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 Indonesia responds sharply to Australia's statement over tsunami aid

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BerichtOnderwerp: Indonesia responds sharply to Australia's statement over tsunami aid   di 24 feb 2015 - 0:31

Indonesia News.Net, Monday 23rd February, 2015

The Indonesian government Monday responded sharply to Australia's statement over its tsunami aid in 2004, as the execution of two Australian drug convicts looms.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Monday that the government was ready to return the aid, saying Australia was among the 56 countries giving the humanitarian assistance at that time.

"If the aid is not considered as humanitarian assistance, we are ready to pay it back. Australia is one of the 56 countries," Xinhua news ageny quoted Kalla as saying at his office.

The vice president made the statement after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abott said last week that Indonesia should remember Australia's $781 million of tsunami aid to Indonesia.

Abott has attempted to appeal to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to cancel the execution of the two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, for drug rules violation.

Indonesian people in a number of cities, such as Jakarta and Banda Aceh, collected coins Monday for returning the Australian aid, which they dubbed "coins for Abott".

Kalla said it was an expression of people's emotions against Abott's statement.

So far, there has been no sign of cancellation of the execution of the two drug convicts.

From the same source,

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Deputy Head of Commission II of the House of Representatives Lukman Edy extended his support to the "Coin for Australia" campaign in response to a statement by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott had recently invoked Australias financial aid for the 2004 tsunami victims in Aceh while pleading for the lives of two of its nationals facing execution in Indonesia.

"I want to respond to PM Abbots statement by supporting the coin-collection campaign for (to repay aids) Australia," Lukman Edy said here Monday.

Lukman Edy noted that Abbott shouldnt have correlated the Indonesian policy on death sentence with the bilateral relation between the two countries.

The coin-collection campaign is Indonesian peoples symbolic disapproval of the Australian PMs statement.

"We will have a box ready (at the Houses building) so that the people can participate in the campaign," Lukman Edy added.

"From a humanitarian view, death sentence cannot be correlated with the tsunami aids in Aceh," he pointed out.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had recently asked for the cancellation of the execution of two Australian drug convicts in exchange for Australias aid to Indonesia during the tsunami disaster.

In response to the Australian Prime Ministers statement, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi had remarked that Indonesia understood well the Australian governments concern over the imminent execution of its two citizens.

She, however, emphasized that the executions are part of Indonesias law enforcement process and are not aimed at certain nationalities.

The coin-collecting campaign was initiated by the people of Aceh, the Indonesian province that was hit hardest by the 2004 tsunami.

On Saturday (Feb. 21), a group of students from KAMMI (the United Front of Indonesian Muslim Students) staged the coin-collecting campaign in Aceh.

( and so say all of us..., a jolly good fellow?) siK.

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