Palace Alters Plans for Independence Day Celebrations

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • President Joko Widodo, First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Mrs. Mufidah Jusuf Kalla arrive at the location of the 74th Independence Day Ceremony, State Palace, Jakarta, Saturday, August 17, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    President Joko Widodo, First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Mrs. Mufidah Jusuf Kalla arrive at the location of the 74th Independence Day Ceremony, State Palace, Jakarta, Saturday, August 17, 2019. TEMPO/Subekti

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaState Secretary Pratikno said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the country to alter the planned celebrations of Indonesia’s 75th Independence Day on August 17, 2020.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic changes everything. We need to work hard to adjust the events we have prepared,” said Pratikno at the Presidential Palace Complex, Central Jakarta, Monday, July 6.

    He explained that last year President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called him and Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama to discuss a massive public party on Independence Day.

    Jokowi wanted to design a party that shows Indonesia as an economically, socially, and politically strong country.

    The initial concept discussed was a carnival or a march involving international communities. Under the cooperation with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Pratikno said many countries wished to participate.

    However, the plan was changed due to the pandemic that has hit Indonesia since March 2020. “Including the international carnival that will be dropped,” Pratikno added.

    The government then planned to design a virtual celebration event. Even the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Presidential Palace will only be carried out by three officers. From July 2020, the events will be spread and roads will be decorated to strengthen the spirit.

    Despite the situation, the new celebration plan must still be carried out solemnly and gratefully. The concept will also be maintained.

    “We will have a simple celebration with the same excitement, with high public enthusiasm and creativity and innovation in accordance with the safe health protocols against the COVID-19,” Pratikno said.

    Read: Surabaya Hospital Resident Physician Dies of COVID-19 Exposure

    EGI ADYATAMA