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Asia Struggles As Death Toll Hits 44,000
Yahoo! News ^ | December 28, 2004 | ANDI DJATMIKO

Posted on 12/28/2004 9:51:55 AM PST by Kaslin

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - Mourners in Sri Lanka used their bare hands to dig graves Tuesday while hungry islanders in Indonesia turned to looting in the aftermath of Asia's devastating tsunamis. Thousands more bodies were found in Indonesia, dramatically increasing the death toll across 11 nations to around 44,000.

Emergency workers found that 10,000 people had been killed in a single town, Meulaboh, in Aceh province at the northern tip of Sumatra island, the hardest hit region in Indonesia, said Purnomo Sidik, national disaster director at the Social Affairs Ministry.

Another 9,000 were confirmed dead so far in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, and surrounding towns, he said. Along Aceh's hard-hit western coastline, villages were swamped up to the roofs, still unexplored by soldiers combing the area for survivors and dead. Refugees fleeing the area described surviving for days on little more than coconuts before reaching Banda Aceh.

"The sea was full of bodies," said Sukardi Kasdi, who reached the capital from his town of Surang.

With aid not arriving quick enough, desperate residents in Meulaboh and other towns in Aceh — a region that was unique in that it was struck both by Sunday's massive quake and the killer waves that followed — began to loot.

"It is every person for themselves here," district official Tengku Zulkarnain told el-Shinta radio station from the area.

In Sri Lanka, the toll also mounted significantly. Around 1,000 people were dead or missing from a train that was flung off its tracks when the gigantic waves hit. Rescuers pulled 204 bodies from the train's eight carriages — reduced to twisted metal — and cremated or buried them Tuesday next to the railroad track that runs along the coast.

"Is this the fate that we had planned for? My darling, you were the only hope for me," cried one man for his dead girlfriend — his university sweetheart — as Buddhist monks held prayer nearby.

More than 18,700 people died in Sri Lanka, more than 4,400 in India and more than 1,500 in Thailand, with numbers expected to rise. Scores were also killed in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, the Maldives. The giant waves raced nearly 3,000 miles to east Africa, causing deaths in Somalia, Tanzania and Seychelles.

And the toll was expected to continue to mount. A police official said 8,000 people were missing and possibly dead in India's remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located just north of Sumatra. So far, only 90 people were confirmed dead in the archipelago of 30 inhabited islands. The Indonesian vice president estimated that up to 25,000 could be dead on Aceh's western coastlines, bringing the country's potential toll up to 50,000.

Europeans desperately sought relatives missing from holidays in Southeast Asia — particularly Thailand, where bodies littered the once crowded beach resorts. Near the devastated Similan Beach and Spa Resort, where mostly German tourists were staying, a naked corpse hung suspended from a tree Tuesday as if crucified.

A blond two-year-old Swedish boy, Hannes Bergstroem, found sitting alone on a road in Thailand was reunited with his uncle, who saw the boy's picture on a Web site.

"This is a miracle, the biggest thing that could happen," said the uncle, who identified himself as Jim, after flying from his home country to Thailand to reach Hannes at the hospital were the boy was being treated. The boy's mother and grandmother were missing, while his father and grandfather were reportedly at another hospital.

The vacationing former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was evacuated by Sri Lankan military helicopter from the hotel he was trapped by flooding in the south of the country. In Thailand, Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova, who appeared on the cover of 2003 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, was injured and her photographer boyfriend Simon Atlee was missing, Atlee's agent said.

So far, more than 80 Westerners have been confirmed dead across the region — including 11 Americans. But a British consulate official in Thailand warned that hundreds more foreign tourists were likely killed in the country's resorts.

Sunday's massive quake of 9.0 magnitude off the Indonesian island of Sumatra sent 500-mph waves surging across the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal in the deadliest known tsunami since the one that devastated the Portuguese capital of Lisbon in 1755 and killed an estimated 60,000 people.

