The Jakarta Post
The government on Friday bestowed the title of national hero on three national figures for their contributions to the country before and after the 1945 revolution.
They are Radjiman Wediodiningrat, Lambertus Nicodemus Palar and Tahi Bonar Simatupang.
The awards ceremony was hosted by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the State Palace on Friday, two days before the commemoration of National Heroes Day on Sunday.
The families of the recipients accepted the titles on their behalf.
Radjiman was born in Yogyakarta on April 21, 1879. He was a member of Boedi Oetomo, one of the most influential political organizations in the years leading to the country's independence in 1945.
In 1944, he was elected to head the Preparatory Body for Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI). In 1950, he became a member of the House of Representatives and led its first plenary session. He died in 1952 and was buried in Yogyakarta.
Lambertus, hailing from North Sulawesi, was a renowned diplomat. In 1947, he made the UN Security Council order the Dutch to hold cease-fire with Indonesia.
He also convinced members of the UN to recognize the existence of Indonesia.
TB Simatupang, who was born in Sidikalang, North Sumatra, was one of two military figures who participated in a 1949 Round Table Conference in the Hague.
Between 1948 and 1949, he was a deputy of the guerrilla commander Gen. Sudirman during the post-independence war against the Dutch. A year later, he replaced Sudirman after he died, and was military chief of staff until 1954.
The three names were previously nominated by the regional administrations from where the three were from, said Hartono Laras of the Social Affairs Ministry.
The granting of the titles was based on a system regulated in Law No. 20/2009. Under the law, the names will later be submitted to the provincial government and later to the Social Affairs Ministry.
Following a selection phase at the ministry, the names are taken to the member Board of Titles, Orders of Merit and Decorations for examination before final approval is given by the President.
By having the titles, Hartono added, the families of the three heroes were now entitled to monthly benefits of Rp 1.5 million and an annual health allowance of Rp 3 million, as well as a right to a house restoration and grave maintenance.
One of Simatupang's sons, Siaji, said his family appreciated it.
'We will always remember him, not only as a father but also as someone who fought for the nation,' he said after the ceremony.
'For us, his spirit to overcome all the problems and his struggle for his nation are the things that we look up to.'
Last year, Yudhoyono gave the National Heroes title to the country's first president and vice president, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta in what some considered a long-overdue recognition.
In 2011, seven figures were awarded the status for their contribution to the nation, including renowned Muslim thinker and writer Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah (also known as Buya Hamka) who was once jailed by former president
With the three new heroes, there are currently a total of 159 individuals that have been bestowed with the title.
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