This is a question that’s come up several times. I only have theories, not cold hard facts.
The difference in the news getting out is that the areas most affected in Indonesia had no survivors left, so no one to pass on the information that so many people died. Entire areas of the country are destroyed. Total annihilation. (Did I even come close to spelling that correctly?)
Someone suggested to me that perhaps it was because of the relationship the US has with Sri Lanka. I don’t see how that’s possible.
I don’t think the US and Sri Lanka have a great relationship, if you want to know the truth. US bureaucracy rears its ugly head when it comes to aid agencies working towards peace in this country because of the US policy against terrorists. The LTTE is listed as a terrorist organization, and yet they’re the ones sitting on the opposite side of the table from the Sri Lankan government negotiating for peace.
In practical terms, this means that any agency for peace that dares to have any information on the LTTE on their websites, in their literature, tries to show the LTTE side of things, tries to negotiate or communicate with the LTTE automatically has funding cut by the US. Generally, when a new bureaucrat takes over. After things are explained to them about how things work here, the funding sometimes comes back, but meanwhile. . .
And Sri Lankans generally speaking don’t have much that’s good to say about the US even while they all want to live there. They think Americans are spoiled, fat, and lazy. But they want it, too. [Dont Know] Go figure.
Point being that I don’t see how it can be because of any relationship with the US that caused Sri Lanka to get more coverage than Indonesia. Indonesia is a corrupt country as well, and from what I’ve been reading, it’s supposedly the most corrupt of the lot. I have no idea if that has anything to do with the news not coming out.
Perhaps the government didn’t initially want others knowing just how bad it is? And now, it seems that they may perhaps be milking the disaster for all it’s worth, getting as much funding as they can. The Sri Lankan government has certainly been accused of that, as have local charitable organizations.
And as a final note, the death toll in Indonesia is now estimated at 220,000, which brings the total dead from the tsunami to over 280,000.
Great. Just great.
And as a side note to the final note. The estimated missing are still at over 40,000, and 23,000 of them are in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s death toll could reach 62,000.