Amid the devastation, however, were some miraculous stories of survival. In Malaysia, a 20-day-old baby was found alive on a floating mattress. She and her family were later reunited. A Hong Kong couple vacationing in Thailand clung to a mattress for six hours.

In Sri Lanka, more than 300 people crammed into the Infant Jesus Church at Orrs Hill, located on high ground from their ravaged fishing villages. Families and childres slept on pews and the cement floor.

"We had never seen the sea looking like that. It was like as if a calm sea had suddenly become a raging monster," said one woman, Haalima, recalling the giant wave that swept away her 5-year-old grandson, Adil.

Adil was making sandcastles with his younger sister, Reeze, while Haalima sat in her home Sunday morning. Haalima said the girl ran to her complaining that waves had crushed their castles, then came screams and water entered the home. "When we looked, there was no shore anymore and no Adil," she said.

Death was so widespread in Sri Lanka that the government waived rules requiring an autopsy before burial. In Muslim villages in the east of the otherwise Buddhist-dominated island, some survivors, lacking shovels, used giant iron forks used for communal cooking and their hands to scrape out graves for several dozen victims, half of them children.

"The toll is going up and I will not be surprised it reaches 20,000 to 25,000," said Nimal Hettiarchchi, director of Sri Lanka's National Disaster Management Center.

Relief workers warned that survivors could face outbreaks of disease, including malaria and cholera. "Our biggest fear at the moment is the shortage of drinking water," said Janaka Gunewardene, a director at Sri Lanka's disaster management center, adding that waterways and well across Sri Lanka's northern, eastern and southern coasts were contaminated, said.

A new danger emerged Tuesday: the floods uprooted land mines in Sri Lanka — a nation torn by a decades-old war with Tamil separatists in the north. The mines now threatened aid workers and survivors, UNICEF (news - web sites) said.

The first international deliveries of food were being delivered to ravaged areas, as humanitarian agencies — accustomed to disasters in one or two countries at time — tried to organize to help on an unprecedented geographic scale, across 11 nations.

The disaster could be history's costliest, with "many billions of dollars" of damage, said U.N. Undersecretary Jan Egeland, who is in charge of emergency relief coordination.

A dozen trucks loaded with more than 160 tons of rice, lentils and sugar sent by the U.N. World Food Progam, left Tuesday from Colombo for Sri Lanka's southern and eastern coasts, and a second shipment was planned for overnight.

UNICEF officials said about 175 tons of rice arrived in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and six tons of medical supplies were to arrive by Thursday. Helicopters in India rushed medicine to stricken areas. In Sri Lanka, the Health Ministry dispatched 300 physicians to the disaster zone by helicopter.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: disaster; earthquake; sumatraquake; tsunami
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I would not be surprised if the list goes up to 100,000 dead or close to it
1 posted on 12/28/2004 9:51:55 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Refugees fleeing the area described surviving for days on little more than coconuts

It has been 2 days. Very few have starved to death so far.

2 posted on 12/28/2004 9:55:41 AM PST by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: Kaslin

This is so horrible. It reminds me of the great hurricane in Galveston Texas in the early 1900s. The death toll was massive for such a small town/island.


3 posted on 12/28/2004 9:56:04 AM PST by buffyt (biggest dilemma we face after a case like Scott Peterson, Lethal injection or Old Sparky? A.Coulter)
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To: Kaslin
Wave toll could reach 100,000
04:16 (AEST) THE death toll from the massive tsunamis unleashed by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean could reach more than 100,000, the head of Italy's civil emergency relief services warned today.

Indon quake toll reaches 27,000
03:49 (AEST) INDONESIA'S death toll leapt to more than 27,000 today as desperate SOS calls came from an obliterated coastline which is emerging as ground zero for a seismic cataclysm unleashed on Asia.--

Tsunami death toll over 55,000
01:28 (AEST) THE confirmed death toll from the massive earthquake and tidal waves that devastated much of Asia's coastline passed 55,000 today, with officials warning the figure was likely to rise steeply.

from The Australian
4 posted on 12/28/2004 9:57:35 AM PST by TomGuy (America: Best friend or worst enemy. Choose wisely.)
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To: Kaslin

Little Galveston lost 6000 people September 1900 in the hurricane/flood. It was so horrible. This one is much bigger, but reading about it brings back memories of what I have read about Galveston. It just hit all of a sudden with no warning and people were just swept away.


