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From: "Dian Islamiati" < dian@mail.usa.com >
To: 
Subject: FW: [Haba] Aceh
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 07:16:19 -0700 

Dear Friends,

For the past two weeks I have been in Aceh, it was hard for me to believe that the distressing atmosphere I felt there is part of Indonesia. Post DOM era (Military Operational Zone) has not brought peace to the people of Aceh, its people still live in fear of any contact with the military, almost every week clashes and shootings occur usually with innocent civilians as victims, or the GAM forces (Free Aceh Movement), and sometimes also from the military. 

When I watch a horror film, I can control my fright, I can estimate when the film will be over, or just walk out if I don't like the film and curse the director for making such a plot. But in Aceh, no one can get out of the horrific situation that scrutinizes their lives, the best they could do is run and hide in refugee camps. But they have no idea when the sadistic plot will end. Although General Wiranto (Defense Minister) said he will pull out the PPRM (the anti riot forces), whom many who do not trust, but the fact is the military and the PPRM still dominates the woods, forests, villages and suburbs.

Now more than 180 thousand refugees seek shelter. Almost one third of them are children. When clashes occur, it is almost certain that more will fall victim to this madness, many more will flee to mosques, schools and even pounds. Classrooms are being used for those who fall ill and are not able to find space in hospitals or clinics. Those strong enough, resort to emergency tents made of plastic bags and rice sacks. Children were creative enough to make tents from card boards. But when rain falls they clearly cannot seek shelter from the rain. When night falls they cannot cover their bodies from
mosquitoes and insects. 

Life without a home can become unbearably hard especially on children and the elderly, even worse when their environment is not healthy, food in refugee camps are far from descent. It is understandable how their health deteriorates so quickly, some contracting respiratory problems, diarrhea, typhoid and malaria, but many more fall victim to psycho-traumatic problems, a natural result among those living with uncertainty and an unending fear. 

Now school children start playing in the pools and rivers to find fish to add to their daily nourishment. There are some who read the Holy Quran, but none can pursue their education. Although their teachers who also seek refuge at the same camps are willing to teach. But there are no teaching utensils or books or paper to do so.

Each day humanitarian aid come to the refugee camps, almost all non governmental organizations and foundations in Aceh have given their full support, but as the saying goes it has become an activity that is like spreading salt in the sea because once the aid reaches the locations, it quickly disappears, because the amount of help cannot accommodate the number of people needing it. In Teupin Raya alone there are 700 refugees, each day they need about 2.5 tons of rice to eat. Imagine how many tons are needed to feed 180 thousand refugees each day. Up till now donations are given through private channels. (swadaya)

Help come from neighboring villages, help from the government are usually refused. If they had it their way they would throw or burn anything that the government brings them. That is how much distrust and hatred they experienced.

If that did happen it would certainly pose danger especially if people are inside the vehicles which transported the government aid. But NGO try to bridge the gap by being the liaison without the refugees knowledge.

You may be satisfied with the food you eat, but there are those out there, our brothers and sisters in Aceh, who have to wait for food, and be content with what little they get. They were not poor, they were descent citizens like you and me. But now some of them fast on Mondays and Thursdays to ease the burden. If at this moment you are able to laugh, they, can barely even smile, let alone sleep in peace.

If you can find it in your heart to give a helping hand, this would be the right time to share. At the end of this letter I enclose a list of NGOs who are ready to help. They can be trusted to distribute your help in any form you can to help those still suffering in Aceh. They will find any route they can, because buses and public transportations have stopped operating due to fear of more riots, attacks and clashes. The tensions and security issues have made the routes to refugee camps very dangerous. They have thought of leasing a private planes to transport the humanitarian aid, but it has become too costly to operate on a daily basis. 

It would be a blessing if anyone can afford to lend or send help of this magnitude. Although everyone realizes that their hunger cannot be stopped. Any aid at all would really enlighten their grief. 

This story is what I can share for now. There are many other heartbreaking reports I can tell you. Have patience, today I feel so tired. I'll continue later and enclose my journal for those who are interested to understand the situation in Aceh.

regards
dian islamiati/ dian@mail.usa.com 
(sseayp'92)

ps:
Just got called from Aceh to inform that hundreds of refugees have moved to their own villages. But after 'dark Saturday tragedy' which 10 girls were raped by unknown people they decided to back to the camps.

LIST OF THINGS THEY NEED:
1. Tent; 2. Baby food, milk for babies and children ; 3. Cerelac, porridge ; 4. Biscuits ; 5. Blanket ; 6. Clothing's ; 7. Sardines ; 8. Cornet beef ; 9. Sugar ; 10. Beans

MEDICINE

1.TETRASIKLILN 250 MG ; 2. PARACETAMOL 500 GR ; 3. ORALIT (Anti dehidration) ; 4. AMPICILLIN 500 MG ; 5. CTM ; 6. AMOXILLIN 500MG ; 7. OXY Salve Eye ointment ; 8. ANTALGIN ; 9. PROMOG/ ANTASIDA ; 10. AMOXYLLIN SYROP ; 11. AMPICILLIN SYROP ; 12. AXYTETRASIKLIN skin ointment ; 13. EXTRA BELLODONNA ; 14. DIAFORM ; 15. GG ; 16. DEXAMETHASON ; 17. BC ; 18. DIAZEPAM ; 19. GRISEOFULVIN 125 MG ; 20. PAPAVERIN ; 21. COMMYAZD SYROP ; 22. PARASET SYROP ; 23. RINGER LACTAT ; 24. WING NEEDLE 23 G ; 25. INFUSE SET & JARUM INFUS/ HIV SET AND NEEDLE ; 

LIST of NGO 
1. TIM KEMANUSIAN LSM ACEH
JALAN SINGGAH MATA NO 18 BLOWER BANDA ACEH 232243 INDONESIA
TELP 62-651-46001

2. YAYASAN SEKAPUR SIRIH
JALAN PEJATEN BARAT 71 JAKARTA SELATAN INDONESIA
TELP 62-21-71791894

3. YAYASAN NURANI DUNIA/
 FOUNDATION FOR HUMANITARIAN AID TO VICTIM OF SOCIAL AND NATURAL DISASTER
JALAN PROKLAMASI 37 JAKARTA 10320 INDONESIA
TELP/FAX 62-21-3913768

Webmaster: Rizali Pidie 
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Last modified: June 22, 2000