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Ashutosh Sheshabalaya On Indian Issues
India Seeks To Avoid Relief Chaos
by Ashutosh Sheshabalaya

Response to October 2005 article in The New York Times
In "Pride and Politics: India Rejects Quake Aid" (NYT, October 19), your correspondent confuses two different matters: emergency aid for relief and a different kind of assistance for reconstruction. As with the tsunami, India has rejected the former.

This is not only due to national pride or sensitivity about Kashmir. In its Annual Survey, the Red Cross has analysed the tsunami relief effort (outside India) and shown how rivalries between aid groups led to duplication, delay and chaos. More than whether or not India "can go it alone" again, your correspondent needs to ask why UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Engeland recently complained about similar rivalries also hampering long-term reconstruction efforts in Indonesia.
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