It is chilling how slowly coverage of the disaster (let alone the disaster itself) emerges from Indonesia, while 'shots' of other places were on TV on Sun evening those from Aceh etc are barely emerging although the Indonesian TV news (daily half hour) gave some indications yesterday (yet I don't understand Bahasa ).
So much for communication. What happens on the ground is of more importance.
A paternalist or worse may think 'just what would happen to any aid funds' ?!?
Although the Jakarta Post
has seen its traffic increase spectacularly, a strangely inappropriate word, it has not, as has been reported
, down for long. It still gives the most relevant information and is, as I've said before, an honourable news source. It also places the local disaster in the context of the international situation. So keep checking its stories.
The following, at 9.30 am, may give you some hope C, and, indeed, all of us.
Firstly, SBY, who spent Xmas in the earthquake shattered province of Papua, is currently in Aceh displaying the 'hands on' approach lacking in three previous, still living, presidents. Vice President Kalla, also seeing the disaster for himself, is co-ordinating the aid programme.
The Army (TNI) has called a truce in its war against the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) so that both sides can focus their efforts on their humanitarian roles. Note that at least 377 TNI personnel have been confirmed dead.
A major concern is that the current state of emergency in Aceh bars foreigners from entering the province. This may hamper the efforts of international agencies to assist. I say 'may', because they are obviously well-positioned to oversee operations given their history of territorial control.
Secretary to the coordinating minister for people's welfare Sutedjo Juwono said Jakarta-based foreign journalists could go directly to Aceh after they had secured a pass from local military authorities.
"However, aid workers and journalists not based here are required to submit application letters... which may take two weeks (to process)," Sutedjo said.
As for the 'slippage' of financial aid, given that the Governor of Aceh, Abdullah Puteh, went on trial for corruption yesterday, there may be less that expected.
Finally, C, yes it is true that news has been slow to emerge. Indonesia was in a soporific holiday mode. Most TV stations continued their broadcasting of dangdut
and quix shows during the evening, apart from Metro TV, that is, our news station, as reported by Java Jive
. But this seems to be the callous truth elsewhere
That's it from me for now. I'll give a further personal perspective later.
Thanks for your messages. We're fine, although still awaiting news from family in Medan, which experienced the earthquake but, thankfully, not the tsunami.