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Joint Statement by Civil Society Coalition for the Victims of Earthquake and Tsunami

29 December 2004

Sunday morning, December 26th 2004, tsunami waves hit Aceh and North Sumatra. It was the biggest disaster in Indonesia since the last 40 years. The Tsunami was caused by an earthquake of 8,9 richter scale. Up until now, Aceh is totally paralysed, its infrastructure is destroyed and, according to the latest record, more than 30,000 lives were lost; thousands others were wounded and took refuge. The death count is expected to mount due to the possibility of following earthquake and post-disaster disease outbreak. The disaster is a national disaster; moreover, due to the magnitude of the earthquake the Tsunami had also rampaged some areas in eight Asian countries.

Amidst the ongoing Aceh conflict and the suffering of the acehnese ever since the implementation of the Military Operation (1989-1998), the Martial Law (2003-2004) and the Civil Emergency (2004-until now), we are obviously concerned with this catastrophe that has destroyed almost all resource in the province. The destruction of telecommunication network has caused difficulty in accessing any information from and to certain parts of Aceh; difficulty in sending food, clothing, and shelter as relief for the victims in the coastal areas; and the lack of relief worker that can reach the areas.

In the name of humanity, we, Civil Society Coalition for the Victims of Earthquake and Tsunami, expressed our sorrow and concern over the disaster. As a form of solidarity act, we consolidate ourselves to directly make intervention by giving aid immediately, as well as within mid-term and long-term period, in the form of:

1. Making assessment of the situation and of the needs in the areas hit by the disaster;

2. Sending humanitarian volunteers to help evacuation, investigation and registering process;

3. Collecting information of post-disaster development;

4. Setting up relief posts (posko) that can be accessed by anyone who wants to donate various kinds of aid. To ensure that the donation will be coordinated, effective, correctly allocated, and will reach those who need it. The posts and their addresses are attached.

Besides that, we also call for:

1. the solving of any technical and non-technical problem of the relief operation and the opening of access for national and international humanitarian aid;

2. demanding that the government provide means of transportation to accelerate the distribution of aid and relief, communication means and medics;

3. a humanitarian pause in Aceh and demanding that the belligerents stop armed contact;

4. demanding that the government inform the public about the location of aid centers that are accessible to the public and ensure that logistic help and humanitarian fund received by the government will actually be distributed to the victims;

5. urging all layers of society to collectively monitor the allocation of logistics and humanitarian fund conducted by the government so that it will actually reach the victims. This is very important as a lot of corruption cases of humanitarian fund happened in the past;

6. ensuring that the recovery system in the areas hit by the disaster is implemented well and is supported with enough resources, as well as managed transparently and with responsibility.

Thus we made our joint statement as a call to everyone to forge solidarity and to share with the people of Aceh and North Sumatra who have become victims of earthquake and Tsunami.

Civil Society Coalition for the Victims of Earthquake and Tsunami, Jakarta - Walhi, KontraS, AcehKita, Kalyanamitra, SEKAR, SEGERA, LBH-Apik, Shmi, TRK, Ciliwung, A mos, Yappika, JMP-KWI, Imparsial, AWG, Garda Bangsa, Perempuan Mahardika, PMII, IMAPA, LMND, FPPI, FMN, PRD, FNPBI, KPI.

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