Saturday, May 10, 2008

Burma death toll 'tops 200,000'

Burma's military rulers have held an election while the death toll from the cyclone that hit the country tops 200,000.

It was the first poll in the country for nearly two decades, though voters were under orders to vote "yes" to a constitution that will enshrine a leading role for the military junta.
"People are dying and they still want to go on with this artificial democracy" - Than Tun Aung
Many of the 1.5 million survivors of Cyclone Nargis are still waiting for a concerted aid effort to bring them food and medicine.

Ten thousand refugees turned up in Myaung Mya, west of Rangoon, and their numbers are swelling despite a lack of food and shelter.

Protesters in Japan, Malaysia and Thailand denounced the junta for holding the referendum in apparent disregard for the victims' suffering.
"People are dying and they still want to go on with this artificial democracy," said Than Tun Aung, a refugee who led protests in Kuala Lumpur.
The United Nations appealed for $187 million (£95m) in aid, though it is not confident the food, water and tents flown in will make it to those most in need because of the junta's reluctance to admit international relief workers.

Health experts have warned a "second disaster" is looming from diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria even if survivors do manage to find food and shelter.
Burma's official media revised its death toll to 23,335 people dead.
But aid agencies estimated the real figure could be almost ten times higher.

No comments: