Isal Mawardi, Jakarta – Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has opened the 2018 National Defense Run in Jakarta, an event which was attended by around 3,000 participants representing various stakeholders.
The National Defense Run (Bela Negara Run) 2018, which began at 6am, is being held in concert with National Defense Day (Hari Bela Negara) which falls on December 19.
“The climax of National Defense Day each year is the 19th. Today we run. There are 3,000 or so (participants)”, said Ryacudu at the Ministry of Defense (Kemenhan) on Jl. Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta on Sunday December 16.
According to Detik’s observations, the runners wore the national red-and-white colours with the runner’s number printed on their chests. A number of runners have already completed the run with local residents crowed around the finish line.
The runners were divided into two categories. Inexperienced runners and the general public were included in the five kilometre distance category following a route from the Kemenhan to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and back to the Kemenhan.
Runners from the TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (national police) in the 12 kilometre category followed a route from the Kemenhan to Semanggi and back to the Kemenhan.
“Defense of the state is an obligation for all of us. Under the 1946 Constitution Articles 29 and 30, Indonesian citizens have a right and an obligation to defend the state. We promoted the spirit of national defense right from the start. I have coordinated with the Mendikbud [Ministry of Culture and Education], Dikti [higher education institutions] since the beginning”, said Ryacudu. (nvl/nvl)
The Bela Negara program was adopted in October 2015 through the 2015 Defense White Paper and aims to mobilise 100 million “national defense cadres” comprised of civilian volunteers. Ryacudu, a hardline general known for his xenophobic remarks and criticism of rights activists, is the most prominent advocate of the program, which he sees as necessary to strengthen patriotism in the face of harmful ideologies and “proxy-wars” waged by foreign countries wanting to destroy Indonesia and steal its natural wealth.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Menhan Buka Bela Negara Run 2018, 3000 Peserta Terlibat”.]