Subject: AN: Xanana delivers Tsunami aid

BBC Monitoring International Reports January 28, 2005


Text of report attributed to Antara, carried by Indonesian newspaper Media Indonesia web site on 28 January

Jakarta: Timor Leste (East Timor)'s president, Xanana Gusmao handed over 75,000 US dollars in cash assistance during his meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta on Thursday (27 January) for the tsunami disaster victims in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) and Northern Sumatera.

"Don't discuss amounts, because the amount is too small. That is because we are a small country with a small population," said Xanana during a press conference with President Yudhoyono after their meeting at the Merdeka Palace on Thursday (27 January) afternoon.

At the time Xanana did not want to mention the amount of aid, saying that the aid is, at the very least, an expression of the Timor Leste community and government's sorrow over the terrifying wave (tsunami) that hit Aceh and Northern Sumatera.

Timor Leste's contribution was collected from various groups, including the government, parliament, the church and the local community.

"They (the Timorese citizens) want to show their feelings of solidarity, kinship and friendship. We can feel the suffering experienced by our brothers who have become the victims" said Xanana.

President Yudhoyono expressed thanks and said he was touched by the aid collected by the government and people of Timor Leste for the tsunami victims.

Xanana, according to the Indonesian President's spokesperson, Dino Pati Djalal, cried when he told President Yudhoyono of his concern about the disaster that befell the citizens of Aceh and Northern Sumatera.

"Their meeting was really emotional. Xanana was really touched and sad when he expressed his feelings about Aceh. Xanana cried tears," said Dino.

Meanwhile, said Dino, apart from handing over 75,000 US dollars in cash for the tsunami victims, Timor Leste also gave 50,000 US dollars for Aceh and Northern Sumatera tsunami victims through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a UN body that handles the coordination of humanitarian aid, as well as giving contributions to the value of 10,000 US dollars for the victims of the natural disaster that struck Alor island, East Nusa Tenggara.

President Xanana will attend a meeting with the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR-RI) leaders in Jakarta on Friday (28 January).

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