The Guardian 26 January, 2005

Heartfelt condolences

All members of the CPA, its supporters and friends have been shocked by the huge loss of life and devastation caused by the tsunami of December 28. To all those hundreds of thousands of families that have suffered grievous loss we convey our heartfelt condolences.

We invite members and friends to support NGOs organising relief and aid.

The international response for assistance by working people throughout the world is a supreme act of solidarity and generosity. Huge sums will be needed for months and years into the future to provide medical assistance, drinking water, housing, work and to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure and economies.

The response by governments however, has been miserly considering the size of the tragedy and the resources available to the rich industrialised countries in particular. The required funds could be easily provided out of the nearly one trillion dollars being spent annually on military budgets. In Iraq, the US, Britain and Australia are spending about $US50 billion per year on their criminal war and occupation of that country. Their contributions to the tsunami victims amounts to only 4 or 5 days of the amount being spent in Iraq.

While not sparing aid and sympathy to the tsunami victims it has to be recalled that AIDS/HIV infections are claiming about 8,000 lives every day in the world's poorest countries.

An estimated 1.4 million children die each year for lack of clean drinking water, food and adequate sanitation. Governments must not be allowed to push these other urgent human crises out of our awareness in the name of assisting tsunami victims.

There is also the steadily increasing threat to the ecology of our planet. The time has come for humanity to make a conscious choice that our survival depends on urgently reducing the production of greenhouse gases, curbing militarism and blocking new aggressive wars by the imperialist powers. This program has been clearly laid out in President's Bush's inaugural address. An international stand against war is necessary now to avert global catastrophe.

CC Secretariat, Communist Party of Australia

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