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10/24/2006

will kalteng be haze infamous?

It has been weeks since Yudhoyono made his famous apology to ASEAN countries affected by the haze. And the haze only gets worst by the days. Maybe only after a thousand apologies will the haze budge. This morning, a Straits Times journalist, Edwin Khoo, posted an article about his site visit to his hometown in central Kalimantan, Kalteng, and his first hand experience of what it is like to live in haze. He posted a pic which showed that visibility was less than 50 metres. Now that is a small living space. The seriousness of the haze envelope can never be felt by the decision makers in Jakarta unless they are forced to live in such an inhospitable condition. Otherwise corrective measures will just take its own time to be discussed in the comfort of aircon meeting rooms with more coffee and tea. With such an intensity of haze affecting the Indonesian villages and the villagers having no one to stand up for them, it is not unimaginable that one day people will stumble across villages in some parts of Kalimantan and Sumatra strewn with corpses. Many villages can be wiped out by poisonous haze, or maybe some have already been gone without traces. The haze can be more deadly than the tsunami and more widespread if nothing is being done immediately to stop it. Is the Indonesian govt waiting to see dead bodies before actions can be taken? Further, the Indonesian villagers may start falling dead slowly over a longer period of time after the haze has disappeared. How serious is the damage to the people's health is still unknown as the worst affected areas are not reported or visited by modern civilisation. Would the next report from Edwin Khoo be about Kalteng, a province totally wiped out by haze. Will Kalteng become infamous as the cemetry to mark the begining of the fight against the firestarters?

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