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Indonesia - From Bad To Worse

If you saw the tsunami video from Aceh here earlier this week, you'll likely remember from the associated article that Indonesia is the country most devastated by the Sumatra earthquake and subsequent tsunamis. It turns out that the Indonesian government is not exactly welcoming those coming to help, even as the death toll in their country continues to climb to historic levels.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - An official document posted here says that nearly 210,000 people in Indonesia are dead or missing from the Dec. 26 tsunami, a death toll that appears to be far higher than officials have reported publicly. Rescue workers think even that number may be low.

The larger Indonesia toll would bring the total of dead and missing from the tidal surge across the Indian Ocean to nearly 272,000, ranking the tsunami as the fifth or sixth deadliest natural disaster in about 250 years.

The new death toll came as Indonesian officials restricted the movements of foreign relief workers, U.N. employees and journalists in devastated north Sumatra, the Indonesian island that took the brunt of the tsunami's force, and said foreign military units would be allowed to work in the country for only a limited time.

Indonesia's vice president told the United States and other nations that have sent troops to deliver relief that their forces won't be permitted to remain in Sumatra longer than three months, and should leave as soon as their work is completed.

Journalists on the ground in Aceh say that the army wants to re-establish control over the Aceh province, where the Indonesian military has been battling separatist rebels for decades. The area was completely off-limits to foreign aid and observers prior to the December 26, 2004 disaster.

Thanks to Wes Roth for the tip.

Comments (12)

Hey, where's the rest of th... (Below threshold)

Hey, where's the rest of the story? So, why does the VP want us out? Because we aren't muslim or because they don't want aid going to rebel strongholds?

We should go in and bind an... (Below threshold)

We should go in and bind and gag everyone in gov't in Jakarta, then do what the people need. Indonesia is sick and dysfunctional.

...to nearly 272,000, r... (Below threshold)

...to nearly 272,000, ranking the tsunami as the fifth or sixth deadliest natural disaster in about 250 years.

This made me curious, so here is a list for other curious types...

1,000,000-3,700,000 - flood Huang He river (China, 1931)
900,000-2,000,000 - flood Huang He river (China, 1887)
500,000 - Bhola cyclone (Bangladesh, 1970)
400,000 - Tangshan earthquake (China, 1976)
155,000 (UN estimate, ongoing) - Indian Ocean earthquake with tsunami, (Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Somalia, Myanmar, and other countries http://en.wikipedia.org/

After the Tangshan earthqua... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

After the Tangshan earthquake in 1976, China refused all foreign aid. The People's Army dug through the rubble with bare hands because they had no heavy equipment. The refused all help from even their allies and the UN.

We are all so concerned for... (Below threshold)

We are all so concerned for the Tsunami victims. What about the AIDS Pandemic in Africa? Where are all these people and their aid for this tragedy?

According to Patrick Lemeuix, who is a Field Coordinator with Doctors Without Borders, on CBC Radio on January 13th, In the same time period from the Tsunami, 120,000 people died from AIDS in Africa. Over 2 million died from the disease in Africa alone last year.

At the current rate, Deaths are expected to top 2.5 million this year. Where is the outcry about this.

Lets not forget about these people in your thoughts of helping others who really need it.

Wrong,wrong, wrong, Kevin H... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Wrong,wrong, wrong, Kevin H. We must blindly give and give and give to our Islamic brothers and sisters to the exclusion of all else. Any delay will be met with "Bush was slow!" and "America is stingy!"
And America had better not expect any credit for doing the most to help, because Amerika is still evil.
/sarcasm off

I've noticed in news report... (Below threshold)

I've noticed in news reports lately that the govt in Aceh doesn't want anyone else's soldiers and whatnot in that area for the tsunami victims and for some reason that really bothered me. Were or are these people getting the support they need? Are they getting the aid? Medical services? I thought maybe I was making a mistake or misunderstanding the news; I mean the devastation is something none of us can really understand even with the pictures unless we were there and none of us were, so I wonder if the money that is being sent, that's being promised, is ever going to reach the people here because of their govt?

If it's not, there's so much in our own country that needs it - just watch the news and the areas hit so hard by such weird weather. Of course we should send money for the tsunami victims but if the govt of ache is not going to accept money, aid, help, take that amount of money and send it to Florida, to California, To Arizona, Colorado, Ohio or other areas that need it right here at home.

If aid is going to be restricted by the govt, all the money everyone is raising may never reach it's intended targets and that is just not right and I hope other govts get involved in doing something about it so the people who need aid, get it. If not, give it to those in our own country who also need it.

The whole BS of the tsunami govts not allowing in aid, or soldiers to bring in the aid, then send it to where it will be appreciated. Lately so many people in our own country have lost everything and I swear because of the tsunami, it's caused us to have very weird and wicked weather. If their govt can't step aside and let the world help those people, we have other places our money can go - ie the people of Darfur where more people are dying or being killed every day.

The whole thing just pisses me off; their is no damn reason their govt shouldn't let the world in to help them.


Les Nessman: are you for re... (Below threshold)

Les Nessman: are you for real??

If so, we need to gag you.

It is frustrating that the ... (Below threshold)

It is frustrating that the Indonesian authorities would apparently put politics ahead of relieving the suffering of its own people; but there is a background to their decision. (I tried to do a run down: http://singaporerelief.blogspot.com/2005/01/politics-of-disaster-relief-indonesia.html; The blog was started to chronicle tsunami relief from a Singaporean perspective.) After battling the Free Aceh Movement for decades, they are not about to let the presence of foreign troops come meddle (in their view). However, they did say that they will continue to need foreign medical and engineering aid, just not troops. Not sure if the US (and Australia) is going to buy it though.

fbaNo I am not for r... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

No I am not for real, in that last post.
that's why I put in this:

/sarcasm off

get it?

Just call it "Idiot-nesia."... (Below threshold)

Just call it "Idiot-nesia."

Cindy are you feeling ok?</... (Below threshold)

Cindy are you feeling ok?

this isn't the first post I've seen you make where you completely not see the last line where they make the joke

"/sarcasm off"






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