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Volume 2, Issue 7
Saturday, May 16, 1998 5:00 p.m.
BIRMINGHAM - A joint effort by Canada, the US and Australia is underway to help foreigners leave Indonesia. Since Thursday's rioting began more than 200 have died and people are fleeing in droves.
Hundreds of US and Canadian nationals flew out of the capital city early this morning. The Canadian government is attempting to contact registered Canadians in Jakarta to inform them of two additional flights it has arranged for this evening. There are as many as 3000 Canadians in Indonesia.
The G8 has issued a statement on Indonesia expressing its concern over the killings. It acknowledged the recent economic crisis has contributed to the violent outbreak there. The G8 is urging a peaceful transition to the economic reform programme currently being supported by international financial institutions. It says:"We encourage the authorities to respond rapidly by opening a dialogue which addresses the aspirations of the Indonesian people and by introducing the necessary reforms."
Each of the G8 leaders expressed their dismay over the escalation of violence. French President Jacques Chirac commented political and economic reforms need to be accelerated in Indonesia. A Japanese spokesman expressed fear a political revolt will happen there.
Indonesian President Suharto has shuffled his cabinet today, but appears ready to continue his 32-year rule.
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