In Indonesia.....the government on Wednesday (21 June) started rebuilding the grave of the late President?
In Indonesia.....the government on Wednesday (21 June) started rebuilding the grave of the late President Sukarno in an effort to restore his reputation.
The restoration work comes exactly eight years after Mr. Sukarno died in disgrace after being accused with plotting the 1965 abortive communist coup.
SYNOPSIS: The perimeter around the grave site was already jammed with thousands of the late President's supporters several hours before the restoration ceremony began.
Police often had a difficult time keeping order in the crowd. (SEQ 1-5)
The government's decision to rebuild the grave has encouraged Sukarno's supporters to come out into the open, and has won widespread support from all sections of Indonesia.
Many attending the ceremony in the East Java town of Blitar, could be heard shouting slogans praising the late President as the great leader of Indonesia.
Government officials, led by the East Java Vice Governor, began the restoration by placing in the floor of the grave, specially inscribed stones.
A spokesman for the East Java military commander, who is in charge of the restoration work, said the project would take a year to complete. A mosque and verandah will be built near the grave which will have a glass fence and marble floor. A special bronze roof will be set up to free the grave from the heat of the sun.
The efforts to restore Sukarno's image is believed to be aimed at attracting his supporters in the face of growing muslim opposition. The government declared Sukarno as the proclamator of Indonesia's independence. (SEQ 6-13)
Notably absent from the ceremonies were members of the Sukarno family. At the home of the late President's sister, Mrs. Wardoyo, friends and relatives held their own prayer service Tuesday night (20 June) marking the eighth anniversary of Sukarno's death.
There have been recent reports that Mrs. Wardoyo was not happy with the government's plans to restore her brothers grave. (SEQ-14-17)