No. 93/PR/XII/2004

President of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has referred as a national disaster the earthquake and tsunami tidal wave which took place yesterday morning in the provinces of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) and North Sumatra. In light of the said national disaster, President Yudhoyono has announced a nation-wide mourning period for 3 days, and asked Indonesian nationals to hoist a half-mast flag and to provide material and moral supports to the victims of the natural disaster in the two provinces.

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia takes this opportunity to sincerely express its appreciation and gratitude to all friendly countries and various international organizations/entities which have indicated their readiness and commitments to extend humanitarian aids in the wake of the natural disaster.

In this respect, the Department of Foreign Affairs has set up a special working group – called as “Pokja Deplu bagi Penanganan Bencana Alam” –to coordinate international relief assistance and aids forwarded to the disaster areas in the two provinces.

In its operation, the special working group will serve as a unit which coordinates its activities with the National Coordinating Agency for Natural Disaster and Refugees Relief (Bakornas PBP) which, as stipulated by the Presidential Decree no. 3/2001, has been appointed as the main coordinating agency at the national level.

The Director General for Information, Public Diplomacy, and International Treaties and the Director General for Protocol and Consular Affairs have been appointed as chairmen of the special working group, while the Head of Legal Bureau at the Department of Foreign Affairs serves as the secretary.

Among the functions to be carried out by the special working group are to coordinate international aids with the Bakornas PBP; provide information to local and foreign media regarding activities by the Department of Foreign Affairs in facilitating disaster relief operation; help in facilitating consular matters; coordinate with relevant government agencies/departments; coordinate with provincial governments of NAD and North Sumatra; as well as coordinate with foreign embassies and missions in Indonesia.

For further inquiries and relevant information please contact the Secretary of the special working group: Head of Legal Bureau, Department of Foreign Affairs, 7th Fl., Jl. Taman Pejambon no. 6, Phone. 021- 3846633, Fax. 021-3858044.

Other important contacts are as follows:

·Directorate of Diplomatic Facilities, Jl. Taman Pejambon no. 6, Consular Building, Phone. 021-3456365, Fax. 021-3862754
·Chief of Staff, 08159810320, Fax. 021-3858047
·Director of Information and Media, 08159672037, 021-3857316
·Director of Public Diplomacy, 08158104831, Fax. 021-3858035

Jakarta, 27 December 2004