We are a big nation.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) noted that establishment of the Nusantara College Student Dormitory (AMN) aimed at strengthening brotherhood and introducing different cultures to students from various regions and to maintain harmony in the community.

"It is the importance of the Nusantara College Student Dormitory, so we can get to know each other, understand each other's cultural customs, and get along well because students living in the Nusantara College Student Dormitory will also be provided with national insights,” he remarked.

At the inauguration of the AMN Surabaya in Surabaya City, East Java Province, on Tuesday, the president said that scholarships were also granted to 410 students from throughout Indonesia that stayed in the dormitory.

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On the occasion, the president also declared the development of AMNs in Makassar City, South Sulawesi Province, and Manado City, North Sulawesi Province.

"The first proposal regarding (the construction of) the National College Student Dormitory was conveyed by 61 Papuan leaders, who visited the (president's) palace that time since (they are concerned that) there are many conflicts between college students," he stated.

He noted that before the AMN development initiative took place, usually the residents of a student dormitory came from the same region, so it was difficult for them to get to know the students from different regions.

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Given the importance of strong brotherhood in the midst of Indonesia’s cultural diversity, Jokowi immediately agreed to the proposal to establish the AMN.

"We know that this country is a big country. We are a big nation. We have 714 different tribes. This diversity is a strength and not a weakness," he remarked.

Jokowi stated that his side will also build the AMN in other cities with several educational institutions, such as Bantul District in Yogyakarta Province, Malang City in East Java Province, and Jakarta.

Head of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Budi Gunawan, who also attended the inauguration event, noted that some 40 percent of the total students living at AMN Surabaya came from Papua.

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Translator: Indra Pribadi, Uyu Liman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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