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Aceh update 4th January 2005

To donate directly to the Tsunami victims in Aceh please follow this link

Sign the Online Petition against continuing military violence in Indonesia.





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Below please find:

  • a. Report back on the demonstration yesterday at the U.N.
  • b. Ways to send donations to the grassroots networks via credit card
  • c. Next Effort: The Relief Summit in Jakarta
  • d. The week ahead

a. Report on Demonstration (Thanks for all who attended!)

Yesterday, between 40 and 50 Acehnese, ten S.E. Asians (Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean), and about a dozen buleh (Acehnese for white) activists rallied opposite the United Nations to urge the United Nations and international humanitarian relief NGOs to take over relief operations in Aceh. At the same time as the demonstration, Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator on the on-going relief efforts in South and Southeast Asia gave a press conference inside. The Acehnese had arrived from all across the Northeast, some coming from as far away as Vermont to take part and urge that the fate of their brothers and sisters not be abandoned to the 'mercy' and 'professionalism' of the Indonesian military. Some of those who attended had lost their entire family.

We collected the names of relatives and friends who were missing in Aceh and their last known address. That information will be compiled and sent to Nonviolence International which is compiling a similar database and to relief and recovery operations of our partners on the ground in Aceh and Medan.

We communicated our demands by distributing about 500 pieces of literature about the Acehnese disaster relief operations and chanted "Hijacking Tsunami Aid is a Crime!" They gave interviews to an NBC Dateline news crew and to other reporters, including Amy Goodman who attended the demonstration. An interview was also arranged with WABC.

Robert Jereski

Dear friends,

b) This is our second donations appeal to inform you that YOUR HELP IS STILL DESPERATELY NEEDED!

The Indonesian Civil Society Coalition for the Victims of Earthquake and Tsunami have so far selected, equipped, and dispatched 59 volunteers to Banda Aceh and Medan crisis centers within 2 days (30-31 Dec 2004). They comprised of people with knowledge of medical, Search and Rescue, and survival techniques. Selection process was focused on choosing those with skills and the physical ability to reach remote areas. Some have reached subdistricts in Banda Aceh to distribute logistics and aid while teams of activists and volunteers from Medan, North Sumatera have finally reached Meulaboh, on the devastated western coast and Bakongan. The UN expected that the death toll will rise to 100,000 people with survivors not receiving aid and medical help in time.


We have organised for donations pools in Europe and US with the generous help of Friends of the Earth Europe and Global Greengrants Fund to reduce the large deductions from transfer fees to individual donations. If you are residents of either areas, and would like to send your financial support, please read below:


Global Greengrants Fund is a U.S. 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and will match the first $5,000 donated to this special relief effort. 100% of Tsunami Fund donations will be sent to these relief efforts. Greengrants' U.S. tax ID number is: 84-1612422

For information on how to donate by credit cards on-line, wire transfer, checks, stock and more, please go to : http://www.greengrants.org/pressreleases.php?news_id=29

*For Sumatera relief, please note that the donation is on behalf of "WALHI" on your on-line-format or wire transfer because GGF is organising for Tsunami relief in other areas.

c) Next Efforts: The Summit on Relief for the Tsunami/Earthquake Disaster

On Thursday, January 6th in Jakarta a high-level summit will be held to discuss recovery and reconstruction efforts. Bloomberg News reported that "(t)he summit will focus on reconstruction after the world's worst natural disaster in 30 years, installation of the first tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean and possible debt rescheduling with international lenders" according to the Indonesia Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda speaking on MetroTV in Jakarta.

It is key that our networks pressure the Summit to address how the corrupt military and civil institutions in Indonesia are incapable of delivering aid and should not be entrusted with controlling relief operations. Our work this week will be to compile a list of conditions and principles under which aid operations must be conducted in order to ensure effective and efficient relief and to avoid a diversion of funds by the Indonesian military or government.

d) The Week Ahead

We would like to meet with anyone with experience and time to oversee volunteer coordination, legal, and events coordinating roles. Please send me a brief description of your experience that would be relevant to consideration for these roles/responsibilities.

There are a number of fundraisers planned for the following two weeks. There is also a teach-in with Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn this Saturday. If you can help organize these or publicize them, please contact me.

Thank you all for a very strong response to relief efforts to date. There's much more work to do to ensure that the survivors are supported and strengthened.

In peace and in solidarity,

Robert Jereski Coordinator US-CETRA