Our constitutional system honors and guarantees diversity and pluralism and it is our task to preserve these."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) postponed his state visit to Australia that was originally scheduled for Nov 5-8, and instead opted to go for a political safari to meet top military and police officers as well as ulemas (Islamic scholars) over a week.

The presidents decision followed the massive rally on Nov 4, held by thousands of people after Friday mass prayers in Jakarta.

The head of state visited the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) Headquarters to give directives to 2,185 soldiers on Monday (Nov 7).

In his address to the soldiers in the courtyard of the Army Headquarters, the president appreciated all security agencies for their efforts to secure the peaceful Nov 4 rally, popularly known as 411 rally.

The head of state said the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) must continue to forge national unity and a sense of cohesion.

On the evening of Nov 7, Jokowi visited the central executive board of Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) to meet a number of ulemas of the countrys largest Muslim organization.

Flanked by Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, the President was greeted by secretary general of NU executive board, H Helmy Faishal Zaini.

Shortly after arriving at the office of the NU executive board, the president held a limited meeting with the board members, including NUs general chairman Said Aqil Siradj, secretary general Helmy Faishal and advisory boards chairman, Maruf Amin.

"I wish to express my appreciation to all NU board members, including those in the regions, for making soothing statements that helped ensure that the demonstration on November 4 passed off peacefully," he noted after the meeting.

The president stressed that the government and the PBNU can accomplish many things to serve public interest, boost the economy and prevent radicalism.

"I thanked the NU which acts as a key pillar of our Unitary State of Indonesia, Pancasila (state ideology), values of pluralism and when it comes to issues of tolerance and national unity," he noted.

The very next day (Nov 8), the President visited the headquarters of Muhammadiyah, the countrys second largest Muslim organizations, in Central Jakarta, and was greeted by the Chairman of Muhammadiyah, Haedar Nashir.

The same day (Nov 8), Jokowi visited the headquarters of the National Police (Polri) to give directives to 602 high-ranking police officers.

He expressed gratitude towards every police officer for professionally guarding the Nov 4 rally. However, the president expressed sympathy with the 18 police officers who were injured during a clash that occurred on the evening of the rally.

He also asked the Indonesian Police to firmly enforce law on all groups, organizations or figures in case of any violation.

"Polri, as a big institution with 430 thousand members, must not hesitate in carrying out firm legal enforcement," he stressed.

On Nov 9, the Head of State met the participants of the 8th National Congress of the Indonesian Islamic Propagation Institute (LDII) to discuss the importance of peace in national development.

"Being Indonesian means that everyone and every organization must follow the spirit of Pancasila, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or the ideal of Unity in Diversity, and must strive for mutual cooperation to uphold tolerance," the president reminded the gathering at Balai Kartini, Jakarta.

Jokowi on the occasion appreciated the LDII for maintaining harmony and peace through the teachings of Holy Quran and Hadith.

He also appreciated the efforts of the Islamic organizations in maintaining order during the Friday rally where protesters had demanded law enforcement against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnam (Ahok), who was accused of blasphemy.

On Sunday (Nov 12), Jokowi attended a national gathering of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and the people, dubbed as an event for "Prayers for the Safety of the Nation," at Ancol, North Jakarta.

Some 10 thousand people, including ulemas and Islamic preachers, from Jakarta and other cities attended the gathering organized by the National Awakening Party (PKB).

Jokowi was accompanied by Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, and Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri.

Chairman of PKB Muhaimin Iskandar in his remarks said ulemas and leaders of NU always pray for the safety of the nation, its people and its leader.

In his speech, the President reaffirmed that Indonesias constitution honors and guarantees the values of diversity and pluralism.

"Our constitutional system honors and guarantees diversity and pluralism and it is our task to preserve these," he said before thousands of people at a prayer event.

The country is home to more than 700 ethnic groups, who speak 340 local languages, he reminded. Similarly, Indonesia has a diverse range of arts and cultures, with just the local traditional dances reaching more than 4,000, if anyone cared to count, he added.

"It is so diverse, and we must be aware of this diversity," he counseled.

In the meantime, Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim said President Jokowis meetings with religious leaders have been positive and will help build closer relations.

"I think its positive that the president and the religious leaders share the same perception," underlined the minister.

The president had met them with a view to maintain his relationship with religious leaders in Indonesia.

"That is the way he maintains friendship with religious leaders. He did this not only in Jakarta, but also when he visited regions and met with several religious leaders," Lukman recalled.

In addition to meeting ulemas, the president also toured the headquarters of the TNI and Polri, starting from the Headquarters of the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) on Monday (Nov 7), the National Police Headquarters on Tuesday, the Armys Special Force Command (Kopassus) Headquarter on Thursday, and the Headquarter of the Polices Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Corp as well as the Headquarters of Marine Corp on Friday (Nov 11).

Addressing some 3 thousand marines, President Jokowi said his visits to the military and police headquarters this week were to ensure that the officers were firm in their loyalty to the state.

"In our state administration, I want to make sure that everyone is loyal to the state, to the Pancasila (state philosophy), to the Constitution (UUD 1945), to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and to our diversity," the Head of State said, while visiting the headquarters of Indonesias Marine Corp in Cilandak, South Jakarta.

By personally meeting the officers, he noted that he could gauge the readiness of every officer of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) to protect the integrity of the NKRI.

"When (we have) meet and are close to each other like this, we can feel that our officers are ready," Jokowi underlined.

On the previous day, Jokowi said as the Supreme Commander of Indonesian Military, through the Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), he could deploy Kopassus for special purposes.

"This is a reserve force. In case of an emergency, this is the reserve force that I can deploy," he told the press after giving certain directives to the officers in Cijantung.

Vice President M Jusuf Kalla explained that the President, as the Supreme Commander of Military and Police, went on a political safari to inspect the officers.

"There is no cause for any worry. He is the Supreme Commander. Of course, the president wanted to see the state of readiness of officers," Kalla stated.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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