From Avian E. Tumengkol <asst-pressattache@...
Indonesian-American Group to Host Nationwide Candlelight Vigil
"A Nationwide Event Commemorate Tsunami Tragedy"
Washington, DC, U.S.A., January 31st 2005
The Society for Indonesian-Americans (SIA) announced today plans to conduct a nationwide candlelight
vigil commemorating the tragic event of December 26, 2004 befalling Indonesia and other South Asian
countries. Simultaneous events will be held in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, Los
Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 4. The local
event will take place from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in Washington DC. at the Embassy of Indonesia located at
2020 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., between 20th and 21st street.
The program will consist of a moment of silence, several speakers, films, and photographs.
Participants will be linked together via a nationwide conference call. The keynote speaker will be
Ambassador Soemadi D.M Brotodiningrat. In addition, a representative from Mercy Corps will provide
an update on their tsunami relief efforts on site in Aceh. Mercy Corps has been designated by SIA as
the primary recipient of their donations due to their extensive on-site presence, their very low
administrative costs, and their innovative activities in Indonesia, including a project, well
underway, to put 1000 local people into paid jobs assisting in the cleanup and reconstruction
efforts in Aceh.
George Tirajoh, Chairman/President of SIA, stated "The Society for Indonesian-Americans (SIA), based
out of Washington, D.C., is promoting solidarity and remembrance among Indonesian-Americans and
friends throughout the United States for the victims of the tsunami 40 days after the tragedy (which
is a traditional time of memorialization) on February 4, 2005. We encourage all members of the
community, regardless of nationality, who wish to pay their respects to attend. SIA looks to the
future as Indonesian-Americans playing an important role to bridge communication, understanding, and
trust between Indonesia and the U.S."
All those wishing to attend are invited to the Embassy for the activities which begin at 7PM. In
addition to the program as described above, donations of clothing and children's toys will be
"This is a nationwide event in the U.S. to show respect and solidarity towards the victims not only
in the Indonesia region, but all tsunami-affected countries. SIA plays a role in bringing together
Indonesians and Americans in the U.S., but on this evening, we hope to bring together the world in
unity for a moment of silence," says SIA protocol for Indonesia, Avian Tumengkol.
"It is important for SIA to make a difference in anyway we can, however small or big of leverage it
may cause. The sincerity at heart is what counts most for this event, not the money," he adds.
About The Society of Indonesian Americans
The Society of Indonesian-Americans was founded in 2001 to "share the interest to empower the unity
of Indonesian-Americans, and to create a viable network among Indonesian-Americans in both the U.S.
and Indonesia. Members of SIA encourage all Indonesian-Americans to interact with one another and
respond collectively as a linkage to Indonesia and U.S. opportunities, development and awareness."
The organization differentiates itself from existing Indonesian organizations that are based on
ethnicity and religion, and instead encourages a multi-cultural, mutli-ethnic, and multi-religious
For more information, please contact:
Chairman / President
The Society for Indonesian Americans (SIA)
"SIA brings together Indonesian-Americans, together we can make a difference."
Telephone: (202) 390-9037