5 posted on 12/28/2004 9:58:13 AM PST by buffyt (~ Happy Freeper New Year All ! ~)
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To: Kaslin

Does anyone have recommendations for charities helping the tsunami victims that I can donate to? I've already donated to the Red Cross and will be donating to World Vision. Any others I should add to the list?


6 posted on 12/28/2004 9:59:10 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: Kaslin

I am saddened for these people but when they are concerned aid has not yet arrived and they had survived for days on nothing but coconuts, has it not been only about 48 hours. Are they not being a little overboard on their expectations?


7 posted on 12/28/2004 9:59:32 AM PST by SF Republican
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To: Kaslin

Just staggering. It's hard to comprehend a disaster of this magnitude.


8 posted on 12/28/2004 10:00:35 AM PST by Ramius
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To: Kaslin

This breaks my heart. :-(


9 posted on 12/28/2004 10:01:00 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Kaslin
Possibly more. Maybe 100,000 in the quake and who knows how many later from starvation, exposure, or disease? It's also evident that many more than 80 vacationing westerners were probably killed.

One moving passage caught my eye:

Adil was making sandcastles with his younger sister, Reeze, while Haalima sat in her home Sunday morning. Haalima said the girl ran to her complaining that waves had crushed their castles, then came screams and water entered the home. "When we looked, there was no shore anymore and no Adil," she said.

10 posted on 12/28/2004 10:03:39 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Kaslin

Foxnews just said : " 60,000 dead..and counting." Ohh my!


11 posted on 12/28/2004 10:03:41 AM PST by BiscuitEater (You can't FIX Stupid!)
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To: RightWhale

An equal number will perish from disease before its all over with. Sad to contemplate.


12 posted on 12/28/2004 10:05:12 AM PST by Rebelbase (Who is General Chat?)
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To: BiscuitEater

The toll will be much higher than that I'm afraid. Half a million isn't inconceivable.


13 posted on 12/28/2004 10:05:30 AM PST by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: Ramius

"Just staggering. It's hard to comprehend a disaster of this magnitude."

And that it's not localized to anyone area but spread out among several nations. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg.


14 posted on 12/28/2004 10:06:42 AM PST by Rebelbase (Who is General Chat?)
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To: Rebelbase

Cholera will get a lot of the survivors. Potable water will be impossible to find and difficult to truck in. If the survivors are not evacuated immediately to existing cities with intact infrastructure it's going to get real bad.


15 posted on 12/28/2004 10:09:46 AM PST by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: AntiGuv
I am trying to find out how much aid in US Dollar the US has pledged. It seems to me I heard something like $18 million. On the other hand 11 European countries only pledged a little over $4 million
16 posted on 12/28/2004 10:12:27 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: TomGuy
Wave toll could reach 100,000

Dear God! As the toll continues to mount, tears stream down my face. They had no warning...many were on a family holiday. Children building sandcastles. Parents sunbathing or breakfasting on the veranda. Laughter. The skies were sunny, the beaches warm. And within seconds, destruction, mayhem and death. It is inconceivable. God rest their souls, and may He comfort the survivors.

17 posted on 12/28/2004 10:13:03 AM PST by shezza
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To: Kaslin

I'm sure the pledges will rise considerably as the magnitude of the catastrophe gets assessed, and America will be at the top regardless.


18 posted on 12/28/2004 10:14:05 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: Kaslin
All we can do is pray, pray, pray


Then pick a charity. Its the American way.
19 posted on 12/28/2004 10:14:44 AM PST by e5man_r_u? (A Man's mission: Build, Protect, Provide)
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To: Kaslin

They will never really know how many died. Most of these countries do not have that good a track on their people. Where whole towns were inundated, there may be no witnesses left to report.


