U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE LAUDS EAST-WEST CENTER INITIATIVE

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HONOLULU (East-West Wire, Dec. 30) – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he wants to "join in spirit" with the Honolulu community in their efforts to raise funds for tsunami victims.

Powell made the comment in a letter to Charles E. Morrison, president of the East-West Center. The letter thanks the Center's students, staff and alumni for spearheading a tsunami relief fund last Monday.

"I also want to join in spirit with the many members of the Honolulu community who are with you today to show their support and solidarity in this effort," Powell said in a letter dated Dec. 29. "Many of you are from countries and communities that have been most affected by this immense tragedy. On behalf of the American government, I extend to you my sincerest condolences."

Powell said the U.S. government is working with the international community to provide relief, prevent disease and rebuild communities. He also said the government will collaborate to develop institutions and methods to broadcast maximum warning to prevent future tsunami disasters in the Indian Ocean basin..

"However, governments alone cannot do the job, and so I applaud you and all those other volunteers and contributors who are doing so much to bring help to the victims," Powell wrote.

Morrison said the East-West Center and the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) on Maui "stand prepared" to do what they can to enhance tsunami warning systems in the Indian Ocean. The East-West Center is the managing partner of the PDC.

Morrison said the two Centers may organize and host an international workshop for South and Southeast Asian countries to discuss a regional tsunami warning system. Participants could visit Honolulu tsunami facilities.

The PDC has launched the Indian Ocean Tsunami Geospatial Information Service to provide critical space-based imagery for emergency managers and relief agencies. The PDC also sent two geospatial data analysts to Thailand to support response and recovery efforts there.

Meanwhile, eight groups, including well-known artists, will perform Asian dance and music this Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at the Imin Center Jefferson Hall on the East-West Center campus, across from Kennedy Theater. Asian handicrafts will also be available. Members of the audience will be asked for donations.

Donations are tax deductible. All money donated to the East-West Center Tsunami Relief Fund will be distributed to non-profit organizations joining in tsunami relief efforts in the affected countries.

Checks or money orders to East-West Center Tsunami Relief Fund can be dropped off at the East-West Center information desk, any First Hawaiian Bank, or mailed to the East-West Center at 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu HI 96848-1601. Donations can also be made online at http://www.eastwestcenter.org/find.asp?it=TsunamiRelief 

For more information, call 944-7111.

January 4, 2004

East-West Wire : EastWestWire@EastWestCenter.org

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