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November 02, 2010 Sleman, Yogyakarta (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA GLOBE) — Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X has criticized Indonesian political parties for potentially increasing the trauma suffered by victims displaced by the Merapi volcano disaster.
“At the moment, the problem is that ambulances and other vehicles are flying the flags of certain organizations and political parties, and sound their sirens too loudly,” Hamengkubuwono said at the main disaster mitigation post in Sleman on Monday.
He said the ambulances and vehicles passing by the post impacted on the concentration on members of the Disaster Mitigation Agency and had the potential to traumatize the evacuees.
“Moreover, the ambulances are not carrying patients who need emergency aid. So please, do not exaggerate in helping the victims, it may cause panic,” the governor said.
Hamengkubuwono said the Yogyakarta provincial administration, as well as the Sleman district administration, would not hinder volunteers and donors from helping the Merapi victims.
“They are very welcome to help the victims. It’s up to them to deliver the aid to the main post, directly to the shelters or to the evacuees themselves,” he said. “We hope the bureaucracy will not pose an obstacle to them. The most important thing is that the help must be rendered whole-heartedly.”
Political parties have previously been criticized for politicizing the Situ Gintung disaster on the outskirts of Jakarta just prior to the last year’s legislative and presidential elections.