- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Australia mourns dead
The Australian Embassy has opened a book of condolences for the victims of the Bali bombing, as the body count is expected to rise beyond the 30 confirmed dead from the Saturday night terrorist attack on the popular island vacation spot.
"We're still going through the distressing task of establishing the number," embassy spokesman Matt Francis said yesterday.
He said 180 Australians are still unaccounted for and 113 were injured when bombs destroyed two night clubs frequented by Western tourists to the Indonesian island. Australians suffered the greatest toll in the attack blamed on Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.
"Bali is an extremely popular place for Australians. Many sports teams were visiting the island, and many families were there on school holidays," he said.
Mr. Francis said the embassy has received numerous telephone calls, e-mails and flowers from mourners in the United States.
"We really appreciate it. We're really quite touched," he said.
Australia has declared a national day of mourning on Sunday, and the embassy is making plans for an observance here.
Mr. Francis said the condolence book is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week at the embassy, 1601 Massachusetts Ave. NW, and that updates on the victims will be posted on the embassy Web site, www.austemb.org.
Australia also has a toll-free help line (888/239-3501) for inquiries about relatives in Bali.

Celebrating Spain
The Organization of American States recognized Spain's contribution to the Western Hemisphere's democratic alliance as it celebrated Columbus Day.
When Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella financed Columbus' voyage in 1492, they made the first Spanish contribution to the settlement of the Americas, diplomats said.
Ambassador Denis Antoine of Grenada said Columbus was "critical to the transplantation of Western civilization" to this hemisphere.
Mr. Antoine, chairman of the OAS Permanent Council, noted that Spain was also responsible for colonialism, slavery and tyranny but said the benefits outweighed the negatives.
Spain's contribution led to "enlightened men and women whose nations are today represented in this organization, whose charter reminds us that the true significance of American solidarity can only mean the consolidation, within the framework of democratic institutions, of a system of individual liberty and social justice," said Mr. Antoine, who also serves as Grenada's ambassador to the United States.
OAS Assistant Secretary-General Luigi Einaudi added, "Today the presence of Spain and France [as observers] in the OAS and the involvement of the nations of the Americas in dialogue and cooperation through the Iberia-American summits and high-level meetings with the European Union are essential meeting points and bases for cooperation."
He added that as the OAS observed Columbus Day, "it is appropriate for us to once again pay tribute to the great Spanish democracy."
Ambassador Joshua Sears of the Bahamas noted that "globalization, a challenge during the time of Columbus, remains an even more daunting challenge today."
Mr. Sears, who also represents his country as ambassador to the United States, said, "Economic and human security and safeguarding the interests of all in the global society and marketplace lie at the foundation of world peace and human and economic development."
Esteban Tomic, Chile's OAS ambassador, said, "Things were different when the countries of the hemisphere acknowledged their commitment to unity, and the Americas became what they are today 34 nations united by a common ideal, with common institutions."
Costa Rican Ambassador Walter Niehaus added, "Today, more than ever, we must recognize our rich diversity and work together, with tolerance and respect, toward building a world of peace and harmony."
Eduardo Gutierrez, Spain's permanent observer, promised that Spain "will develop even closer ties with the nations of the Americas and, in particular, with the OAS."
He noted that Spain has supported the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the OAS Special Mission to Haiti to help quell political unrest.


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