Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono here Saturday met with traditional kings and sultans grouped in the Nusantara Forum of Palaces and called on them to help safeguard the country`s national heritages.
“Indonesia has a variety of cultures, arts and civilizations which show the greatness of the country. As the head of state, I expect all kings and sultans to play a role in preserving and developing the national heritages ,” he said.
He said the development of national heritages included development of cultures, traditions and wisdoms. “You all can also play a role in national development in all fields,” he said.
He said the traditional rulers` participation in national development would contribute much to the nation.
On the occasion the President also called on all royal entities in the country to develop tourism- and arts-based economies.
“Indonesia has the capital to do it. Develop all the existing economic potentials and thus make contributions to the nation,” he said.
He said the results of economic developement could be used to pay the cost of maintainng the cultural centers existing in the regions.
The Nusantara Palace forum was established in 2006 with 57 member palaces. Now the number of its members has risen to 118 palaces.
King Ida Tjokorda Ngurah Jambe Pamecutan IX from the Denpasr Grand Temple who is the forum`s chairman said on the occasion that the traditional palaces were one of the means to develop national culture.
This was why the forum`s members believed they needed to maintain their community in a spirit of fraternity, he said.
King Ida also said the forum would stage a palace expo from December 25 through December 30 to be participated in by its 118 members.
Attending the meeting with the president were traditional kings from Riau, Riau Islands, South Sumatra, West Sumatra, Lampung, Madura, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Maluku and West Papua. (*)