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Indonesia Celebrates 3 Score Years

Still A Great Notion: Indonesia Turns 60 on August 17, 2006 Having Much to Celebrate and Reason to Look to an Even Brighter Future Ahead.

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Sixty years ago two young political activists, Soekarno and Hatta, stood before a microphone in central Jakarta to read a hastily prepared announcement proclaiming Indonesia a free and sovereign country.

3 score years later, Indonesia continues on its road to establish a free and democratic state capable of fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the world's fourth most populous nation. Indonesia has suffered both massive disappointments together with moments of great triumph over its first six decades and, like every great social enterprise in the history of mankind, there have been the "diaper years" Ė the mandatory period of disorder and chaos that must be passed before evolving into a mature political state.

A Time of Great Optimism

Indonesia's celebration of its 60th Anniversary marks a period of great promise for the Nation. For the first time in its history, Indonesia's leaders Ė from the very highest posts to that of village heads Ė are being elected directly by popular vote. In response to the vox populi, the Country's First President directly answerable to the People is making significant progress in his pledge to fight the corruption that has drained the nation's life force in the past. To the West, a decades long conflict in the North Sumatran province of Aceh appears to be ending with both sides to the conflict signing a historic peace accord on the very eve of Indonesia's 60th anniversary. Meanwhile, to the East, a truth and friendship commission has been formed with former foes in East Timor, heralding a new era of friendly cooperation between Timor Leste and the Republic of Indonesia.

Still a Very Great Notion

The principles of humanity, social justice, national unity and nationalism envisioned by Soekarno and Hatta sixty years ago still burn bright in the hearts of most Indonesians. The task of nation building - uniting a people spread across more than 17.000 islands, and comprised of over 300 ethnic groups remains a formidable and often frustrating task. Without doubt there have been periods when the march forward towards Indonesia's national destiny when their steps have faltered; painful momentary retreats before finally managing a consolidation for the next, bold step into the future.

Principles of unity, social justice, and nationalism proclaimed by the Nation's founders 60 years ago remain with us today Ė fueled by a new air of optimism based on recent events and a renewed sense that the man in charge shares a genuine concern and interest in the Nation's place in history. When wisely applied by the nation's leaders, the humanistic ideals given birth 60 years ago are certain to override any narrower interests of race, ethnicity, local culture and religious beliefs; successfully nurturing Indonesia's rich diversity while strengthening its unity. takes this opportunity to extend its sincere wishes for a future bright with promise to the people of Republic of Indonesia.

"Dirgahayu Republik Indonesia H.U.T. ke-60!"

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