20 posted on 12/28/2004 10:14:49 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: RadioAstronomer
The wave was reported to be 8 meters high.

When the Krakatoa blew up in that vicinity
150 years ago, the tidal wave was reported
to be 40 meters high and the commotion was felt
in London and Paris.

Since the population was much lower then,
only 30,000 victims where reported.

There is an odd silence in the MSM about
the genocide that the very victims of that disaster
where busy with, such as exterminating all NON-MUSLIMS
in their neighborhoods...the number of the murdered
was supposed to be much higher that that of the drowned
MURDERERS!!!

TOTAL NEWS BLACK-OUT AS WE ARE SUPPOSED TO

HELP THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN MURDERING OUR OWN!!!

21 posted on 12/28/2004 10:15:23 AM PST by frontdeboeuf
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To: Kaslin
from The Australian

Tsunami death toll at 59,186

04:53 (AEST) THE death toll from the Asian tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Indonesia, rose to 59,186 people, government and health officials said.
22 posted on 12/28/2004 10:15:53 AM PST by TomGuy (America: Best friend or worst enemy. Choose wisely.)
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To: frontdeboeuf; RadioAstronomer

Krakatoa exploded in 1883. I honestly think it's time to get over it. Sheesh..


23 posted on 12/28/2004 10:17:24 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: Kaslin

Certainly puts the war on terror in perspective, doesn't it?


24 posted on 12/28/2004 10:17:45 AM PST by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: Kaslin
Site Meter

Expectations seem to point at 70,000...
Sharper Minds Daily...
25 posted on 12/28/2004 10:18:45 AM PST by KMC1
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To: frontdeboeuf
There is an odd silence in the MSM about the genocide that the very victims of that disaster where busy with, such as exterminating all NON-MUSLIMS in their neighborhoods...the number of the murdered was supposed to be much higher that that of the drowned MURDERERS!!!

Are you saying that the victims of this disaster should not be helped? I have friends going to Southern Thailand tomorrow to help out. I wish I could join them.

26 posted on 12/28/2004 10:24:01 AM PST by killjoy (My kid is the bomb at Islam Elementary!)
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To: Rennes Templar
Certainly puts the war on terror in perspective, doesn't it?

Apples and oranges...

Don't beleive for a moment that the Islamonazis who dreamed up 9/11 wouldn't have loved to waste 60K people rather than the paltry 3K they murdered that September morning. If we as a civilization don't follow through with this GWOT, we can expect a new attack to dwarf the body counts of both 9/11 and this tsunami.

27 posted on 12/28/2004 10:34:49 AM PST by AngryJawa (Now Accepting Ammo Donations)
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chrono progression of related topics:

Tidal Waves Kill More Than 700 in Asia
yahoo/AP ^ | 12-26-04 | LELY T. DJUHARI
Posted on 12/26/2004 1:18:45 AM PST by sully777
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1308542/posts

Tidal Waves Kill More Than 3,200 in Asia
(Update: Death toll now tops 11,500)
AP ^ | Sun, Dec 26, 2004
Posted on 12/26/2004 2:09:10 AM PST by Grzegorz 246
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1308556/posts

Asian Tsunamis Surge Against East African Coast
Reuters ^ | Dec 26, 2004 12:11 PM ET | C. Bryson Hull
Posted on 12/26/2004 9:53:01 AM PST by sully777
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1308649/posts

Asian Tsunamis Kill at Least 20,000 People
AP ^ | 12/26/04 | DILIP GANGULY
Posted on 12/26/2004 8:57:28 PM PST by TexKat
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1308840/posts

Southeast Asia death toll reaches 23,000,
fears grow for 540 Israelis missing in SE Asia
Jerusalem Post ^ | Dec. 27, 2004
Posted on 12/27/2004 6:04:21 AM PST by IAF ThunderPilot
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1308954/posts


28 posted on 12/28/2004 10:41:58 AM PST by SunkenCiv (It's a big planet. We're willing to share. They're not. Out they go.)
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To: Kaslin

Has anyone figured out what George Bush did to cause this tragedy?


