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Tsunami Tragedy In Acheh Increases Suffering

Tsunami Tragedy In Acheh Increases Suffering

Acheh Support Group: Tsunami tragedy in Acheh increases suffering

The Acheh Support Group is horrified at the deaths and colossal damage in South East Asia caused by the recent earthquake and tsunamis. The people of Acheh in Northern Sumatra have been particularly harshly affected with early estimates at 2,400 dead and 40,000 without homes.

Acheh has been under relentless attack by the Indonesian government as part of an ongoing conflict with the Free Acheh Movement.

"The massive damage caused by these natural disasters is very likely to be unnecessarily compounded by the Indonesian government's banning of media and humanitarian organisations in Acheh. These bans are in place to hide the state's systematic abuse of the Achehnese people since the latest all-out offensive began in 2003", said John Anderson, a member of the Acheh Support Group.

"Acheh is one of the most resource rich provinces in Indonesia and is also one of the most poverty stricken. The Indonesian Government must move quickly to allow access to humanitarian groups and international media to prevent making the situation any worse than they already have. We also need to add more pressure on Indonesia to open acheh to the international journalists," he added.

Local members of the Achehnese community are very worried about family and friends.

The Acheh Support Group is a Wellington based group which supports self-determination for the people of Acheh.

Media Contacts

Niklin Jusef (Acheh Support Group)
021 130 9313

Bakhtiar Amin (Acheh Support Group)
021 035 8971

John Anderson (Acheh Support Group)

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