Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Tsunami Scandal ...

11 May 2005

Tsunami Scandal ...

Posted by Hello
As if the recent Tsunami, in which almost 300,000 people perished, wasn't a big enough disaster in itself, salt is being rubbed into the still open wounds of survivors. What's happening - or rather what's NOT happening - is a shameful scandal, bordering on criminalty. The millions of sympathetic global citizens who, so willingly & generously, donated money to so many Tsunami related appeals, should be outraged. Indeed, whether giver or not, every single one of us should be.
On a day when so much publicity is given to a memorial service held in London's St Paul's cathedral, it pains me to report the reality of the continued suffering of Indonesians.
On a day when 300,000 rose petals [ one for each victim ] fall from atop St Paul's dome onto a great gathering, including our Queen and our Prime Minister, my blood boils.
On a day when so many decent human beings bow their heads, during two minutes silence, in rememberance and respect -- right thinking people everywhere should ensure that truth will out. Truth, such as I append below.

** Indonesia's post-tsunami recovery is at a near standstill and millions of people will be relying on aid from non-governmental organisations and international agencies for months, the head of the country's reconstruction body said yesterday. **

So said London's "Guardian" newspaper -- a mere 24 hours ago.

Unbelievable, indefenceable, unforgivable, incredible ; just a few of the words which spring to mind.

Here are more excerpts from yesterday's "Guardian."

** Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, appointed last week to run the rehabilitation and reconstruction agency for Aceh and Nias, said there was "no sense of [government] urgency" in Aceh and that "close to zero" of promised government funds had been disbursed. **

** "It's shocking. Very limited things have been done for the poor people," Mr Kuntoro, a former energy minister, said. "There are no roads being built, there are no bridges being built, there are no harbours being built. When it comes to reconstruction ..... zero." **

** Mr Kuntoro blamed a lack of coordination between government ministries and parliament for the failure to release any of the £325m earmarked for this year. **

Perhaps, Messrs Bush & Blair could bring some pressure to bear where it's obviously needed. Maybe, by gently whispering words like "regime change" in some of the right Indonesian, governmental ears. Hm, maybe ......... but I won't hold my breath.

Click on each of the links below to read and compare the real report regarding the current Tsunami shambles, with the 'infotainment' offering.

1. ) Real info:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tsunami/story/0,15671,1480144,00.html

2. ) Info-tainment:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4535121.stm


7 Comments:

Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

The Tsunami is a business opportunity for the rich. As per usual.

No one really cares. People live and die and they shrug until death comes to visit. Like in Monty Python's Meaning of Life which I think is a great movie.

8:41 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

I see what you are saying, Richard. The Guardian treated the story as it would a major social event -- whether a wedding or a funeral -- describing who attended, lovely quotes about the bravery of a few British people, describing special touches like the 300,000 petals, etc. Not one word about the current situation and the ongoing struggles in the Tsunami-hit areas.

btw - The current actual situation was predicted. KPFT's Sunday Monitor had an excellent interview with an Oxfam field administrator within the first days of January. He was packing to leave the U.S. for the Tsunami area within a few short hours. He spoke of excellent contingency plans in place coordinating the various relief agencies and what he hoped could be accomplished quickly, the role he expected the U.S. military to play immediately (fast food lifts to remote areas) and then infrastructure rebuilding, and then he spoke of the longer-term work that will require patience and perseverance between the NGOs and the local governments, and beyond that the continuing deaths to expect because of water-borne diseases. Those would come after the Tsunami would no longer be in the news. (Zan did the interview).

4:33 am  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

I neglected to mention that more than enough money was donated to cover what had to be done immediately, and most NGOs are committed to spending the funds donated to specific projects ONLY on those projects, so if there are undisbursed monies still sitting somewhere that did not necessarily mean any work was being held up,

4:55 am  
Blogger Richard said...

I wish I'd heard Zan's interview, Rosemary, along with several more of hers. It's only in the last week or so that I've bought new speakers - I did without for a long time after my others went kaput.

What gets my goat about Indonesia right now, is to hear that reconstruction [some 4 months later] is ZERO. As well as the fact that the [individual] people have still not recived the desperately needed compensation they were promised . The Indonesian government are sitting on a cash mountain - and sitting on their backsides too, it seems.
Without outside pressure, I don't see any signs of them changing gear - not in the foreseeable future, anyhow.
I know miracles can't be worked overnight - but the longer they take to start reconstuction, the longer it will take to completion. And, the more expensive the projects will have become - 'cos costs only ever go up - never down'
(/rant) Heh.

12:27 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Right, Elaine. As always, there's big money to be made in the misery business.

12:28 pm  
Blogger TerryKnowledge 2 said...

I have to agree with you. I am very angry at the fact that money is not going to the people who really need it. I recently read a story on the Sri Lanka relief money(2 billion dollars) has been held up and not reach people in need because of the conflict between the government and rebels who rule some of the area's that really need the money.

Isn't it time that everyone starts to care about those left behind and their futures?

12:36 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Hello, Terry; nice to meet you. You're so right. It IS time.

I do the best I can - in a few litle ways - like spreading what news, thoughts & opinons I can. I wish I had a magic wand, but sadly, I don't. So I just do what I can do. I'm sure you do, too. We've just got to keep on trying. Each one of us doing whatever we can, in which ever way we can, at every opportunity.

Never give in. Never give up, Terry. Never! Sometimes it seems hard to believe, but there are more good guys than bad guys. One of these days -- just one of these days - you wait & see, Terry. :^)

1:09 am  

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