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Letter

Disasters in Indonesia

, January 29, 2007

Re: Indonesia - Natural Disasters or Mass Murder?

To the Editor:

I really appreciated reading your article about disasters in Indonesia. I agree with with your point of view that corruption, bad education and the passivity of the Indonesian people are the reasons for most of the lost human lives. I have lived here since 1992 (in Jakarta and Bali), and see that at each disaster (or crisis) the main topic among Indonesians is about religion or superstition. For them, the roots of the disasters or crisis are always any type of "punishment from God." It is then very hard to have a constructive discussion on this subject with them.

But I regret a bit that you have listed the Aceh Tsunami as other disasters and included its number of death in the total. I think that what you write about "anti-tsunami walls," and sirens or loudspeakers is exaggerated. Indonesia was not the only country not to have all this equipment. It's a pity that because of this part of your article, I feel I will not forward it much to my friends and relatives. Your article would be have been much more constructive if you had taken into account the reality of the tsunami 10-meter high wave that killed 166,000 people in Aceh.

Keep up the great work!

Christophe Jorrand
Bali, Indonesia

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