Friday, May 9, 2008

Burma's victims need help right now

Bo Kyi (DVB)—

The secretary-general of the United Nations and the leaders and foreign ministers of many nations including the United States, China, France and the UK have all urged the Burmese regime to allow international aid into the country to help the victims of Cyclone Nargis.
The situation in Burma is becoming increasingly desperate. Most peripheral towns south of Rangoon, like Kungyan Gone, Kawhmu, Kayan and Thongwa, are still heavily flooded and only accessible by helicopter.

Tens of thousands of families are still stranded in their farm houses, surrounded by sea water. No help has reached the area yet, and the death toll in the area is likely to continue rising.
Yesterday, donations of rice from merchants in Rangoon began to arrive in Bogolay, one of the hardest-hit towns in Irrawaddy division.

Donors reported tragic scenes of families searching for loved ones amongst the corpses. No-one has the capacity to deal with the thousands of dead bodies scattered everywhere, increasing the risk of disease.

About 25,000 injured and traumatized survivors from Latputta and Mawgyun townships in Irrawaddy division were picked up by boats and carried to safety in Myaungmya. The regime ordered local people to provide food.

But the locals have quickly run out of rice and medicines, clean water, food and clothing are all urgently required, with 5,000 more survivors expected to arrive in Myaungmya tomorrow.
In Rangoon division, people in Hlaing Tharyar, North and South Dagon, Shwepyithar, Dawpone, Dala, Seikkyi Kanaungdo, Thanlyin and Kyauktan areas were among the hardest hit.

Relief provided by the regime in these areas has been inadequate, angering local people. Local authorities have assumed complete control over aid distribution in the area, with the Union Solidarity and Development Association giving some aid to local people merely as a token gesture.

In Rangoon itself, suburban areas of the city are now becoming accessible, but electricity and water supplies are still cut off. Many people have to rely on lakes on the outskirts of the city for water. In downtown Rangoon, state-sponsored agencies like the USDA are selling construction materials such as zinc roofing and nails rather than giving it away. Rangoon is the only place in the storm-hit area where clean drinking water is available, but at vastly inflated prices.
In spite of this desperate situation, the Burmese regime has been slow to accept international aid and still refuses international expertise.

The regime’s refusal to issue visas to relief experts is unprecedented, according to the UN. The country is technologically poor, and the regime does not have the expertise or the capacity to effectively manage the aid operation. The regime can ill-afford to refuse this help.

If the international community - particularly the United States, the UK, France and China - cannot get access to Burma to help victims, even more people will lose their lives.
The authorities have stated that they are only willing to accept money and aid. This allows them to maintain their absolute grip on power and, through their propaganda machine inside Burma, the illusion that they are the benevolent ones who are providing aid to the people.
The regime is still determined to go ahead with the referendum on its draft state constitution. Its obsession with legitimacy and refusal to postpone the referendum nationwide in favour of focusing efforts on delivering aid is costing Burmese lives.

Now is the time to go into Burma and deliver the help that is so desperately needed, with or without the regime’s permission.

The United Nations must give an ultimatum to Than Shwe's regime, calling for permission to enter the country within the next 48 hours. If Than Shwe's regime ignores the ultimatum, the UN should enter Burma without his permission.

Burma does not belong to Than Shwe and his army. Burma belongs to 57 million people. Now nearly two million people are suffering and need water, shelter, medicine and food immediately.
The people of Burma cannot wait any longer; too many will die.

Customs delays hold up aid distribution

May 9, 2008 (DVB)—Aid agencies have been able to deliver assistance to 276,000 people so far, but are facing difficulties getting customs clearance for supplies, according to a United Nations official.

Richard Horsey, spokesperson for the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said today that much more needed to be done to help those affected by Cyclone Nargis.
“The United Nations and its partners, the international NGOs, have delivered assistance to 276,000 people,” Horsey said.

“But there are 1.5 million affected. So we did reach a lot of people, but not quickly enough; we need to increase the scale of the operation.”

The aid operation has faced logistical problems, due to a lack of boats and helicopters and the destruction of transport and communications infrastructure in the cyclone.

But these problems have been exacerbated by the Burmese military regime’s unwillingness to waive visa and customs restrictions for relief workers.

“Some United Nations aid officials are getting into the country, but many are still waiting for visa clearances,” Horsey said. At least 40 visa applications are waiting to be processed in and around Bangkok, the UN has said.

The World Food Programme has also had difficulties distributing supplies that have already been flown into the country. “My understanding is that they are having problems getting the aid cleared through customs,” Horsey said. “It’s not the planes that are the problem, it’s the aid that is on the planes, and they’re having difficulties getting the customs clearance.”
Horsey stressed the importance of allowing essential staff, relief supplies and logistical equipment in to the country to avoid a “second disaster”.

