Indonesian President Awarded With Honorary Doctor Diploma

President of Indonesia Megawati Sukarnoputri has been awarded the diploma of MGIMO honorary doctor "For Contribution to the development of mutual understanding between peoples and interaction between civilizations". In compliance with the tradition, the President attended the ceremony wearing a special professor's robe.

Megawati Sukarnoputri shared with the MGIMO teachers and students her experience of preserving national consensus in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious state. "For a country with multinational population like Indonesia that has over 300 nationalities with different religions, traditions and culture, an adequate national policy plays the deciding role," she emphasized.

In Indonesia the problem of national concord is aggravated by the territorial isolation, as it is an island state and possibilities for ethnic migration are limited, the President said. To prevent possible ethnic and religious conflicts, as well as tension between representatives of different nationalities, the Indonesian government intends to resort to a number of measures, Sukarnoputri said.

Thus, the government intends "to make a comprehensive analysis of the country's system of government that in the past was very centralized". The powers of the central government, especially those of the President, will be significantly reduced, she pointed out.

The interests of regions will be protected by a new body, the Council of Regions' Representation, an institution, that will be united with the Council of People's Representatives. Together they will form the Consultative body of people's representatives. Moreover, the country's autonomous areas and provinces, as well as their administrative bodies will be granted broader powers in self-governing and forming their own budget, as well as in using the region's economic resources.

Some problems may arouse because of the maldistribution of resources between the regions, Sukarnoputri admitted. However, the Indonesian government will take all necessary measures to alleviate the reform's negative consequences, she said.

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