Tag Archives: UN relief

Burma -One Month After Disaster, Still A Disaster!

A month has passed since a devastating flood swept through Burma causing over 100,00 deaths and leaving at least 1.5 million people without the basic necessities of life. A month has passed since the international community reached out in an effort to assist cyclone survivors, but one month later the xenophoic military junta which rules the nation still displays its fears of allowing foreigners into the country. Sarah Ireland, of Oxfam, the famous organization which brings aid to people who have been impacted by disaster, quietly notes “people need basic relief which is shocking after four weeks.” It was not until this week the International Red Cross was even able to send in several disaster relief experts in order to identify solutions to problems caused by the cyclone.

The Burma military thugs who run the nation have displayed unparalleled indifference to the problems facing their own people. The have, in many cases, given people fifteen poles and told them to build their own homes or blandly remarked if they are hungry they should eat “frogs.” Ships are off the shores of their nation with food and water and clothing but they have been refused entry because the junta fears foreign spies will somehow use the cyclone disaster as a pretext to overthrow the regime. All the world can do at this point in time is sit by idly and wonder.

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.

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?