Canada deploying military plane to help disaster-relief efforts in Indonesia

OTTAWA — Canada is deploying a military transport plane to ferry relief supplies to Indonesia, where there are reports the government is restricting the activities of foreign aid workers in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake and tsunami.

The Department of National Defence says the Hercules plane loaded with shelter kits, tarps and other equipment and carrying 20 Canadian military members left Trenton, Ont., on Monday and is scheduled to arrive in Indonesia on Friday.

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It will help move supplies and other aid around the region, which continues to experience tremors nearly two weeks after a massive earthquake and tsunami killed at least 2,000 people on the island of Sulawesi.

Ottawa previously announced that Canada was contributing $1.5 million in funding to help aid organizations provide emergency assistance to those affected by the disaster.

Yet even as the Canadian military arrives in the country, Indonesian officials are reportedly trying to limit foreign involvement in the disaster relief effort.

After making a rare appeal for international assistance, the country's aid agency says it now only needs tents, water treatment units, generators and transport, and that foreign aid workers can only be in the field with Indonesian partners.

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