Megawati awards posthumously
Hero title to Gorontalo
figure

Fabiola Desy Unidjaja, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government awarded posthumously the national hero title to Gorontalo leader HI Nani Wartabone on Friday to mark the commemoration of National Heroes day, which falls on Nov. 10.

Nani's youngest son Djalaludin Wartabone accepted the honor from President Megawati Soekarnoputri at a ceremony at the State.

Nani was known for leading a rebel movement against the Dutch colonial government on Jan. 23, 1942 before Japanese troops took over the area. Nani had consulted Sukarno, who then was named the founding president, prior to the rebellion.

He was also among a group of 17 figures who established the National Council on Sept. 1, 1945, two weeks after Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaimed Indonesia's independence in Jakarta.

The never-say-die fighter led the operation to crush the Permesta rebels in Gorontalo in 1958.

Nani was also an active member of the Indonesian Nationalist Party, which was founded by Sukarno, the father of President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

The previous government had posthumously awarded him the Mahaputra Utama medal in 1991, five years after his death.

Back in his home town of Gorontalo, the capital of the new province after it split from North Sulawesi, Wartabone's statue has been built in the center.

The country every year awards hero title to respected figures, who are proposed by organizations or regional administrations.

During the ceremony on Friday, the President also awarded honorary medals to noted artists known for their contributions to the development of national culture.

The Budaya Parama Dharma medal was awarded to 10 artists, including the late Bing Slamet, Fifi Young, Miss Tjitjih and Tan Tjeng Bok.

The medal for comedian Bing Slamet was received by his second son Hilmansyah.

""I wish there will be more chances for us to have a discussion with the President,"" Hilmansyah said after receiving the award. Bing Slamet was known to have a good relationship with founding president Sukarno.

Megawati spent about five minutes speaking with the recipients of awards or their families before proceeding to her residence.

-------------------------------------- Budaya Parama Dharma medal recipients: ---------------------------------------

1. Ali Akbar Navis

2. Djadoeg Djajakusuma

3. K.R.T. Djajadipura

4. Bing Slamet

5. Ki Soeratman

6. I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa

7. I Ketut Marya

8. Fifi Young

9. Miss Tjitjih 10. Tan Tjeng Bok ------------------------------------------------------------------

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