In a press conference yesterday, John Holmes, the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and UN emergency relief coordinator, said the humanitarian response was being hampered by lack of access and urged the junta to redress the situation.

“We are simply trying to help the Government of Myanmar to carry out their responsibilities to aid these people in increasingly desperate need,” Holmes said.

“There are no other political motives in this and, therefore, I appeal very strongly indeed to the Government of Myanmar both to step up their own relief efforts to help people on the ground, and to change their attitude completely to the efforts that we are making to get these relief supplies in.” UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon was also hoping to speak to junta leader senior general Than Shwe to press him to facilitate access.

Holmes said that some progress had been made, and that the Burmese authorities had agreed that customs charges and clearances should be waived for relief supplies, but this did not so far seem to have been applied on the ground.
Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw and Siân Thomas

US Senate demands Myanmar junta allow foreign aid

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Senate has passed a resolution demanding that cyclone-devastated Myanmar's military rulers lift restrictions on delivery of foreign relief aid, congressional aides said Thursday.

The resolution, adopted unanimously late Wednesday, urged the Southeast Asian state's military generals to "immediately lift restrictions" on delivery of humanitarian assistance and allow "free and unfettered access" to US and other disaster aid response teams.

The resolution proposed by, among others, Democratic Senator John Kerry and Republican Senator Dick Lugar said Congress was ready to approve additional funds, beyond existing emergency international disaster aid resources, to help the people of Myanmar.

As the death toll estimates near 100,000, more than one million homeless in Myanmar were battling to stave off disease and hunger, with the military government still limiting foreign assistance six days after a massive cyclone.
The United States, one of the junta's most vocal critics, announced it was not sending an aid flight after earlier saying it was, adding to the sense of confusion and frustration over the international relief effort.

An official from the US government aid arm USAID said that some US supplies have already been sent to Myanmar through the United Nations.
The White House announced Tuesday that it was offering three million dollars more in aid to the secretive and impoverished country, on top of an initial emergency allocation of 250,000 dollars.
It also said that it was prepared to send four US Navy ships, laden with emergency relief supplies like blankets and water purification tablets, to Myanmar. The vessels were off Thailand's coast in a disaster-response exercise.

Aid groups said Myanmar needs hundreds of planes to cope with Cyclone Nargis, which barrelled into the impoverished state last week, unleashing one of the worst natural disasters in recent memory.

Burmese Junta Seizes Aid and Blocks Foreigners

By SETH MYDANS

BANGKOK — The military leaders of Myanmar seized a shipment of United Nations food aid on Friday intended for victims of a devastating cyclone, declaring that they would accept donations of food and medicine but not the foreign aid workers international groups say are in equally short supply there.
Read More: here

Latest Videos

video

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on the international community to address the challenges in Myanmar.

video

The U.S. welcomes news that a cargo plane has been cleared to land in Myanmar

UN seeks $187 million to aid cyclone survivors in Myanmar


By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 21 minutes ago

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations is seeking $187 million to help an estimated 1.5 million cyclone survivors in Myanmar over the next three months, U.N. officials said Friday.

The world body appealed to donor nations to pledge money for food, water purification tablets, emergency health kits, mosquito nets, cooking sets, plastic sheeting and water jugs.The money would go to 10 U.N. agencies and nine non-governmental organizations.

"If we do not act now, and if we do not act fast, more lives will be lost," said John Holmes, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.The United States, Britain, France and other nations called on Myanmar to ensure unfettered access for aid workers, release aid shipments, speedily grant visas and waive importation fees."Myanmar intends to cooperate with the international community to address this great challenge," said Kyaw Tint Swe, Myanmar's U.N. ambassador.

But, he added: "It has to be orderly and systematic."

In Atlanta, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said his staff was negotiating with Myanmar to break the gridlock, although he said leaders of the junta had "regrettably" not yet made direct contact with him."It's moving toward the right direction," he said.

The U.N. World Food Program announced it had suspended aid shipments Friday after two planeloads of supplies were seized by government officials. WFP later reversed the decision and said the flights would resume Saturday.

That agency seeks $56 million to feed 630,000 hungry people living in badly damaged areas or temporary shelters.Saturday's cyclone killed tens of thousands of people and left many more missing. Diplomats and aid groups have warned the number of dead could eventually exceed 100,000 because of illnesses and that the country is on the brink of a medical catastrophe.

