As we prepare to remember the 230,000 people who died in the Indian Ocean tsunami five years ago, a tragic aftermath of that terrifying event has emerged in Indonesia.
A 10-year-old boy whose parents died when that giant wave smashed down their home has been charged with savagely murdering his adoptive mother after she allegedly taunted him about having no real mother and father any more.
The boy, who has not been named, comes from the island of Nias, which lies off the south west coast of Aceh, the worst-hit region of the tsunami, described as ‘ground zero’, where more than 170,000 people died on December 26, 2004.
It has not been revealed how he survived or the exact circumstances of how his parents died, but he was eventually adopted by Etty Rochyati, who was aged 50 when she took him into her care.
But, Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection has established, the relationship between the orphaned boy and his new mother was far from loving.
The commission has learned from police that the boy had told them his adoptive mother had threatened to kick him out of the house if he did not obey her.
She is said to have taunted him with words like: ‘Don’t you know that you don’t have a mother and father any more?’
Etty Rochyati has been found dead in a ditch near her house in Ciracas, East Jakarta, with multiple wounds to her head, having possibly been beaten with a blunt instrument, and a stab wound to the stomach.
Police who questioned the boy claim he told them he had killed her because she had taunted him about being orphaned after the tsunami.
Now the child protection commission is fighting to save the boy from a lengthy prison sentence, claiming it is ‘inappropriate’.
Mr Arist Sirait, secretary general of the commission, said that if the boy was formally accused, the charge should be under a law relating to ‘violence leading to death’ which carries a sentence of 10 years but which allows minors to serve only a third of that sentence.
Mr Sirit said police investigators had failed to consider the mistreatment the orphaned boy had received from his adoptive mother as she raised him following the death of his parents in the tsunami.
‘What the boy did may be seen as self-defence against abuse and was not intentional,’ he said.
The boy, he said, had been traumatised following the tsunami and the authorities were not dealing with a 22-year-old man ‘but a 10-year old who is unstable and still has a long life ahead of him.’
The child’s future now rests in the hands of judges of the East Jakarta Court and relatives of the boy’s adoptive mother.

The Indian Ocean tsunami claimed 230,000 lives

The Indian Ocean tsunami claimed 230,000 lives

As we prepare to remember the 230,000 people who died in the Indian Ocean tsunami five years ago, a tragic aftermath of that terrifying event has emerged in Indonesia.

A 10-year-old boy whose parents died when that giant wave smashed down their home has been charged with savagely murdering his adoptive mother after she allegedly taunted him about having no real mother and father any more.

The boy, who has not been named, comes from the island of Nias, which lies off the south west coast of Aceh, the worst-hit region of the tsunami, described as ‘ground zero’, where more than 170,000 people died on December 26, 2004.

It has not been revealed how he survived or the exact circumstances of how his parents died, but he was eventually adopted by Etty Rochyati, who was aged 50 when she took him into her care.

But, Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection has established, the relationship between the orphaned boy and his new mother was far from loving.

The commission has learned from police that the boy had told them his adoptive mother had threatened to kick him out of the house if he did not obey her.

She is said to have taunted him with words like: ‘Don’t you know that you don’t have a mother and father any more?’

Etty Rochyati has been found dead in a ditch near her house in Ciracas, East Jakarta, with multiple wounds to her head, having possibly been beaten with a blunt instrument, and a stab wound to the stomach.

Police who questioned the boy claim he told them he had killed her because she had taunted him about being orphaned after the tsunami.

Now the child protection commission is fighting to save the boy from a lengthy prison sentence, claiming it is ‘inappropriate’.

Mr Arist Sirait, secretary general of the commission, said that if the boy was formally accused, the charge should be under a law relating to ‘violence leading to death’ which carries a sentence of 10 years but which allows minors to serve only a third of that sentence.

Mr Sirit said police investigators had failed to consider the mistreatment the orphaned boy had received from his adoptive mother as she raised him following the death of his parents in the tsunami.

‘What the boy did may be seen as self-defence against abuse and was not intentional,’ he said.

The boy, he said, had been traumatised following the tsunami and the authorities were not dealing with a 22-year-old man ‘but a 10-year old who is unstable and still has a long life ahead of him.’

The child’s future now rests in the hands of judges of the East Jakarta Court and relatives of the boy’s adoptive mother.

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