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State of Acheh: Press Statement on Tsunami

State of Acheh: Press Statement on Tsunami, 16th December 2004

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The Government of the State of Acheh is profoundly saddened by the very high number of casualties and very heavy damages caused by the natural disaster hitting many parts of Asia, including our country Acheh. According to the latest figures we have more than 2000 people have perished in Acheh, and over 40 000 displaced. Hundreds of houses, buildings, bridges have been destroyed or heavily damaged, worsening the already inadequate infrastructure.

For the sake of humanity, we urge the Indonesian Government to immediately open Acheh to humanitarian assistance volunteers and international relief organisations. Access to Acheh must be opened immediately in order to prevent a much worse calamity such as hunger and the spread of diseases.

The field commanders of the Acheh National Armed Forces has been instructed, while increasing their alertness and helping the best they can all the processes of aiding, evacuating and rehabilitating the victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami flloods, to also restraint their troops from engaging the enemy in armed contacts in order to avoid causing the people to feel trapped and panick. The TNA has been ordered to take a defensive position and to only fight back if attacked.

Stockholm, Sweden 26 December, 2004

The Government of the State of Acheh in exile Malik Mahmud Prime Minister

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