Thailand was able to send a medical team into Burma on the 14th day of a disaster that has had scant impact on the thinking of the ruling military junta. The Myanmar government insists the death total is about 43,000 but UN estimates range as high as 130,000. The Burmese government is only using six helicopters each day and has turned down offers of addditional planes from Western nations claiming everything is under control. US aid is only trickling in since the Burmese are maintaining close watch over any aid coming from a western nation.
The reality is nothing much can be done for the Burmese people since western and Asian nations lack the will to enforce tough actions which might upset the thugs who run Burma. India, Indonesia, and China have invested billions into Burma and are making money from trade with that nation. There is no economic incentve to take any action which would result in antagonizing the military leaders. In the meantime, the people suffer.
Thousands of bodies flotat undisturbed in the waters of Burma while the military junta focuses on having a referendum for its new constitution. But, the junta reached a new low for cynicsm over the weekend by pasting large labels on aid packages that were sent from Thailand which claim the aid is being distributed due to the generosity of the military leaders. State-run television continuously ran images of elaborate ceremonies where top generals–including junta leader General Than Shwe–handed out boxes of aid from Thailand that were disguised to suggest the supreme leader was responsible for helping his people. According to Mark Farmaner of Burma Campaign UK: “We have already seen regional commanders putting their names on the side of aid shpments from Asia, saying this was a gift from them and then distributing it in their region.
A delegation has been sent from Thailand in an effort to get these thugs to pay a little bit of attention to the disaster which has hit their country. Thousands of soldiers have been diverted from aiding stricken refugees in order to supervise the shame referendum on the new constitution. Who are these people who run Burma?