President Sukarno before he is flown to Blitar in East Java for burial.
Big crowds continued to call on Monday (June 22) to pay their last respects to former Indonesian President Sukarno before he is flown to Blitar in East Java for burial. President Suharto led mourners last night near the open coffin in the house which Sukarno was held under house arrest for the past 18 months.
The mourning began on Sunday (21 June) after the former president died at the Djakarta Army Hospital where he'd been treated since last Tuesday for high blood pressure and a kidney ailment. Among the last people to see Sukarno alive were his Japanese wife, Ratna Sari Dewi, and their daughter Kartika who arrived in Djakarta on Saturday from Paris. This meeting fulfilled Sukarno's last wish and about 3 a.m. he fell into a coma and died four hours later.
The former President rode through Djakarta yesterday for the last time in a simple army hearse which took his body from the hospital to his house in a Djakarta suburb.
From then on, thousands of people began to file past the simple teakwood coffin draped with lace and sprinkled with flower petals while members of his family kept a long vigil beside it. At midnight on Sunday, the house grounds were crowded for the traditional moslem nailing of the coffin ceremony, conducted by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Mohamed Dahlan.
On Monday President Suharto was to attend a special service for Sukarno at the house before the body was flown to Blitar from the Ralim Air Force Base by an air force Hercules. Members of Sukarno's family were to go to Blitar in air force aircraft.