In an apparent attempt to shore up his rule, President Suharto strengthened his warning of a communist comeback yesterday and urged people to back the status quo. Making his annual state of the nation address, Mr Suharto dismissed the need for change and outlined steps taken by his so-called New Order Government to ensure stability. He also issued an apparent warning to ousted opposition Indonesian Democratic Party leader Megawati Sukarnoputri to abandon her political ambitions. 'As a nation, we have reached a consensus that the New Order is the order of the life of the whole of the people,' the 75-year-old leader said. 'Let us all respect the national consensus we have agreed upon. Let us not tinker with it just for the sake of fulfilling the ambition of individuals or groups.' He was speaking on the eve of Indonesia's 51st anniversary today of its declaration of independence from Dutch colonial rule. The celebration comes three weeks after some of the worst anti-government unrest to grip the capital during Mr Suharto's 30-year rule. The President blames the rioting on an obscure activist group, the People's Democratic Party, which he says shows all the hallmarks of the nation's banned Communist Party, the PKI. In 1965, Mr Suharto, then a lieutenant-general, all but wiped out the communists after blaming them for what he said was an abortive coup. The following year, he eased the nation's late first president and proclaimer of independence, Sukarno, out of power. Mr Suharto's speech was unusual for its blunt references to political concerns and vivid language. Economic matters, normally the standard fare of the address, were confined to the second half. 'The PKI coup at the end of 1965 was a national tragedy that left deep and long-lasting wounds on our nation's body,' he said. 'That is the reason why we have constitutionally banned [it] forever . . . from the face of Indonesia's soil.' He added that the risk of a leftist comeback was real. 'Probably, whether consciously or unconsciously . . . the PKI way of thinking and actions manifest themselves in different forms today,' he said. The President also dismissed calls for political reform. He said the New Order's merger of the nation's nine opposition parties into two minority factions had served national stability. Indonesia has three parties or 'factions' - the ruling Golkar functional group and the minority United Development Party and Indonesian Democratic Party. Mr Suharto described the riots as 'acts of anarchy; undemocratic and irresponsible'. 'These riots had no correlation whatsoever with democracy,' he said. In an apparent warning to Ms Megawati, the daughter of Sukarno, he urged people not to form new political organisations for which 'the support of people is still entirely unclear'. Ms Megawati was ousted at a government-backed rebel party congress in June. She has refused to recognise the move and continues to enjoy widespread support. She blames last month's unrest on the storming of her party headquarters by the party rebels and police. Military authorities have arrested Arinda Kurniawan, 20, leader of the PRD in East Java.