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Ide Agung Anak Gde Agung, Four forgotten independence heroes get official recognition  

by on Monday, 12 November 200710 Comments | 3,664 views

The Jakarta Post

The government awarded four public figures National Hero status for their past contributions to the country at a ceremony held at the State Palace on Friday.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono handed out medals to the heroes’ descendants, witnessed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla and members of the cabinet

The National Hero status for Adnan Kapau Gani, Moestopo, Ignatius Slamet Riyadi and Ide Agung Anak Gde Agung, was decided through a presidential decree.

Politician Ide Agung Anak Gde Agung was awarded for his advocating Indonesia’s independence through negotiation instead of bamboo spears and bullets.

Recent research by a historian at the University of Indonesia, Professor Leirissa RZ, has confirmed the role of the Bijeenkomst Federaale Overleg, initiated by Anak Agung as part of his diplomatic strategy to consolidate Indonesia’s authority as a nation, in efforts to restore the archipelago’s sovereignty through diplomacy.

“The assumption that the late Anak Agung was involved in subversive actions has been proven wrong. We are in a healthy process of revising history, when we start to acknowledge that diplomacy holds an important role in the development of Indonesia,” said Anak Agung Gde Agung, the son of Anak Agung.

He explained, “My father began his fight in an early age. When he was made king (of Gianyar) at the age of 23, he already insisted that Bali free itself from the claws of the Dutch and be a part of Indonesia.”

Meanwhile, a former independence fighter in Bali, Desak Raka Nadha, 81, said that she didn’t agree with the government’s decision to make Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung a national hero.

“When we were in the struggle, we were the ones who had to face torture. Meanwhile, Anak Agung was a federalist who worked together with the Dutch government. That alone disqualifies him from the status of national hero,” she told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview. (lva)

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