Monday, June 16, 2008

Dodging the Junta

Though the junta has attempted to commandeer every level of the relief effort--backed by its legions of foot soldiers in the army and police--some local groups have found detours around the blockades, helped by ground-level officials willing to look the other way. On a Wednesday afternoon last month, a group of volunteers visited a makeshift shelter in Shwebaukan, an area in the outlying districts of Rangoon. Inside a government school--the only concrete building in the neighborhood--500 homeless cyclone victims were huddled, "being threatened by the local army guy [who was saying] that they could not stay there for long," according to a Western expatriate who accompanied the group. The military man turned out to be a member of Suan Aa Shin, the local "brute force" contingent. Two days later, the victims were evicted from the school, left to patch together lean-to shacks from the wreckage of ruined huts.

--Read More: here

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