REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, PALU -- The main traditional market in Palu, Central Sulawesi, has begun operating under tight security provided by TNI (military). Groups of fully armed TNI personnel were seen guarding every corner of the market on Thursday, although trading had not yet returned to normal.
Most traders, however, have not yet returned to open their shops in the market, as they might still have not recovered from the quake and tsunami that hit the region on September 28.
Some traders said they were happy and grateful for the TNI personnel guarding them in the market. "Frankly speaking, their presence (TNI) has meant we are not afraid or worried about conducting activities in the second largest market in the capital of Central Sulawedi province," said Jafar, a rice trader.
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Rais, another rice trader, said he was earlier afraid of looting. Most of the traders who have opened their shops sell rice, cooking oil, sugar and chicken. Only a few vegetable traders were seen, as supplies from farmers have been very small due to the disaster. Vegetables in the market were usually supplied by traders from Sigi and Poso districts. No clothes traders have been seen in the market.