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Jakarta Post

Farewell cleric of pluralism

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 31 2009   /  08:15 am

JP/J. AdigunaFestive preparations to part with 2009 quickly turned into mourning on Wednesday as the nation bid farewell to its cleric of pluralism, Indonesia’s fourth president, Abdurrahman Wahid.

The measure of a man affectionately known as Gus Dur came not from the stream of somber faced dignitaries which arrived at the Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital in Central Jakarta or legions of mourners at his residence in Ciganjur, South Jakarta. But from the impromptu swell of prayer congregations, tahlil, held across the country.Nationwide, students and elders held prayers almost as soon as they heard of the demise of the man who symbolized Indonesia’s tradition of religious tolerance as well as being an icon for political reform.In Surabaya, East Java, an emotional gathering from all walks of life lit candles in front of the Negara Grahadi building. Antara reported that 100 children w...