WARNING - BEING SELF-SUFFICENT
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MSNBC NEWS SERVICES JAKARTA, Indonesia
Panic-buying erupts in Indonesia
In a country where dissent is rare, calls for Suharto to resign MSNBC
SERVICES JAKARTA, Indonesia _ Fearing a worsening economic crisis,
thousands of panicked Indonesians rushed to supermarkets where they snapped
up everything in sight. Ignoring an army appeal for calm in the world's
fourth most-populous nation, Indonesians lined up more than 20-deep at
checkout counters to buy sugar, rice, cooking oil and whatever else they
could grab before yet another price rise.
Asia markets get ravaged IMF sends team to Indonesia. Calls for
to step down, unthinkable a week ago, were published Friday on the front
page of the Jakarta Post, Indonesia's influential English-language
newspaper. INDONESIA'S CURRENCY, the rupiah, sank to an all-time low
Thursday, losing a quarter of its value in a single day and driving
stock market down as far as 18.5 percent.
Trading on Indonesia's financial markets was calmer Friday with the rupiah
gaining ground against the dollar and some brokers said Thursday's meltdown
was overdone. However, residents still lined up at some shops for essential
household items. Calls for President Suharto to step down, unthinkable just
a week ago, were published Friday on the front page of the Jakarta Post,
Indonesia's most widely-circulated English-language
The plunge of the currency this week was triggered by release of a
proposed government budget that financial markets viewed as falling short
of the commitments Indonesia made to the International Monetary Fund,
potentially jeopardizing the IMF bailout. Many economists said the
exchange, inflation and economic growth rates used to prepare the budget
While President Suharto has yet to face a credible opposition in
30-year reign, the prospect of social unrest triggered by inflation and
unemployment is looming. The army has pledged to back Suharto in the event
of widespread tumult.
Indonesia's powerful military said Friday the country was under
and pledged to take "repressive" measures against people attempting to
create disturbances. For half a year, Indonesia's 202 million people have
remained relatively calm as their currency has continued to slide. They
have maintained faith that the 76-year-old president would revive the
economy in the same way he built it up years ago. But their confidence
plunged Thursday _ along with the rupiah, which fell 26 percent.
PANIC SHOPPING Thousands of people dashed to stores and picked the
clean. "I only wish I could buy more. Who knows what is going to happen?"
said one woman Thursday as she and her family pushed five shopping carts of
groceries. To calm rattled nerves, state-owned television flashed pictures
of a national rice stockpile, and quoted officials saying the nation's food
supplies remained plentiful _ despite the need to import rice because of
Nevertheless chaos ensued Friday in the main rice market in
Jakarta when hundreds of people jostled to buy the staple. "It is crazy
here. People are buying and buying even though the government has said rice
stocks are sufficient," said one rice trader. The military said Friday the
armed forces would help distribute commodities to local markets in order to
make sure stocks were sufficient and to calm people.
IMF, U.S. GO INTO HIGH GEAR The Clinton administration and
International Monetary Fund, alarmed by the deepening economic crisis, are
sending top officials to Indonesia to help right a faltering bailout
effort. Both the White House and the IMF emphasized that their emissaries
would underscore to Suharto the urgent need for his government to adhere to
the reform pledges it made in November to qualify for a $40 billion rescue
President Clinton made a personal appeal to Suharto in a 20-minute
call Thursday night from Air Force One, the White House said. "The
president made it quite clear that the IMF program needs to be followed,"
said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Suharto pledged his support to Clinton for IMF-backed reform, a senior
minister said in Jakarta on Friday. "Indonesia is serious about carrying
out the plan," Indonesian State Secretariat Minister Murdiono told
reporters following a meeting with Suharto.
Earlier, the IMF had called for Suharto's government to accelerate
needed reforms already agreed upon." While warning of the consequences of
failing to live up to the IMF reform program, both the White House and the
IMF held out the promise of accelerated assistance to Indonesia if
Suharto's government shows renewed resolve.
The statements from Washington were one of the factors helping to
the rupiah on Friday. The White House said Deputy Treasury Secretary
Lawrence Summers, the administration's point man on the Asian crisis, would
lead a U.S. delegation this weekend that also would include officials from
the State Department and the National Security Council.