Nergris: Just A Kitten To The Junta

Min Khin Kyaw

The junta is slow to let aids workers in, as it wants to keep the referendum out of sight of the world, particularly before the referendum is held. The storm has given the junta a dilemma: to save the people or to save the referendum. The best solution seems to postpone it - the way the junta did with the national convention - before the world has to become louder.


Thanks to the French UN envoy for revealing another dirty hand of the Chinese policy on Burmese people - this hand is big enough to control all natural resources of Burma and to squeeze all criticisms of the UN and the west out of shape; off course, why should Chinese government have mercy on us as it has no mercy on its own minorities. China’s position to Burma is clear and unwavering. Helplessly to Burmese tragedies and ongoing plight, China is too strong to face the world alone as the world has been swallowed into the economic sinkhole of China’s cheap labours.


However, unlike the national convention, the junta has already given the people the chance to learn the referendum. So postponing is rather not quite a good solution as the junta doesn’t want the people to have enough time to learn its trick and its self-serving constitution. It’s just that this referendum is not for democracy as we all know. But the junta has its backings anyway; who else? Just the same faces.


And the paranoid junta also needs to save its own face - it simply doesn’t want to people see and judge how its services are useless but good at suppression only. Certainly the junta cannot and so won’t let itself being compared with the qualified aids workers from all over the world.
Thanks to Thailand for being able to convince the junta to accept its help.


After all in Burma, life is cheaper than the military uniforms. The soldiers, let alone the generals, wouldn’t go into any mud to get wet and perspired - even when needing to save a life. Off course, why would they save any life as they’re just kept as killers - it would go against their profession.
Whether the aids workers are seen as members of the CIA in the eyes of the generals, as long as they have China in UN for them, nobody will be able to open Burma’s borders. They’re certainly inhumane demons.


Rather we must welcome all kinds of efforts in storm relief, including forceful airdrops of food and other necessities. However, the survivors of storm Nargis will be victimized by the junta if they attempt to claim the airdropped supplies. Or once the supplies are dropped, people will be on the hunt for them. The generals have already sent a signal that nothing will be tolerated during referendum. I’ve seen on TV military trucks are lined up indicating the junta’s readiness to crackdown any political movement.


We must assume the junta will do anything, despite the storm has claimed 100,000 lives, to keep itself on power. As the junta has won every battle inside Burma by brutal force and on the international stage by its superpower bodyguard - China, we must understand our situation.
So any attempts of the aids workers, the UN and any country that do not get permission of the junta can cause unwanted outcomes. But the Burmese people just need the world to do so as they have been deprived to death anyway.

BURMA: POSTPONE REFERENDUM TO SAVE LIVES

Let International Aid in for Cyclone Survivors
Human Right Watch

(New York, May 9, 2008) - The Burmese government should postpone the constitutional referendum scheduled for May 10, 2008 and focus on relieving the horrendous human suffering from Cyclone Nargis, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch urged the Burmese government to stop blocking aid efforts and lift restrictions on international aid agencies so they can respond immediately to help survivors.Despite the disaster, the military government has announced plans to continue with its constitutional referendum, although it has postponed voting in 47 townships (districts) in southwestern Burma badly affected by the cyclone, including the former capital Rangoon, until May 24.
"The Burmese government is blocking international aid efforts in part to keep foreigners out until the voting is over," said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "But those without clean water, food or medical care can't wait any longer for help - they need it now. It's time to pull the plug on the referendum and open up to aid workers and their supplies." The Human Rights Watch report, "Vote to Nowhere: The May 2008 Constitutional Referendum in Burma," shows rampant human rights abuses in Burma mean the constitutional referendum would be neither free nor fair. Human Rights Watch said the proposed constitution would not promote greater democracy in Burma, but would instead cement continuing military rule.
Cyclone Nargis devastated parts of lower Burma on May 2-3, resulting in the deaths of at least 23,000 people, the government says. More than 1 million people are now homeless in Irrawaddy, Rangoon and Pegu divisions. More than 2,000 square miles (5,000 square kilometers) of the Irrawaddy Delta, Burma's main rice-growing region, are flooded with salt water, and communities are stranded by flooded roads. Despite offers of assistance from the United Nations and dozens of countries, the ruling State Peace and Development Council has permitted only very limited supplies of international relief assistance into the country. Relief teams and aid material are waiting to deploy from Australia, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Numerous aid workers are in Bangkok waiting for visas to get into Burma.
The operating environment for the provision of humanitarian aid by UN agencies and international aid organizations has been sharply restricted since the Burmese government instituted new guidelines in February 2006. These guidelines impose cumbersome travel and monitoring procedures for foreign staff, although the Burmese staff of foreign organizations is granted more latitude. Human Rights Watch called on the Burmese government to open cyclone-affected areas to a major international relief effort, by immediately granting visas to aid workers, by allowing UN and international humanitarian agencies to distribute the aid they provide directly to those in need, and by allowing countries with military assets nearby to deliver aid by air and sea to survivors who cannot be reached quickly any other way. Many affected communities are only accessible by air and sea, which makes assistance by countries that are equipped to deal with humanitarian disasters essential.
While the Burmese military has played a logistical role in the early stage of the relief efforts, it is important that such duties be handed over to the appropriate government agencies and experienced, professional aid organizations - both national and international - as soon as possible. Under international law, the million or so people thought to have been made homeless by the cyclone are considered internally displaced. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, a state should not arbitrarily withhold permission for international humanitarian organizations and other appropriate actors to provide aid, "particularly when authorities concerned are unable or unwilling to provide the required humanitarian assistance." The principles further state that, "All authorities concerned shall grant and facilitate the free passage of humanitarian assistance and grant persons engaged in the provision of such assistance rapid and unimpeded access to the internally displaced."
Since the government's violent crackdown on monks and pro-democracy protestors in September 2007, China, India, and Thailand have said that the problems in Burma should be left alone as an "internal issue" or should be dealt with in the region. "As major trading partners and backers of the Burmese government, China, India and Thailand have a particular responsibility to insist aid gets in," said Pearson. "Failure to press Burma's generals publicly on international aid will make it clear their claims to be concerned about the Burmese people are meaningless." Vote to Nowhere:
The May 2008 Constitutional Referendum in Burma:http://hrw.org/reports/2008/burma0508/

