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[B]Sumatera National News

Kota Medan, Sumatera: Republican Government begins normalizing public sector operations, Sumatran Armed Forces relieve OU Peace-keeping forces. [/b]

Today, public works began normalizing operations as authority was rcently officially transferred to the Republican government. Public utilities were largely uninterrupted during the transition, but mass-transit, public parks and the education system suffered slight hiccups, but are now running smoothly. In time, these sectors will be evaluated by the Senate to decide levels of privatization.

In economic news, the conclusion of a high level meeting between President Sukarno and Minister KP Varma of the Kingdom of Cochin will potentially herald big changes for the national economy, as trade barriers between the two nations were lowered and a trade alliance is being formed. Big changes could also be on the way for the ports of Sumatra as Cochinese investment seems imminent.

In related news, the Sumatran Armed Forces relieved the last of the OU peacekeepers stationed on Sumatra. The Department of Defense, headed by Colonel Johannes Hendrik, has followed a policy of expansion, with enlistment numbers sharply rising for the all-volunteer force. The SAF states that it will have a presence on every island by the end of the week.

[I]Members of the Rhino Battalion, a special forces group, on patrol in the province of Aceh, on the Northern extreme of the main island.[/i]

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[B]Northern Province of Aceh Announces Privitization Efforts[/b]

Today, the provincial government of Aceh, the Northernmost province of Sumatra, announced that it will be taking steps to increase levels of privitization within its borders, in line with the goals of the federal government. Governor Patak authorized the privitization of public parks, emphasizing that the mandate only applied to municipal parks and not provincial level state forests or preserves.

"We will look in to the possible privitization of provincial parks at a later date, but as it stands there is a big push for conservation of endangered species that reside in the state park, including orangutans, Sumatran rhinos and tigers, and the additional cultural tenet of protecting natural resources to prevent a potential economic or ecological collapse. That said, public parks at the city and municipal level will be up for bid to individuals or organizations later this month."

Sumatran Petrol has expressed interest in purchasing the largest park in the capital, abating public dissent by providing figures of job creation and economic stimulus in indepent research projections. Owner Samihuriyah made a statement regarding SP's intents and plans for the project:

"We are hoping that this project will be the beginning of a growing arm of our corporation, transforming us into a multi-industrial company. With enough time, we expect to create a new branch dedicated to operation of private parks. This should have massive benefits which include creating thousands of jobs, improvement of parks through economic competition, and economic stimulus which will bolster the economy here, and hopefully when the other provinces follow suit, throughout the Republic. Sumatran Petrol is now, as it always has been, about the satisfaction of the customer through unrivalled quality in our products and services. This has been true of our petroleum products, and this will also be true of our new venture here. There is a reason our business is successful, and we hope to keep that going."

Samihuriyah also said that admission to the first park will be free, with utilities such as barbies, athletic fields, and concessions will have service fees attached. He has also said that after the first quarter of operation, SP will evaluate data collected, and attempt to improve and streamline the experience.

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[B]Socialist and Liberal Democratic Political Groups Gain Ground in Southern Sumatra[/b]

After a brief holdout on provincial and municipal elections in Southern Sumatra, results were finalized to reveal a rather dichotomatic split from the rest of the nations political landscape.

Southern Sumatra was the only province to elect Communist party candidates to the Senate and the trend has followed through to the office of Provincial Governor as well as several mayorships. When asked about the results, President Sukarno had this to say:

"I fail to see how citizens exercising their freedom of choice should concern myself or anyone else, although I suppose I understand your suppositions as members of the media. The province will still be bound by federal mandates but of course, it is the national government's domestic policy to dictate as little as we have to. Couple that with the high level of confederation otherwise within this nation and I think it should be apparent that the people of Southern Sumatra can and should strive to create their own path within this nation"

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