28 Desember, 2008

Of death and destruction: Tsunami recalled

Thousands of Aceh residents held communal prayers in places of worship across the province on Friday as they honored the victims of the devastating 2004 tsunami that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

In Banda Aceh, prayers were held at Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman mosque.

In Meulaboh, West Aceh, a ceremony to mark the fourth anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami was held at Ujung Karang Beach. The picture (right) shows women praying at a wrecked house on which a boat was left after the tsunami in Lampulo village in Banda Aceh.

Moments after the ceremony, hundreds of students and tsunami survivors, yet to receive housing aid, took part in a rally in front of the West Aceh Legislative Council.

Carrying banners, they demanded the government build them the houses they were promised, saying they were still living in temporary shelters.

They also demanded the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias' (BRR) verification team review thoroughly the list of recipients of new homes and take back homes from those who had received more than one.

"We urge donor countries to audit the BRR's performance and seek its accountability," said protest coordinator Edi Candra.

He also called on the authorities to investigate possible corruption within the BRR and local administrations.(jktpst)

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