History revisited with Yudhoyono at R’Day parade

January 26th, 2011 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) History turned full circle Wednesday when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono became the second head of state from Indonesia to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade — after the very first one.Yudhoyono was received by President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the saluting dias when he reached the parade venue on Rajpath in the heart of Delhi.

Legendary Indonesian leader Sukarno was the chief guest at India’s first Republic Day parade in 1950 — when Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as the first president of independent India.

Yudhoyono, 61, is a military veteran and was elected the sixth president of Indonesia in the first ever direct presidential election held in 2004.

He is accompanied by his wife Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, who too watched the parade with enthusiasm.

Yudhoyono, who witnessed the parade keenly, retired from the Indonesian military as a lieutenant general in 1999 and was later decorated with the honorary rank of general in 2000.

He commanded the UN Military Observers and the Indonesian military contingent in Bosnia-Herzegovina inm 1995-96.

For his outstanding service, Yudhoyono has been decorated with 24 medals and awards, including the UN peace-keeping force medal.

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