29 posted on 12/28/2004 10:58:12 AM PST by klute
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To: Kaslin

Is anyone besides me thinking that this sort of disaster is exactly what the Islamofascists want to do to us and our children? And possibly far worse?


30 posted on 12/28/2004 10:59:08 AM PST by tkathy (Ban all religious head garb.)
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To: Kaslin

FNC is now reporting that the death toll has reached 50,000.


31 posted on 12/28/2004 11:00:56 AM PST by bushisdamanin04
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To: bushisdamanin04

There are now 12 C-130s bringing in aid from the United States to the areas afflicted by the earthquake and tidal wave.


32 posted on 12/28/2004 11:09:28 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: Kaslin

Wow folks.....this now has exceeded Krakatoa's (sp?) tsunami death toll.

This is just unbelievable.


33 posted on 12/28/2004 11:14:33 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the decayed feeling...which thinks nothing worth war, is worse." -Mill)
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To: Kaslin

CBS News in Los Angeles just said the quake had the power of 100 million atomic bombs. How is that possible?


34 posted on 12/28/2004 11:20:05 AM PST by doug from upland (THE RED STATES - celebrate a great American tradition)
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To: shezza
They had no warning

I've made contact via family with my ex-girlfriend who lives in Phuket. A friend of hers was was walking her dog along the beach...

You can figure out the rest.

35 posted on 12/28/2004 11:21:19 AM PST by mitchbert (Facts Are Stubborn Things)
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: Kaslin

$18 million from the US doesn't count the private money that will be flowing from individuals. Most US aid will be from private citizens rather than from the US government.

The Europeans are always ignoring private charity in an attempt to make the US look like uncaring savages.


37 posted on 12/28/2004 11:25:18 AM PST by MediaMole
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To: killjoy; AntiGuv
The east coast of Ceylon, India and Thailand excepted,
the region is the heart of Anti-American sentiment
in the world.

The Indonesian Army camouflage itself behind
a variety of Islamic Jihad fronts to support
non-muslim (Chineses, Indians and local Christians)
extermination.

Whilst tension builds, but relative peace holds, in the
Malukus and Sulawesi, Laskar Jihad is sending its Islamic
militants to the Indonesian provinces of Papua (Irian Jaya) and Aceh. Laskar Jihad volunteers in
majority-Christian Papua (said to number anywhere
from 200 – 3,000) are believed to be engaged in
“propagating Islam”, education, preaching aggressive
sermons, the circulation of provocative pamphlets and
news-sheets, and the distribution of videotapes
containing footage of the Jihad’s holy war against
Christians in the Malukus. In the staunchly Islamic
province of Aceh the group says it has come to “teach
Muslims there to interpret Islam correctly”.

The more likely primary motive for the group’s presence
in these two provinces at opposite ends of the
Indonesian archipelago is to oppose local separatist
movements. Laskar Jihad believes in a united Indonesia
under Islamic Shari’ah law. Locals fear that the Indonesian
army may use the group to fight against
the Islamic separatist movement in Aceh and the ethnic
Melanesian Christian independence movement in Papua in a similar way to its notorious use of militias in East
Timor. Already there are reports that Laskar Jihad are
training the pro-Indonesian Islamic militia Muri Putih
in Papua, and on 17 April police announced that
they had arrested two Laskar Jihad members in the
province for carrying firearms.
The group’s presence in Aceh and Papua has been utterly rejected by local
Christians and other community leaders who have
called for them to leave the provinces.
Christians in Aceh are also facing additional pressure
under Islamic Shari ’ ah law that was implemented as !
part of significant autonomy measures awarded as
concessions to the province by the Indonesian authorities.

Helping the Indonesians is like Clinton
sending hundred of millions to the
Taliban to "eradicate" Opium production!!!
38 posted on 12/28/2004 11:25:24 AM PST by frontdeboeuf
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To: killjoy; AntiGuv
The east coast of Ceylon, India and Thailand excepted,
the region is the heart of Anti-American sentiment
in the world.

