Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Indonesia response to Burma crisis heartless

The Jakarta Post just published a scathing rebuke of President Yudhoyono's response to the Burma tragedy.
In his statement last week, Indonesia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Marty Natalegawa, rejected, along with China, France's proposal for the Security Council to ratchet up pressure on Myanmar to grant full access to foreign aid workers.

The United Nations estimates about 1.5 million refugees need emergency food and medical aid.

"We think there are other better forums to discuss the humanitarian dimension of the Myanmar situation," Indonesian Ambassador Marty Natalegawa told reporters ahead of a Security Council meeting last week, as quoted by Reuters.

"There is already a readiness on the part of Myanmar to open itself to assistance," he said. "The last thing we would want is to give a political spin to the technical realities and the situation on the ground."

We do not intend to blame Ambassador Marty or the Foreign Ministry for their harsh stance, because it is the President who is in charge of all government policies.
In 2005 Indonesia was the recipient of billions of dollars of international relief aid following the tsunami. Today, the fact sufficient international aid is not reaching Burma in the cyclone's aftermath is of little concern to the president of Indonesia.

The UN Security Council must meet and approve the resolution proposed by France. Now that China is faced with a natural disaster of its own, one would think Beijing might be more receptive to the appeal.

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