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Posted: 1/12/2005 6:34:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2005 6:36:45 AM EDT by green-grizzly]

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AFP) - Indonesia told foreign troops helping tsunami victims to get out of the country soon and defended tough new restrictions on aid workers, while rich nations prepared to freeze Jakarta's debt repayments.

Vice President Yusuf Kalla said foreign troops should leave tsunami-hit Aceh province on Sumatra island as soon as they finish their relief mission, staying no longer than three months.

"Three months are enough. In fact, the sooner the better," Kalla was quoted by the state Antara news agency as saying.

The armed forces of Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States have all rushed task forces to Aceh in the wake of the December 26 disaster which killed at least 106,500 Indonesians out of a total of more than 159,000 deaths in Asia.

United Nations (news - web sites) officials struggling to coordinate a massive relief operation have welcomed their participation, particularly to deliver aid to isolated coastlines accessible only by sea or air.

But their presence in Indonesian territory has been a sensitive issue for the world's largest Muslim-populated nation which has traditionally kept foreign military, particularly the United States and Australia, at arm's length.

The vice president said Aceh in the near future would need foreign medical workers and engineers instead of military assistance.

"Foreign troops are no longer needed," he said.

Kalla's comments came after the country's military imposed sweeping new restrictions on foreign relief workers operating in Aceh, claiming they were in danger from rebels waging a long-running separatist war.

But an Indonesian doctor whose ordeal at the hands of rebels has been used to justify the government restrictions disputed the official version of the incident.

Mulia Hasyimi, the head of Aceh's health office, confirmed he was seized by the rebels, but told AFP he was not shot and his time in captivity lasted less than an hour, contrary to government claims he was reputedly held for several days and shot.

Analysts have said they believe the government move was an attempt to reassert the military's control over the province, an accusation the government has denied.

Senior officials said foreign journalists would also be confined to major towns in the province, closing a post-disaster window of press freedom in the region which was locked down almost two years ago during a military offensive.

Indonesian troops have already begun accompanying United Nations missions to help victims of the tsunami and liaison officers are to be posted on the scores of foreign navy ships and military and civilian aircraft bringing in thousands of tonnes of emergency supplies.

Despite statements from Free Aceh Movement rebels, known as GAM, pledging the safety of volunteers, Welfare Minister Alwi Shihab said the government was concerned attacks on aid staff could scare off foreign assistance.

"The purpose of this is not to restrict access, but to coordinate activities of all organisations to avoid overlap and assist in planning future operations," said Indonesia's director of disaster relief in Aceh, Budi Atmadi.

More than 50 aid organisations have been working with foreign military task forces to bring relief to many areas isolated by destroyed roads and rugged mountains.

Meanwhile, government creditors in the Paris Club of wealthy nations were set to agree at a meeting in the French capital Wednesday on freezing debt repayments by countries hit by the disaster.

Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles "will be the three countries I think which will accept this proposition," French Finance Minister Herve Gaymard told French radio RFI.

Other countries affected, like Thailand and Malaysia, have "a lower level of indebtedness than the others and do not want their credit rating to be downgraded on the international financial markets," he explained.

Indonesia's foreign debt comes to about 132 billion dollars, and the country is looking at three billion dollars in payments this year to service that debt.

In Sri Lanka, an aid package estimated at about three billion dollars was being worked out as the island seeks to recover from the disaster which left more than 30,000 dead across the country.

Officials from the World Bank (news - web sites), the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency were in talks with the Sri Lankan government to work out the reconstruction plan.

On Tuesday, the United Nations secured 717 million dollars in record time for tsunami victims in Asia -- 73 percent of a 977-million-dollar appeal launched last week to meet immediate needs in the next six months

UN humanitarian relief coordinator Jan Egeland said after a donor's conference in Geneva he was confident the appeal for six months would soon be met in full. Of the 717 million dollars, 250 million alone is from Japan.

Some nine billion dollars has been pledged worldwide in short and long term aid after the disaster.

The figure, obtained by an AFP count, includes government money, donations pledged in an unprecedented outpouring of global public sympathy -- "humanity at its best," Egeland said -- as well as debt relief and loans.


Link.

I think Powell maybe overestimates how much the Muslim world will love us because of our help in Indonesia.

They must really hate us if they would rather see their own people die that accept our help. Or maybe they just do not give a crap about their people.

