Tag Archives: cyclone

Burma Remains In Disaster Mode

Six months have passed since a huge cyclone ripped through Burma leaving over a hundred fifty thousand people suffering from lack of fresh water, food, and lodging. The thug military rulers of the nation refused to take immediate action, but finally allowed in some outside aid groups. However, after months of doing the least necessary action possible, thousands of people remain without access to fresh water, and as the dry season hits, many good watering places will dry up. The United Nations pledged about $500 million in aid, but there is not enough evidence this money has been wisely used. Ironically, the cyclone has proven a blessing in disguise for the military rulers of Burma. The world is not as concerned about lack of freedom in the nation since all thoughts are on economic rebuilding.

Aid does get through, but most of those who suffered still lack access to the aid that is coming from outside sources. There may yet be a worse outcome if basic necessities such as water and food doesn’t get through to those who were most impacted by the cyclone.

World Aghast At Behavior Of Burma Junta

Nations throughout the world were shocked at the actions of the military junta which rules the country when it violated its own laws in order to extend the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Ky. She has been under continual house detention since returning to the country in 1988, and the latest came on the 18th anniversary of tthe election of her party, the National League for Democracy(NLD) which won an overwhelming victory 18 yeas ago. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his frustration and disappointment: “The sooner restriction on Daw Aung San Suu Ky and other policial figures are lifted, the sooner Myanmar will be able to move towards incclusive national reconciliation, the restoration of democracy and full respect of human rights.”

The UN hoped efforts by nations to assist Burma during the aftemath of a destructive cyclone at least would have been recognized by the junta, but they apparently were sending a message to the world that despite this assistance they wanted everyone to know who was in charge and that no changes were forthcoming relating to democracy.

There now is no doubt changes will not occur in Myanmar as long as the thugs who run it continue their power over a helpless people.

World Frustration With Burma Leaders

The frustration felt in many nations throughout the world is certainly not at the level of that shared by the Burmese people who have witnessed their “leaders” display a callous and cyncal approach to the need for relief. The toll of dead is above 130,000 while Myanmar’s generals celebrate their great “victory” in securing passage of a constitutional referendum on a new constitution. President Bush has imposed sanctions on Burma while Prime Minister Gordon Brown denounced the “inhuman treatment” of the Burmese people. “We have an intolerable situation created by a natural disaster. It is being made into a man-made catastrophe by the negligence, the neglect and the in human treatment of the Burmese people by a regime that is failing to act and to allow the international community to do what it wants o do.”

The military junta did fly some diplomats into a model camp that was set up for refugees, but it contiues blocking aid workers or journalists into the region most impacted by the cyclone. Navy shps from France and the United States are off the coast of Burma, but unable to land. Survivors say the military is pushing them out of refuge in monasteries. Some voices like that of Desmond Tutu are talking about the UN using force to get supplies to those in need. Id this an example of a justifiable use of force by the UN?

Myanamr Aid Still Blocked By Military Junta

A cyclone has killed over 100,000 people in their nation and left over one million displaced but the military junta which has ruled Myanmar with an iron fist for forty years is in a state of happiness because their new constitution received 92.4% of the vote. As the generals focused on getting out the vote, the UN was begging it for permission to fly in needed help. The U.N. World Food Program estimates it will have to rush in 390 tons of food every day to reach the 750,000 victims but as of this date, only 300 tons have been allowed to enter. The UN is further hampered because the junta insists only Burmese can be working on disaster relief despite the reality the nation lacks trained personnel and equipment to handle such a vast undertaking.

So far, only 40 visas have been issued to UN staff and another 46 to nongovernment personnel. This is far too few to confront the complex program of bringing aid to the refugees. There are reports Burmese soldiers are taking supplies and storing them away rather than distributing food and water to the refugees. Human Rights Watch has reports the military is taking high-protein biscuits for themselves and distributing low-quality ones.

Many years ago George Orwell worked in Burma. I suspect if he was alive today, the book 1984 would be cast in Burma.

UN Begs Burma Leaders To Accept Help

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon pleaded with the military junta of Burma to please allow aid workers and supplies into their country in order to help those still suffering almost two weeks after a devastating cyclone hit the nation. “We urge the(Burmese) authorities to make a radical change in this area to allow international staff into the affected area to do the job that they are there to do.” The UN leader said the magnitude of the situation “requires much more mobilization of resources and aid workers.” The junta has agreed to accept some aid from its immediate neighbors of Thailand, Bangladesh, India and China who will be allowed to send in 160 humanitarian workers.

The secretary general has made repeated attempts to speak with General Than Shwe, who leads the military junta but he refuses to have any contact with the UN, let alone any foreigners who he regards as a threat to his power. At least 38,000 are dead and 27,000 are still missing but UN officials believe the tota will surpass the 100,000 figure.

The main concern of the military junta during the past few weeks has not been cyclone victims so much as ensuring their new constitution was passed by the people of Burma. Myanmar authorities confirm the constitution did pass by a winning margin of 92.4%. At least there is one thing the thugs who run Burma are good at– forcing people to vote for their constitution.

Voting Proceeds In Myanmar!!

Thousands of bodies are floating in the waters of Burma, over one million people have been displaced due to the cyclone, planes with aid are parked in the Bangkok airport, and the mad men who rule Myanmar insist on proceeding with a national referendum which will legalize their constitution. Most civil servants, teachers, police, soldirs and members of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Association already cast their yes ballot under orders of the government. It is a crime in Myanmar to make negative remarks about the proposed constitution which was written in secret by the military junta.

Local newspapers and TV, have been filled with pictures of mlitary men passing out emergncy supplies to the people impacted by the cyclone(most probably supplies flown in by two UN planes), including, oddly, some shots showing officers handing out VCD and DVD players to the needy.

