Surin Pitsuwan, head of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations(ASEAN) warned the Burmese junta it must allow foreign aid workers access to areas hardest hit by the cyclone if it wished to keep the trust of the international community. “What has to be delvered is real activities’ that allow the world freedom to help the thousands of Burmese people who continue existing without access to food or water, let alone places to live. ASEAN, along with the UN co-hosted a conference over the weekend which focused on helping victims and its reputation is now on the line. Although three weeks have passd since the cyclone hit, it is estimated only 40% of its victims have received any assistance.
Although there has been a slight improvement in speeding up visas there are still complaints of delays and frustrations. Surin noted: “There are many low-hanging fruits that can be harvested, and those include accessibility, delivering of supplies already on the ground, monitoring, and the ability to admit and allow foreign aid workers into the feld with less obstacles and less delay.” He warned the Burmese government ASEAN wanted results within a week or it would conclude there still was no commitment from the junta to support relief efforts.
Meanwwhile, in a slap at the world which is helping Burma, the ruling junta extended for one year the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi who has been confined to her house snce 2003. Burmese law stipulates a person can not be detained for longer than five yers without either being charged or released. But, the militay junta which boasts it received a 92.4% of the vote for its new constitution, has never been bothered by such issues as respecting the law. It decides which laws are respected.