Burhan Muhammad was buried with full military honors in Yogyakarta on Wednesday, in a grave next to that of his wife, who died 11 days before him. (Antara Photo/Regina Safri)

Late Ambassador Burhan Buried in Yogyakarta

BY :FUSKA SANI & NATASIA CHRISTY WAHYUNI

MAY 20, 2015

[Updated to include Tuesday's memorial service at the Foreign Ministry's office]

Yogyakarta/Jakarta. Burhan Muhammad, the late Indonesian ambassador to Pakistan, was buried on Wednesday morning in a grave next to that of his wife in their hometown on Yogyakarta, a day after succumbing to injuries in a helicopter crash that also killed his wife.

Burhan, 57, a former intelligence officer, was buried with full military honors, at the Mondoliko cemetery in Yogyakarta at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

He died at Singapore General Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday following severe injuries sustained in a military helicopter crash in northern Pakistan on May 8.

His wife, Heri Listyawati, was killed in the crash, which took place during a visit by foreign diplomats to survey a tourism project in the Gilgit region of Pakistan.

The Norwegian and Philippine ambassadors to Pakistan were also killed in the crash, along with the wife of the Malaysian ambassador and three Pakistani crew members.

The Pakistani Taliban initially claimed responsibility for shooting down the Mi-17 helicopter, but the government insisted that the crash was due to engine failure.

Burhan and his wife are survived by their son Fitra Amrullah, 19, and Yoga Sulistyo, 16.

Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi led a memorial service at the Foreign Ministry office in Jakarta on Tuesday evening, shortly after Burhan body was flown back from Singapore.

“For me, this is a great loss,” she said. “I was speechless when I heard the news on May 8 that Heri, the wife of the late Ambassador Burhan, was killed. I was even more speechless when I heard the news that Ambassador Burhan passed away. Today, Indonesia lost one of its best diplomats.”

Retno said that Burhan, her senior at Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University, had been like a brother to her.

The memorial service was attended by President Joko Widodo, Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Pakistan’s High Commissioner for Singapore Tanveer Khaskheli.

“May you rest in peace, ambassador,” a teary-eyed Retno said in closing. “Farewell, Mas Burhan.”

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