Referendum Must Be Called Off & International Aid Allowed In

For Immediate Release

The Seven Alliances of the Burmese democracy movement - a united front of umbrella organizations representing the majority of Burma's ethnic and democracy groups in exile - today calls on the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to suspend the referendum nationwide, and allow all international aid into the country immediately.

So far 35 disaster teams from 18 countries have offered to help and over 20 countries have pledged aid worth more than 40 million USD, but most of them have been denied entry to the country or are waiting for permission from the military regime to begin aid distribution. Even the United Nations assessment team has yet to be given visas.

Currently, thousands of dead bodies remain piled in paddy fields and the UN estimates millions are without food and water. Up to 40 per cent of the victims are believed to be children. Last night, junta officials approved a single UN aid flight bringing in emergency supplies accompanied by a disaster response team.

"So far the SPDC seems to be giving preference to aid delivered by its perceived allies. It must allow all international aid into the country immediately, especially teams offering much-needed international expertise. Failure to do so directly violates principles of humanitarian assistance and international agreements to which Burma is a signatory", says Lian Sakhong, General Secretary of Ethnic Nationalities Council. "Authorities must allow local communities to work together to help each other, instead of harassing and intimidating them," he adds.
There is a real risk of epidemics in the wake of Cyclone Nargis in Burma, particularly waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea. For such conditions, simple, cost-effective interventions such as rehydration salts can reduce the risk of mortality from over 20% to less than 1%, especially in conjunction with provision of other basic services, such as clean water, food, and shelter.

The Seven Alliances points out that the delay in aid is contributing to what is already a catastrophic situation in Burma. "We urge the UN and the international community to carry out high-level negotiations with the leaders of the SPDC, to persuade them to open the country up and allow international aid teams unrestricted access," says Dr. Naing Aung, Secretary General of Forum for Democracy in Burma. "If the SPDC continues to obstruct international assistance, then the world has a responsibility to respond to the life-threatening situation in Burma by invoking the 'Responsibility to Protect' clause, a concept the UN recognized in 2005," he adds.
- Ends -

Media Contacts:U Myint Thein (National Council of Union of Burma) (087 808 3552)
Dr. Lian H Sakhong (Ethnic Nationalities Council) (081 029 6100)Hseng Noung (Women's League of Burma) (081 884 4963)Dr. Naing Aung (Forum for Democracy in Burma) (081 883 7230)Remark:
7 Alliances are made up of the following organizations:
Women's League of Burma ( WLB)
Students and Youth Congress of Burma ( SYCB)
Nationalities Youth Forum ( NYF)
Ethnic Nationalities Council ( ENC)
Forum for Democracy in Burma ( FDB)
National Council of Union of Burma ( NCUB)
National Coalition Government of Union of Burma ( NCGUB)

NLD (L-A) News Release 2/05/2008

Situation in Insein Prison

Cyclone Nargis ripped through the Irrawaddy delta and Rangoon on Friday night with winds of 190 kilometers (120 miles) per hour.