The Indonesian Army camouflage itself behind
a variety of Islamic Jihad fronts to support
non-muslim (Chineses, Indians and local Christians)
extermination.

Whilst tension builds, but relative peace holds, in the
Malukus and Sulawesi, Laskar Jihad is sending its Islamic
militants to the Indonesian provinces of Papua (Irian Jaya) and Aceh. Laskar Jihad volunteers in
majority-Christian Papua (said to number anywhere
from 200 – 3,000) are believed to be engaged in
“propagating Islam”, education, preaching aggressive
sermons, the circulation of provocative pamphlets and
news-sheets, and the distribution of videotapes
containing footage of the Jihad’s holy war against
Christians in the Malukus. In the staunchly Islamic
province of Aceh the group says it has come to “teach
Muslims there to interpret Islam correctly”.

The more likely primary motive for the group’s presence
in these two provinces at opposite ends of the
Indonesian archipelago is to oppose local separatist
movements. Laskar Jihad believes in a united Indonesia
under Islamic Shari’ah law. Locals fear that the Indonesian
army may use the group to fight against
the Islamic separatist movement in Aceh and the ethnic
Melanesian Christian independence movement in Papua in a similar way to its notorious use of militias in East
Timor. Already there are reports that Laskar Jihad are
training the pro-Indonesian Islamic militia Muri Putih
in Papua, and on 17 April police announced that
they had arrested two Laskar Jihad members in the
province for carrying firearms.
The group’s presence in Aceh and Papua has been utterly rejected by local
Christians and other community leaders who have
called for them to leave the provinces.
Christians in Aceh are also facing additional pressure
under Islamic Shari ’ ah law that was implemented as !
part of significant autonomy measures awarded as
concessions to the province by the Indonesian authorities.

Helping the Indonesians is like Clinton
sending hundred of millions to the
Taliban to "eradicate" Opium production!!!
39 posted on 12/28/2004 11:27:21 AM PST by frontdeboeuf
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To: Kaslin

Neither would I.

What I don't understand, is why the radio stations in the area didn't issue some kind of advisory regarding the massive quake, and potential Tsunami.

This is a massive disaster, and my heart goes out to those affected by it.


40 posted on 12/28/2004 11:28:23 AM PST by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservat)
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To: Kaslin

I fear you're right, when it's all said and done.


41 posted on 12/28/2004 11:29:08 AM PST by 7.62 x 51mm ( veni vidi vino visa "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: Ramius
"Is this the fate that we had planned for? My darling, you were the only hope for me," cried one man for his dead girlfriend — his university sweetheart — as Buddhist monks held prayer nearby.

The is just wrenching...it should be immortalized in a song.

43 posted on 12/28/2004 11:36:38 AM PST by 2Jedismom (FMM)
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To: 2Jedismom

Oh my.


44 posted on 12/28/2004 11:52:38 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("War is an ugly thing, but...the decayed feeling...which thinks nothing worth war, is worse." -Mill)
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To: Kaslin; All

Link to Photos

Link to Photos

Link to Photos too Graphic to Post "Warning"

45 posted on 12/28/2004 11:54:04 AM PST by all4one (My thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers.....and their families)
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To: Kaslin

I lived in a small city of 12,000 people for about six years. The current death toll is more than the entire population from four cities of that size. That's the best way I am able to even comprehend the level of this calamity. It sure makes everything else going on the world right now seem small.


46 posted on 12/28/2004 11:55:48 AM PST by Blowtorch
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To: all4one

This is much worse then a war scene imho


47 posted on 12/28/2004 12:18:14 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Especially when you consider that this type of destruction has happened over thousands of miles of coastal areas. Resort areas and poor fishing towns, all with unimaginable damage and loss of life.


48 posted on 12/28/2004 12:21:12 PM PST by all4one (My thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers.....and their families)
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To: seamole

Not the same in any way shape or form.


49 posted on 12/28/2004 12:55:24 PM PST by tkathy (Ban all religious head garb.)
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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