May 29, 2006 7:47 pm


Here they are again, the pictures of death and destruction are pouring in from Indonesia. But this time I know the place whence they come. During the late eighties I spent a week in Yogya's small but pretty Petit Mas hotel.

It was a dirty, busting city. But I remember best riding from art gallery to batik studio to atonal Gamelan music concerts to Wayang shadow puppet plays in the back seat of the ever present becaks.

You see, Yogya was all about art and culture. Every becak driver could explain the subtle differences between the various art and music schools. I cannot but wonder how much of this wonderful cultural infrastructure was destroyed and hope and trust that it will be rebuilt.

Donating to IRD may be a useful way to go:

International Relief and Development President and CEO Arthur B. Keys, Jr. today announced that IRD staff in Yogyakarta are distributing food to hospitals and mobilizing resources to provide water, food and shelter for victims of the major earthquake that hit Indonesia early this morning.

"Despite the fact that our offices in Yogyakarta were badly damaged and our roof caved in, we are grateful that none of our staff were killed or injured. We are pleased that we were able to hit the ground running immediately after the earthquake struck and are working now to help the unfortunate people in Indonesia who have already suffered so much from the tsunami,” Keys noted.

Ancient Hindu temple damaged

Centuries-old palace in Yogyakarta belonging to Indonesia's only governing sultan was damaged by the country's powerful earthquake, an official said on Monday.

A pavilion used to store the palace's treasures collapsed, crushing an ancient set of gamelan musical instruments, security official Harjimah said. Walls in 12 other buildings also cracked, he said.

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