Response to starving refugees
Commenting on the article Refugees die of starvation (The Jakarta Post, July 27, 2000, page 2) we would like to give our explanation based on the results of monitoring carried out in the refugee camps and statements made to the service office concerned by the Ministry of Health's South Sulawesi provincial office as follows: 1. According to Satkorlak's June 2000 data of the province of South Sulawesi, the total number of refugees is 1,067 not 8,500. 2. The name of Xantos Norvaju Ximenes is not found in the sources of the news. 3. The correct number of deaths are five, consisting of two at the refugee on Jl. Racing Centre and three in Kasih Ibu orphanage. 4. The cause of death is not starvation; three died of a chronic disease and two died during childbirth (a mother and child). 5. Food aid was given on July 25, 2000, consisting of two tons of rice: one ton at the Jl. Racing Centre camp and one ton at Kasih Ibu orphanage. 6. The existing refugees are ready for departure to transmigration resettlement areas.
M. DWIDJO SUSONO
Head of Law and Public Relations Bureau
Ministry of Health