Friday, September 9, 2011

At Sail Banda 2010, SBY Sees Hope For Maluku

Theheavy downpours may have battered the port of Ambon during Tuesday’s peak eventof Sail Banda 2010, but it failed to temper the excitement felt by thousands ofAmbonese residents. The port was crowded with people trying to catch a glimpseof President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono.

In great anticipation, the crowds lined both sides of the streets, includingschoolchildren, who were dismissed early to join the throngs of people, waitingpatiently in the rain.

In his speech Yudhoyono said that with Sail Banda 2010 the country would usethe momentum to promote Indonesian marine diversity and to help develop remoteislands.

Sail Banda 2010 is an international maritime event aimed at showcasing howMaluku has overcome years of conflict.

Yudhoyono declared Maluku — long famed as the “Spice Islands” — as the“National Fish Belt”. “These areas have the potential of producing 1.64 milliontons of fish a year. This is a huge potential that will benefit the welfare ofthe people,” Yudhoyono said.

A parade of naval ships from Indonesia and the participating countries tookplace as part of the maritime event.

Joint operations have been carried out by the navies of Indonesia, Singapore,Australia, New Zealand and the United States to offer free health treatment toresidents in the run-up to Sail Banda 2010.

Also, a choir sang the song Rinduku Padamu (My Longing For You). The song,written by Yudhoyono, is the title song of his first album launched in 2007.

Sail Banda 2010 will be completed on Indonesian Independence Day on Aug. 17.

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