The storm severely damaged Insein Prison in Rangoon, and many roofing sheets were torn off of Ward No. (1). Prisoners on the upper level of that ward were drenched and had no shelter or security from the storm. Therefore the prisoners peacefully asked the prison wardens and authorities to move them to a secured location or lower level of the building. However, prison authorities neglected their pleas and reprimanded them with harsh words. As a result of the neglect, prisoners started to riot. Armed prison guards from the guard towers and main jail shot the rioters. As prisoners were shot and killed, other prisoners began to set fire to the building. Military guards opened fire on prisoners again. It is reported that over 400 prisoners were shot to death.

The following day, some prisoners were interrogated and four (4) of them were tortured to death by prison authorities. These four prisoners include: Ohn Kyaw (NLD member from Dawpon Township), Thant Zaw (Hlaing Township), Win Tun Win (Insein Township), and another anonymous prisoner. It is reported that 96 prisoners from Ward No. (1) were prohibited from having their family interview (htaung winsar). According to the report, three (3) of the 1,800 prisoners in Ward (1) included: Yan Yan Chan and Zay Yar Thaw, recently arrested Hip Hop singers, and Ko Kyaw Ko Ko from All Burma Federation of Students' Union.

It is necessary to investigate this incident and take legal action against those responsible for shooting innocent prisoners in this violent crackdown on victims of Cyclone Nargis at Insein Prison.

Situation in Irrawaddy Division

Cyclone Nargis completely destroyed a third of all fifty-six (56) village tracks, in Laputta Township of Irrawaddy Division. The most severely damaged village tracts include Thingan Gyi, Pyinsalu, Rway, and Layyin Kwin. During the night of the storm, a 12 to 16 foot tidal wave crashed down and flooded all one-story buildings, forcing people to climb on top of buildings for survival. When severe winds blew, people were thrown into the water, branches of trees broke, and house pillars collapsed. According to an eye witness, only one of the village’s one thousand houses remained standing after the flood.

In Laputta Township, local residents report that over 80,000 people have died or remain missing, and most people still do not have access to food or drinking water. Ships collected the survivors who were sent to monasteries and pagoda compounds. Donations from Laputta Township were collected to feed people with porridge. In Bogalay, over 10,000 people died and remain missing. In Kunchan Gone Township, about 5,000 people from town and 5,000 people from the countryside, have died or remain missing.

It is necessary for the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to call for immediate international assistance and to launch relief work in affected areas as soon as possible. In so doing, it is also necessary for the relief materials and cash assistance to reach the real victims of the natural disaster in the right way.

Statement from 88GSE


(1)The Burmese people are now facing the most difficulties in their life time which they have never experienced. The Cyclone Nargis has killed more than 20,000 and made hundred thousands homeless. We are very saddened by the news from CNN and BBC world service detailing about this tragedy but we did not get credible news from the Burmese media.

(2)We strongly demand the Burmese military junta to give aids to the needy people as soon as possible. It is a timely important matter and people are dying under the severe weather condition.

We honestly encourage the junta to allow the foreign aid organizations to deliver directly to the cyclone victims. It is crucial time for the aid workers to meet and help the suffering people.

(3)We saw many uniform personals from army and navy and firefighters to clear the streets and debris but we warn the regime not to exploit the situation as their propaganda tools by using foreign aids as their donation toward victims. Our people are suffered tremendously and no party has the rights to exploit the situation as their tools to promote their related parties including pro-democracy groups.

(4)We condemned the regime for not inform the coming cyclone through from their media out let even though they have enough sufficient time to release storm alert. If they did it on time thousands of precious lives would not be perished like that. The regime has a sole responsibility for that tragic.

(5)On the other hand, the regime is pushing its referendum on schedule. Human rights Watch said the regime must ensure that people in the disaster-impacted regions get relief first. We totally agree the HRW’s comment and urged the Burmese authorities to help our people without using political tricks and promoting their coming referendum by giving food on that sadden time.
(6)We urged the regime to lift the red tape diplomacy to the foreign aids organization including UN and NGOs. Burmese people lives are at stake and there is no time to uplift the personal gain by using this tragedy. 800 tons of rice is waiting for the immediate distribution by the World Food Program (WFP) Thailand office. Many NGO’s and individuals donors are waiting the permission from the Burmese regime to enter Burma.

(7)We believe that there is no time for cyclone victims to think about referendum in this shocking moments and pushing referendum on schedule is a clear indication of cheating and unweaving determination to control the political power by the regime. It is a sinful and dishonest act conducted by the Burmese generals who never respect its own people, own religion and own country.

(8)After Cyclone Nargis lashed Burma gasoline price sore from 7000 Kyats (7.20 dollars/gallon) to 12,000 Kyats ($10.90) in black market, the surge of price indicates that people need urgent assistance from foreign aids and only stumbling blocks are the government regulations. We urged the SPDC regime to life all the restriction to foreign aid organizations.

