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Wednesday, 05 January 2005
Tsunami in Banda Aceh


Banda Aceh Northern Shore, 23 June 2004

Banda Aceh Northern Shore, 28 December 2004

The photos above were taken from the set of before-and-after images of the recent Asian Tsunami at Digital Globe.

The Guardian Special Report on the Tsunami has a useful sidebar of links.

Yesterday I received an email (dated 30 December 2004) with interesting information and links about the situation in Banda Aceh in Indonesia, and a call for assistance with actions and donations. I am enclosing it in its entirety although some of the figures are a bit dated. I have also cleaned up some of the links.

Aceh Emergency - Urgent Appeal
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

The people of Aceh are suffering the gravest catastrophe in their history in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, which struck on 26 December 2004.

The devastation and humanitarian crisis are unprecedented. The official death toll is currently 52,000. The final figure could be as high as 100,000. Tens of thousands are homeless and facing the prospect of killer diseases.

The disaster has been compounded by chaotic mismanagement by the Indonesian authorities and the legacy of decades of violent conflict. A war has been raging in the territory since the 1970s between the Indonesian military and the separatist Free Aceh Movement, GAM.

The Indonesian government’s response to the crisis has been slow, lacked coherence and demonstrated a reluctance, for political reasons associated with the conflict, to involve the international community. Currently just two helicopters have been deployed to assist with the immense relief and rehabilitation operation.

The government has severely restricted access to Aceh by international humanitarian organisations since the imposition of martial law in May 2003. Even now it is sending out mixed messages about the lifting of restrictions. Desperately-needed aid is being held up in Medan, North Sumatra.

Intimidation and violence against local NGOs by the security forces have incapacitated civil society and severely curtailed their ability to respond to the crisis.

It is essential that local and foreign organisations are allowed to operate freely in Aceh for an unlimited length of time. The role of the military must be restricted to humanitarian and reconstruction tasks. There must be no return to the oppressive military conditions which have caused so much suffering to the Acehnese and exacerbated the current crisis.

Rigorous steps must also be taken to ensure that corruption, which is an acknowledged problem in Aceh, is not allowed to dissipate the aid effort.

The needs of the Acehnese are now acute. Please do all you can to help them cope with this terrible tragedy.

TAPOL works with a number of grassroots humanitarian and human rights organisations in Aceh and is launching this appeal so that funds can be used by them to optimum effect where it is most needed by local people.

Suggested Action

Make a donation, however small, by one of the methods below:

Ask your government, through your member of parliament (preferably by phone with a follow-up letter or email), to press the Indonesian government:

·    To lift all restrictions on access to Aceh by international humanitarian organisations, aid workers and journalists;

·    To seek as much assistance as is necessary from the international community and allow aid to be delivered directly by international organisations;

·    To limit the military’s role to humanitarian and reconstruction tasks and permanently halt all other military activities in the province.

Details of UK MPs or telephone the House of Commons switchboard on 020 7219 3000

Payment Methods

·    Send a cheque payable to “TAPOL - Aceh Appeal” to TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 8HW, UK.

·    Make a deposit in the following bank account: “Tapol - Aceh Appeal”; Account no. 5157529; The Co-operative Bank; Sort code 08-92-99

·    Make an online donation

For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone + 44 208 771 2904 or + 44 794 756 7449.

Thank you.

30 December 2004

Paul Barber
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign,
25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ
Tel/Fax: 01420 80153
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Internet: TAPOL
Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia, 1973-2004

Posted by bigblue on 05/01/2005 at 11:20 AM
Filed under: Asia PacIndonesia • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share