Archipelago

SBY given sword as souvenir
by former GAM commander

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received a surprise gift during his recent official visit to Aceh. The President, through his twitter account, revealed that just before he flew back to Jakarta,
he was given a sword by a former commander in the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

 “Before I flew back to Jakarta, I was intercepted by one of GAM’s commanders who then handed over a sword as a souvenir to me,” Yudhoyono said on Friday night.

The former commander, Irfan, 47, handed over the sword with an engraved message in Acehnese reading “We are all one heart and one word. We are all brothers and sisters in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.”

Irfan was the commander of GAM in Sangoe Gajah Keng in Aceh.

Yudhoyono said that the sword was actually a legacy from one of Irfan’s ancestors, a freedom fighter against Dutch colonial rule.

The President visited Aceh for two days, during which he also received an honorary doctorate from Syiah Kuala State University as well as opening the Aceh Cultural Week in Taman Ratu Safiatuddin. (hrl/dic)

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