I doubt they will refuse to accept our offer to freeze their debts.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:37:21 AM EDT
Some a$$holes wouldn't be happy even if you hung them with a new rope....
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:41:27 AM EDT
Hey Abdul ............Fuck You!
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:43:50 AM EDT
They liberals in indonesia?
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:44:59 AM EDT
fuck 'em and take back the AID money. I never felt sorry for 'em in the first place
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:47:03 AM EDT
Fuck`em then. We should roll out asap. I wonder which faction are the real jihadists - govt or seperatists?
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:52:58 AM EDT
The probably don't want anyone around to see them do a little house cleaning. Now is the best time to do it when you can chalk up the dead people to the tsunami (the 't' is most definitely NOT silent, if you listen to media types).

And why is anyone surprised? This is normal for all these thirdrate a-holes. "Thanks for the money and drugs and so on (which we will never actually give to the people who need it). Now get the fu** out!! Oh, but your checks are still welcome, just drop them by Kofi's son's office."
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:56:44 AM EDT
What's the big deal. If there were a disaster in this country that required outside assistance and the Iranian army (or Egyptian army or any other foreign military) was in this country delivering aid, we would be screaming for them to leave the courntry as soon as possible.

It does seem to be a little "bitting the hand that feeds you" but I can understand it. But lets face it most muslim nations and quite possibly most mulim people will never like us not matter what we do. Bush is jumping all over this disaster to earn us some favor with the muslims. Unfortunately it is not going to work.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:58:09 AM EDT
Fine with me...

They stay on their side of the planet, I stay on mine.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:02:57 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:18:38 AM EDT
I agree with US military giving direct disaster assistance, but don't agree with giving relief money to 3rd world tin pot dictators who will use it to pad their swiss bank accounts. When the troops leave, the money stops.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:42:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DnPRK:
I agree with US military giving direct disaster assistance, but don't agree with giving relief money to 3rd world tin pot dictators who will use it to pad their swiss bank accounts. When the troops leave, the money stops.



That'll never happen. You hit it on the head, though. They like the "aid" as long as it is something they can siphon off for themselves and the ruling class.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:45:06 AM EDT
Did anybody NOT see this coming? Other than my taxes, not a DIME of my money will be sent there. Not a dime. Flame on.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:45:35 AM EDT
Fuck them!
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:14:03 AM EDT
Well, lets try and look at this without the muslim hate filter.

Indonesia - a nation with a strong seperatist movement. Has a huge natural disaster.

We send in troops as the front line of disaster relief. The government, which is actually a fairly sensible lot, decide to ask military aid to cease as soon as possible. Why? Perhaps to avoid a potential conflict with the rebels. Perhaps to prevent friction with the small segment of their society that is anti-west. Perhpas to not give the rebels American targets to get US media attention.

Does this mean the majority of people there don't recognize and appreciate the aid given? No. Was the request made in an insulting manner? No.

Why do we get our panties in a bunch over things we do not understand? Indonesia has internal problems and they have to deal with it as they best see fit. Chill out dudes.

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:18:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DOW:
Did anybody NOT see this coming? Other than my taxes, not a DIME of my money will be sent there. Not a dime. Flame on.



No flame from me --- you showed exceptional common sense.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:20:10 AM EDT
I think we should respect thier wishes and leave.... We should also take our 'unclean' $350 million with us...

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:22:17 AM EDT
What assholes, fuck'em. Let them starve for all I care. Here we go and tell them that we will do anything and get anything they need to repair and save their country and they treat us like shit.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:47:17 AM EDT
Oh and by the way...you're welcome assholes. Next time you get in a mess, call Allah. He did a great job for you this time. Maybe he'll dig your dirty ass out of the mud the next time.

I want my part of the 350 million back.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:48:24 AM EDT
Where are all the big mouth --------- it is the right thing to do people ???
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:56:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
fuck 'em and take back the AID money. I never felt sorry for 'em in the first place



+1
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 9:13:51 AM EDT
OK, now I'm confused. Didn't these same folks just say a few days ago that they didn't want money because they didn't have the infrastructure to effectively procure and distribute the aid, rather they wanted direct action by the donors? Example: If money was to be donated to rebuild a school or hospital, don't send the money, come in and rebuild the school or hospital yourself. Now they're saying leave? Did these folks work for the Kerry campaign?


I think those saying this is a "weeding-out" effort are spot on. By telling all the foreigners to leave they are effectively cutting off isolated areas, now only accessible by helicopter, from aid. They are effectively sentencing some of their own people to death. No biggie, more cheap land for Hiltons and Marriots.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 5:06:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 5:10:11 PM EDT
I'm sure the average Indonesian is grateful for our help.

You think some fisherman who has lost everything is going to go tell the US Marines to screw themselves?

CRC
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 5:21:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2005 5:22:12 PM EDT by sharky30]
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