(9)The regime is now admitting the need of foreign aids and allowing UNICEF and some NGOs but they blocked the reporters to get inside Burma. Burmese people and the world need to know what is happening in which region suffering most. We need credible reporters to find out what is going on in Burma and who need help most by reporting.

Contact persons: Ko Htun Aung Gyaw Tel: 630-728-4349, Ko Thet Htun Tel: 206-403-0161

An letter to the ASEAN Secretary-General

To/

Dr. Surin Pitsuwan
ASEAN Secretary-General
The ASEAN Secretariat
70A, Jalan Sisingamangaraja
Jakarta 12110
Indonesia

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

ASEAN must act for Burma Cyclone On 2 May 2008, Cyclone Nargis ripped across the coast of Myanmar (Burma) bringing massive devastations to hundreds of thousands of people. The scale of the devastation is so immense that a huge relief and reconstruction efforts will be needed as soon as possible. There are a lot of aid teams waiting outside to go in with supplies but are being blocked by the Government of Myanmar.

With these concerns, we, the Burmese People, strongly urge ASEAN to act as a proxy-role to divert resources and aid from the United States, EU and Middle Eastern countries to Myanmar (Burma) for effective aid and breaking the aid deadlock and mistrust.

Furthermore, we, the Burmese People around the world, would like to urge ASEAN to organize to send humanitarian assistance teams from governments of ASEAN countries, China, Japan, India and Australia to Burma as an urgent matter.

Sincerely,
Concerned Burmese People for Cyclone victims

For further information,
Dr. Tayza (UK), Email: burmadigest@gmail.com, Tel: (+44) 7855046422
Mr. Simon Don(Thailand) , Email: letworktogether@gmail.com , Tel: (+66) 878008972
Ms. Khin Ma Ma Myo (UK), Email: khinmamamyo@gmail.com, Tel: (+44) 1224 524077
Ms. Khun Mya Hlaing (Thailand), Email: wardii.orchid@gmail.com, Tel: (+66) 2776355735
Mr. Nanda (Singapore), Email: ka.nando@gmail.com
Ms. Nwe Lay Wai (Myanmar), Email: messander.angle77@gmail.com
Mr. Soe Moe (US), Email: soemoe555@gmail.com, Tel: +1(515) 97589190
Mr. Zaw Myo Lwin (US), Email: myolwinzaw@gmail.com, Tel: +1(515)468-8215
Mr. Kyaw Kyaw (Malaysia), Email: kyawcold@gmail.com, Tel: (+60) 122482976
Mr. Tayzar Tay (Denmark), Email: tayzar.tay@gmail.com, Tel: (+45) 22838096

NLD Formed Cyclone Crisis Release Committee

National League for Democracy
No. (97/b) West Shwegondine Street
Bahan Township, Yangon

Letter No: 022(Org:) /05/08
Date: 7 May 2008
Subject: Forming Storm Crisis Relief Committee


Because of the unprecedented storm that hit Irrawaddy, Rangoon, Pegu Divisions, Mon and Karen States on 2nd and 3rd May, hundreds of thousand people died and people's properties were damaged. Therefore, in order to help a variety of people's social troubles and fulfill people's needs, National League for Democracy formed the following committee. Number of Committee member is subject to situation.

Storm Crisis Relief Committee

U Ohn Kyaing Chairperson
Dr. Than Win Vice Chairman
Ko Khin Tun Member
U Sein Hla Oo Member
U Soe Win Member
U Hla Thein Member
U Win Myint Member
Dr Win Naing Member
Dr Myo Nyunt Member
Ko Myint Htay Member
U Thein Oo Member
Dr Aye Kyu Member
Ko Aye Tun Member
Daw Myint Myint Sein


(To hold responsible for financial matters besides member)
Daw May Hnin Kyi (To hold responsible for financial matters besides member)
Daw Le Le (To hold responsible for financial matters besides member)
Daw Aye Aye Mar (To hold responsible for financial matters besides member)

As per the decision of the Central Executive Committee meeting hold on

08/05/08,SignedChairman personNational League for DemocracyDistribution -Karen and Mon States and Pegu, Irrawaddy, Yangon Divisions Organizational Committee-Persons concerned

Interview with Joe Belliveau, Médecins Sans Frontières operation manager for Myanmar

What is the current situation on the ground in Myanmar? «We don't know the full extent of the situation, but from what we've seen in the southwestern corner of the Irrawady delta, the damage is massive and casualties are very high. Many people have also lost their homes, and their sources of food and clean water»