The IMF said Managing Director Michel Camdessus, a Frenchman, and
Fischer, his American deputy, would leave for Asian capitals, Jakarta among
them, this weekend on their second trip there in less than two months.
South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand all have received IMF rescue packages
in recent months as the 182-nation lending agency has scrambled to halt a
worsening currency crisis that struck Asia last year. Fischer said Thursday
night he was confident that after talks with Indonesian leaders, "we'll be
back on track." He said Suharto's budget was "not as bad as it was
portrayed in the press" and he appealed for patience. An IMF rescue plan
"takes a while," Fischer said. "People are shell-shocked, they don't know
what hit them."
FUTURE OF SUHARTO? The Jakarta Post on Friday quoted former
minister Mohammad Sadli as saying a change in government was needed to
restore international confidence. In another article, political scientist
Arbi Sanit was quoted as saying the 76-year-old former army general must
quit. "We need a president who is good health," Sanit, a professor at the
University of Indonesia, said.
On Thursday a small group of retired generals, politicians and
public figures were reported to have suggested it was time for Suharto to
retire, but said they would support him if he was re-elected. Indonesia's
ruling Golkar party said Suharto could not be pressured into a decision on
whether or not to seek re-election in March, the official Antara news
Indonesia has undergone only one change of government since it
independence from Dutch colonial rule. Suharto took over from founding
president Sukarno in 1965 after what the government now says was an
abortive Communist coup.
DISASTER CENTER BULLETIN BOARD DIRECTORY
This is the time for reflecting on the fact that we have become complacent individuals, who rely on the heat, hydro, food and kindness of others. It has come to my mind that the hype of the end times is not taken seriously at all by anyone.
Evacuation of everyone to shelters. The elderly being moved out of what they know is their safety zone. Well folks this serves as an example that we still have not learned to be SELF SUFFICIENT. We do not know how to keep warm without gas lines or electricity. We have no means of cooking a warm meal without Electricity or anything else. Our reliance on the so-called modern conveniences has gone out of hand . Consequently we have become totally dependent on those things. What a warning for those who are aware that we MUST prepare for things such as this, regardless whether it is end times or not.
The shameful result of this tragedy is that the oil companies have raised their prices, the grocery store is also selling stuff at inflated prices, food shortages are occurring. There is no way for the ill to get to the hospital as all roads are inhabitable. The underground came to a halt. Some of the restaurants are trying to feed the masses, but also running out of supplies. Yet there are those money hungry grabbers who DARE to charge more for things because they have the upper hand.
With all of this please consider your own situations which may very well be like that one day. What have you done to provide the necessities such as food water heat.?? Have you prepared yourselves by learning how to survive in sordid conditions?? Have you done you part in the fact that someone else will need your help and could be a drain on your financial ecstasy??? What does all of this mean? I urge you very strongly to make sure that you can survive even under the worst conditions without becoming a liability to someone else.
Learn how to do things in a simple fashion, but learn!!!! Man this has really brought all of this home for me. And I do hope all of you will think about this as it can happen to you. Please send your prayers to all others you know or don't know in this stricken area. Please lets not continue this farce of you are right and s/he is not. What does it all matter in the long run. It matters who cares about you as a person, it matters that someone is able to assist you, it matters that love is shown to all.
The changes are drastic in many areas. Where I live is a peninsula smack in the middle of the two largest lakes, lake Ontario and lake Huron. It would not take much for us to go blub blub. As for water I have lots of office size bottle filled with spring water. I do not drink the city water as too many chemicals are added that I cannot handle. As for the rest of it my husband has prepaired us well in almost any state of emergency. Both of us were avid campers in the wild and living of the things we could find. Our total equipment fits in a back pack each which are alway packed for immediate emergencies. Including medical supplies. This is not done because of fear, but because we love to take of at the spur of a moment for unknown places so we just leave all the stuff ready to just throw in the van and go. The post I wrote was in concern for the many friends I have in those areas and friends are extremely important to me. I tend to them like one would to flowers (:))) Some say I spoil them. LOL
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