According to Buddhist belief, those in mourning should go to the temple one week after the death of their loved ones and pray form them, but the nation’s rulers want people to go to the ballot box and vote for something that has nothing to do with their lives or with death except the death of law.

One picture shows military junta leader General Than Shwe casting his ballot. He planned the election based on astrological factors and cyclone or not, the stars must take precedence over the needs of the Burmese people.

Myanmar Military Junta-Who Are These Vile Creatures!!

Nearly a week has passed since a devastating cyclone killed about a 100,000 Burmese and the isolationist inwardly looking thugs who run the nation have finally allowed two UN planes to land with supplies. The planes has waited for days while UN officials tried negotiating with the men who run Myanmar, but American planes sit in Thailand unable to fly into the country with needed supplies because they have yet to receive clearance. Thailand Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej offered to handle US negotiation with Burma as Richard Horsey from the UN emphasized, “it is imperative a this point tht they do open up and allow major international relief effort to get under way.” The UN World health organization has received reports of malaria outbreaks and bodies are still floating in the water.

Many villagers say they have not received any aid from their own government and depend upon local monasteries for food and shelter. Mu Sanda, who was in a monastery, said: “The government is not helping us. No aid is coming. There is no money, no rice.”

Opposition leader Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung Sari Suu Kyi is trapped in her bungalow without electricity said a neighbor and is facing the same problems as her fellow Burmese. There is considerable fear among UN workers that unless the UN handles distribution of aid, the military will siphon off supplies and ordinary citizens will be left hungry and cold. Anthony Banbury, of the World Food Program stated emphatically: “We will not just bring our supplies to an airport, dump it and take off.” The UN wants its experts on the scene, but still has yet to receive permission from the military to allow foreigners to enter and provide assistance.

Myanmar’s state television station showed pictures of Prime Minister General Thein Sein dstributing food packages to the sick and injured. The state radio’s major concern was warning people about “unscrupulous elements” who were trying to impair the situation. That is probably the best description of the military junta that has been broadcast.

Myanmar’s chief ally is China which has offered aid to the stricken nation but has yet to really exert pressure on its government to open the doors of freedom and allow in aid and assistance.

Cyclone Deaths May Top 100,000

American diplomatic sources in Yangon indicate the Myanmar death total may exceed all previous estimates, and, according to Shari Villarosa of the US Embassy in Burma, “the information we’re receiving indicates that there may well be over 100,000 deaths in the delta area.” Burmese government radio and TV sources suggest the total is closer to 23,000, but this is consistent with the military junta approach which it to underplay the tragedy that has overtaken their nation. UN sources believe that over 1,000,000 people are homeless as a result of the cyclone.

Small amounts of aid are trickling into Burma since outside nations are hampered by a refusal of the Burmese military junta to admit they need assistance or to welcome foreigners into the country. Burmese officials still insist on reviewing visa applications before allowing foreign aid workers to enter although they have allowed four Asian nations to send in personnel.

The tragedy of Burma is twofold: a devastating natural cyclone and a military cyclone which reflects the attitude of thugs and gangsters who control the nation.

Military Junta Dilly Dallies While Burmese Die!

Five days have passed in Myanmar and still its military junta leaders hestiate, dwadle, and refuse to initiate a major campaign of bringing aid to thousands of their own citizens who suffer without food or water. Upwards of over a million people may be homeless but the thugs who run Burma refuse to give complete assistance to UN efforts of relief. Richard Horsey, speaking in Bangkok for the UN, said: “bascally, the entire lower delta region is under water. Teams are talking about bodies floating aroound in the water.” Andrew Kirwood, head of Save the Children, speaking from Yangon, sad, “Many people are getting sick. the whole place is under salt water and there is nothing to drink. they can’t use tablet to purify salt water.”

The UN said Myanmar had finally authorize an airplane to bring UN aid supplies to cyclone victims. But, permission was still pending for a UN coordianting team to accompany the flight so they could get to Myanmar and assess the situaiton.

Officials in India said they had warned Myanmar’s leaders the cyclone was headed their way and they should take protective measures. Many Yangon residents say there were given vague and incorrect information about the approaching storm and no instructions on how to cope when it struck. The United States offered to send ships to help gather the bodies but the Myanmar junta most probably will not allow a foreign military to enter its territory. Its major concern at this time is proceeding with its referendum to ratify a constitution it wrote. Who are these people who run Burma?

Burma Military Cyclone Of Disaster Blocks Aid

The Myanmar military junta has finally appealed to the world for assistance in coping with the cyclone disaster which may have killed upwards of 60,000 people, but four days after the storm little held has reached the victims due to the regime’s regulations and refusal to issue visas in a speedy manner. It is now estimated upward of a milliion Burmese are without homes and left with literally nothing as they wait desperately for assistance from the outside world. The UN in Geneva said stalling tactics by the military junta are hampering relief efforts. The ruling junta said: “We need aid from both local and foreign sources,” but the UN is facing tremendous difficulties finding out anything due to restrictions imposed by the small group of mentally ill men who run Myanmar.

The UN can’t even do an assessment because of rules and regulations which makes difficult trying to develop a plan for relief. Instead of going to Burma, most UN workers are bunkered down in Bangkok trying to develop plans of action. The UN support system is not sufficiently on the scene of action because the junta still wants to exert control over a situation that is far beyond their capacity to handle.

The Thai Royal Air Force flew in more than $300,000 worth of medical and food aid and a planeload of supplies came from China but no one knows what happened to the supplies. What has God wrought on the people of Burma may well be less than what has the military junta wrought on its own people.