Subject: AP: East Timor Donates $50,000 To Relief Efforts In Indonesia
December 30, 2004
East Timor Donates $50,000 To Relief Efforts In Indonesia
DILI, East Timor (AP)--The tiny nation of East Timor said Thursday it was giving US$50,000 to help relief efforts in Indonesia , a gesture that showed relations with its former occupier were improving.
Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said the contribution to relief efforts following Sunday's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia 's Aceh province was aimed at helping a "friend." More than 50,000 have died so far and millions of dollars have been pledged to help the recovery effort.
"As neighbors and friends, we cannot stand by and do nothing," Alkatiri told reporters. "This terrible tragedy has shattered so many lives and communities, that this is our way of saying we are here as your friend when you are in need."
East Timorese voted in 1999 to end 24 years of Indonesia rule and become independent. Indonesian troops responded by unleashing a wave of violence on the half island, killing upward of 1,500 Timorese and destroying much of the infrastructure.
Ties between the neighboring countries have improved since East Timor became independent in 2002. Economic relations have strengthened and both sides have resisted United Nations efforts to launch an investigation into the 1999 violence.
"I want to say to our fellow governments and our brothers and sisters, that our hearts are with you in these sad and devastating times," Alkatiri said.
Thursday 30th , December 2004 Immediately release
TIMOR-LESTE GOVERNMENT GIVES DONATION TO TSUNAMI VICTIMS
Timor-Leste's Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, today announced a donation of US$ 50,000 for the victims of Tsunamis that struck the region the day after Christmas Day.
"The Prime Minister said, "As neighbours and friends we cannot stand by and do nothing. This terrible tragedy has shattered so many lives and communities, that this is our way of saying we are here as your friends when you are in need."
"We know what it is like to be the beneficiary of generosity at times of great suffering, so the least we can do is to give US$ 50,000 from our small budget."
"Our nation is poor, but our spirit is strong and our people support the Government of Timor-Leste in doing this, even though they have so little."
"On behalf of the Government and the People I want to say to our fellow Governments and our brothers and sisters, that our hearts are with you in these sad and devastating times," concluded the Prime Minister.
Minister Ramos-Horta stated, "The Government decided to give the donation through the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, based on our good experience with the United Nations and their agencies."
"We shall continue to monitor relief efforts and give what other forms of support we can to assist in the rebuilding efforts," concluded Minister Ramos-Horta. -end-
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