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Mar 14, 2012 10:37 PST
The Jakarta Post [web site]
March 14, 2012
Academics Protest UI’s Plan to Grant Prince Charles an Honorary Doctorate
University of Indonesia (UI) academics have criticized their rector’s
plan to award Prince Charles with an honorary doctoral degree, which
is due to be awarded to the prince by the rector, Gumilar R Somantri
and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in England in May.
“What has Prince Charles done? I think the plan has been devised for
image only,” one of the university’s academic senate members, Ade
Armando, said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Ade said that the Prince of Wales had not yet played a significant
role in education.
He said the plan, which will acquire state funds, was full of
political interest and needed to be investigated.
An official in UI’s information management and documentation office,
Ketut Surajaya, said the award had been discussed for some time,
adding that the plan was part of Indonesia’s international diplomacy.
“Prince Charles has done much for mankind. Our team considered him a
person who strives for pluralism, as well as promoting an
understanding of Islam,” Ketut pointed out.
Prince Charles is not the first figure whose honorary award became the
focus of a nationwide debate. Protests sparked last year after the UI
rector awarded King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia with an honoris causa in
humanitarian aid and technology. The award was given just a few months
after Saudi authorities had executed an Indonesian migrant worker,
Ruyati, after she was found guilty of murdering her employer.
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