What have the teams on the ground seen in terms of destruction and people who have been affected by the cyclone?«Our field teams have seen destruction on a massive scale in the Irrawady delta. In some of the areas we've so far accessed, 95% of the houses and other buildings are destroyed»
Read More : here

Aung San Suu Kyi's home damaged in cyclone

The home of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was lightly damaged in the weekend cyclone, but she was unhurt and remains in good health, her party said yesterday."The roof of Daw Suu's house has to be fixed as a small part of it was taken off by the wind," National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win told AFP."
A tree at the front of the compound has fallen over and it hasn't been removed yet.""As far as I know, she is in good health," he said, adding that her family doctor was able to visit her as usual.
A Myanmar official told AFP on Monday that Aung San Suu Kyi's house had been lightly damaged, but she was unharmed.Nyan Win said he wasn't sure if Aung San Suu Kyi's electricity supply had been reconnected yet at her lakeside home in Yangon, Myanmar's main city.

Burma Press Conference Today in Washington, DC

*** Press Conference 1pm TODAY: National Press Club , Zenger Room ***
Burmese Government-In-Exile To Discuss Cyclone , Need For Immediate International Aid With Ruling Military Junta Blocking Aid, Prime - Minister-In-Exile To DiscussNeed For International Community To Provide Direct Relief To The People The Burmese government-in-exile, led by Prime Minister Dr. Sein Win, will hold a press conference today, Friday May 9th , at 1pm to discuss the cyclone that has ravished the country and the ruling Junta’s refusal to allow international aid workers direct access to the Burmese people.
The press conference will take place at 1pm Friday at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room in Washington DC. The government-in-exile, the National Coalition Government Union of Burma, is made up of those who were elected in the 1990 elections but were never allowed to take office.
WHO: Burmese Prime- Minister-in-Exile Dr. Sein Win
WHAT: Press Conference To Discuss The Junta Blocking International Aid
WHERE: National Press Club, Zenger Room
WHEN: Friday, May 9th, 1pm.

Interview with one official

According undisclosed interview with one government official, death toll is reaching 600,000 so far and 100,000 still missing.
According his figure, 180,000 killed only Lutbutta township. 90,000 in Phyar Pone Township , 80,000 in Bogalay Township. 50,000 each in KywanGanKone , DayDaYae and MawKyane Township.Authorities ( army and its thugs USDA) are throwing away dead bodies to the nearby river.Even in Ye Way Cemetery in Yangon City, dead bodies are cremated in batch without proper identification.Emphasizing to Phyar Pone Township, authority declare Emergency Act and deter not to go out at night but then they are dumping dead bodies to the river.

Multi-Religion Prayer Service For NARGIS Cyclone Victims In Burma

The Prayer Service for the victims affted by the Recent NargiS Cyclone will be held
at 8:00 pm on May 09, 2008 (friday).

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND THE MULTI-RELIGION PRAYER SERVICE
AND CANDLELIGHT VIGIL.

Location : In front of courthouse, Ft Wayne, INDIANA
(Corner of Clinton and Berry)


Contact Info : 260-580-2133
260-409-4587
260-482-8654
260-804-3295

Recent Death Pictures!














Where is JUNTA Millitary Aid Workers?

U.N. 'furious' as Myanmar aid 'seized'

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- The United Nations' top World Food Program official says he is "furious" over the Myanmar's government's refusal to allow the organization to distribute aid that was flown in for cyclone disaster victims. Future flights have been suspended.

Two planes that landed Friday morning in Rangon carrying 38 tons of high-energy biscuits, medical kits and other items were seized by officials at Yangon International Airport, said Tony Banbury.
Read More : here

press conference by Emergency Relief Coordinatoron humanitarian situation in myanmar


In the wake of the devastating Cyclone Nargis, the humanitarian situation in Myanmar was growing increasingly desperate with nearly 1.5 million people severely affected and a real danger that an even worse tragedy might unfold if urgently needed aid did not get in quickly, according to John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Read More : here

SECRETARY-GENERAL ADVISES FOCUS ON EMERGENCY RESPONSE IN MYANMAR

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General, deeply concerned about the welfare of the people of Myanmar at this time of national tragedy, has taken note of the Government’s decision to proceed with the constitutional referendum on 10 May, while postponing it in some of the areas most affected by the cyclone. Due to the scope of the disaster facing Myanmar today, however, the Secretary-General believes that it may be prudent to focus instead on mobilizing all available resources and capacity for the emergency response efforts.

