However, I prefer to be present directly at the closing ceremony later in Jayapura City since Papua is always in my heart.
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) apologized for not being able to attend the opening ceremony of the 16th National Paralympic Week (Peparnas) directly at Mandala Stadium in Jayapura City, Papua Province, on Friday.

"At first, I wanted to go to Papua to inaugurate the XVI Peparnas and to meet the extraordinary athletes, as well as ‘Pace’(refers to Papuan males), ‘Mace (refers to Papuan females), all brothers, and all sisters," he said in a video played during the opening ceremony.

"However, I am sorry. I cannot attend the event because I have to be quarantined after conducting an overseas trip," he explained.

Furthermore, the President admitted that it would have been possible for him to open the national sporting event virtually from Jakarta as he had arrived from abroad on Friday morning.

“However, I prefer to be present directly at the closing ceremony later in Jayapura City since Papua is always in my heart," he remarked.

In addition, he expressed his gratitude to Vice President Ma'ruf Amin for inaugurating the event in Papua.

"I am sure that the implementation of XVI Papua Peparnas will be successful, lively, and full of achievements. ‘Torang bisa!’ (means ‘We Can!’)," he remarked.

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The ceremony was themed ‘Light from the Eastern of Papua’ and was enlivened by various performers – Anggun C. Sasmi, Nowela Mikhelia, Edo Kondologit, Kaonak, Manggorap, Nogei, Shine of Black, Piter Ginuy, and Irsa Yoku.

It also featured several traditional dances from various regions, including Papua.

Meanwhile, for curbing the transmission of COVID-19, a limited number of spectators were allowed to watch the ceremony live at the stadium.

A number of outdoor light-emitting diodes (LED) screens were installed at several locations in Jayapura city to allow the public to witness the splendor of the ceremony.

In addition, the Communication and Informatics Ministry instructed all television stations to broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies of XVI Papua Perpanas and decided to live-stream them on YouTube.

Meanwhile, regarding the security aspect, as many as 1,400 military and police joint personnel were deployed to secure the ceremony.

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Translator: Muhammad Ramdan, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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