08/03/2018, 15.31
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Archbishop of Jakarta: 'Asian Games are an opportunity for unity for all of Asia'

by Matthias Hariyadi

From August 18 to September 2, the Asian Games will be held in Jakarta and Palembang. Indonesian citizens accuse the authorities of organizing the event badly. Msgr. Suharyo invites the faithful to participate: "That the Games be the best opportunity to demonstrate national pride and hospitality of the country".


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - For the second time in its history, Indonesia will host the Asian Games. The games will be played in two cities: in the capital Jakarta (where they also held in 1962) and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra.  Under the slogan "Energy of Asia", the eighteenth Asian Games will be held from August 18  to September 2. The Archbishop of the capital urges Catholics: "Participate and create unity".

Sporting events will also be held in Bandung and in the western province of Java and Banten. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta.

Despite the preparations still being underway both in Jakarta and Palembang, some Indonesians have raised various concerns about the "hardships" that affect the daily lives of those who live and work in the capital. Some roads have been closed or are limited to traffic. Many schools, both private and state, will be closed during the event in order to reduce the number of people moving. About 250 thousand people are expected in the city, including 15 thousand athletes and technical staff.

Citizens have criticized city governor Anies Baswedan for mishandling this international sporting event. Among the most contested decisions is to cover the "Kali Item", the "Black River" of Kemayoran, a muddy and smelly river that runs through the city, with a long fishing net.

According to some political analysts, Baswedan has made a special effort not to better prepare the city for games so as to discredit the figure of President Jokowi.

The Archbishop of Jakarta Msgr. Ignatius Suharyo urged all the Catholics of the capital to support the sporting event. "My beloved Catholics from the Archdiocese of Jakarta. On August 18th, our country will host the Asian Games 2018 - the eighteenth Asian games. Let's behave well as hosts". 

In the video the Archbishop hopes that this event will strengthen the bond of the Asian nations. "Do your best to participate. This will result in humanitarian benefits. I hope the 2018 Asian Games will be the best opportunity for Indonesia to demonstrate its national pride and hospitality ".

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”