Jakarta. Gloria Natapradja Hamel, a student from West Java who was dismissed from the Independence Day flag-raising team, or Paskibraka, last week for holding a French passport, has earned a permission from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to rejoin the team for the flag-lowering ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon (17/08).
“I was summoned by the President himself. He shook my hand, and gave me encouragement. I remember him saying, ‘Ah, this is the girl who got famous on TV’,” Gloria said at the palace.
Source: Gloria Natapradja Hamel, The Jakarta Globe
“I will be rejoin the team for the flag-lowering ceremony this afternoon. Thank you Mr. President for bringing me back into Paskibraka,” the student, who has a French father, said.
Gloria will join her Paskibraka teammates after serving as one of the flag-raisers at a separate ceremony at the Sports Ministry in the morning.
“I’ve spoken with first lady Iriana Joko Widodo, Mrs. Megawati and Mr. Jusuf Kalla — who wanted me to join the flag-lowering team this afternoon,” the Dian Didaktika Islamic High School student said.
According to her, first lady Iriana had also given her much support, telling her to keep her spirits up.
Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi confirmed Gloria has been allowed to join the flag-lowering ceremony as part of the Paskibraka team, saying the controversy surrounding her citizenship status in the last two days had failed to dampen her strong spirit.