Top UN official in Asia-Pacific joins call for urgent access to Myanmar

Echoing calls on the Myanmar authorities to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in the wake of the deadly cyclone which has left some 1.5 million people in need, the top United Nations official in the region today urged the Government to act quickly to avert an even worse tragedy.
Read More : here

Microsoft's Gates offers three Million Dollars for Myanmar relief

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said Friday his foundation would donate three million dollars to the humanitarian relief effort in cyclone-hit Myanmar.

Speaking at a conference in the Indonesian capital, Gates said his philanthropic foundation would channel the funds through independent aid groups such as Care International and World Vision.
"It's a terrible thing and a great example of how the world needs to cooperate," he said of Cyclone Nargis, which killed tens of thousands of people after slamming into Myanmar's southern coast on Saturday.

The international aid community has said millions of people were affected by the storm and has warned many more may die unless the country's secretive military regime drops its resistance to outside help.

Microsoft founder Gates is estimated to be the world's third richest man with some 58 billion dollars, according to Forbes magazine.

Myanmar wants cyclone aid but not foreign aid workers

YANGON -
MYANMAR'S isolationist regime indicated Friday it wants international relief but not foreign aid workers following a cyclone that may have killed more than 100,000 people and left countless others without food, medicine and shelter.

A Foreign Ministry statement said one relief flight was sent back after landing in Yangon on Thursday because it carried a search and rescue team and media who had not received permission to enter the country.

'Currently Myanmar has prioritised receiving emergency relief provisions and making strenuous effort delivering with it with its own labor to the affected areas,' said the statement carried in the state-owned New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

The announcement came as critical aid and experts to go with it were poised in neighboring Thailand and elsewhere to rush into the military-ruled nation, one of the world's poorest.
Myanmar was grateful to the international community for its assistance, which has included 11 chartered planes loaded with aid supplies, the statement said. But it emphasized that the best way to help was just to send in material rather than personnel.

'Believe me the government will not allow outsiders to go into the devastated area. The government only cares about its own stability. They don't care about the plight of the people,' said Yangon food shop owner Joseph Kyaw, one of many residents angry at the regime for doing little to help them recover from the storm's destruction.
Singapore Red Cross SocietyAmong those stranded in Thailand were members of the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team. Air Force transport planes and helicopters packed with supplies also sat waiting for a green light to enter Myanmar.

'We are in a long line of nations who are ready, willing and able to help, but also, of course, in a long line of nations the Burmese don't trust,' US Ambassador Eric John told reporters in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, on Thursday.

Myanmar snubbed a U.S. offer to help victims of an earthquake which may have taken more than 100,000 lives.
But it allowed the first major international aid shipment Thursday - four UN planes carrying high-energy biscuits. And on Friday, state-owned television showed a cargo plane from Italy with water containers, food and plastic sheets at Yangon international airport.
Myanmar's government issued an appeal for international assistance after winds of 193kmh and a storm surge up to 4 1/2m high pounded the Irrawaddy delta on Saturday.
But the junta has been accused of dragging its feet despite emerging reports on entire villages submerged, bodies floating in salty water and children ripped from their parents arms.
More than 20,000 are known dead and tens of thousands more are listed as missing, and the UN estimates more than 1 million people are homeless in Myanmar.

'The most dramatic situation is the case of children who have lost their parents. (There are) more children roaming around this area looking for their families. We don't know at the moment how many have lost their parents, relatives,' said Juanita Vasquez, a representative of the UN Children's Fund in Myanmar.

Four airplanes carrying high-energy biscuits, medicine and other supplies reached Yangon on Thursday, one of them having flown from Qatar, UN officials said. Two of four UN experts who flew in to assess the damage were turned back at the airport for unknown reasons, but the other two were allowed to enter, said John Holmes, the UN relief coordinator.
The Foreign Ministry statement did not give details, but said that the plane turned back had flown in from Qatar.

By rejecting the U.S. aid offer, the junta is refusing to take advantage of Washington's enormous ability to deliver aid quickly, which was evident during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen nations.

The first foreign military aid following that disaster reached the hardest-hit nation, Indonesia, two days later. The most significant help came when U.S. helicopters from the USS Abraham Lincoln began flying relief missions to isolated communities along the Indonesian coast.
With roads in the worst-hit area - the Irrawaddy delta - washed out and the infrastructure in shambles, large swaths of the region are accessible only by air, something few other countries are equipped to handle as well as the United States.

Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision Australia, said that 'it's certainly the case that the Americans, as they showed in the tsunami, have extraordinary capacity.' The U.S. government, which has strongly criticized the junta's suppression of pro-democracy activists, will have to convince the generals that Washington has no political agenda, Costello said.

Myanmar's state media said Cyclone Nargis - which means daffodil in Urdu - killed at least 22,997 people and left 42,019 missing, mostly in the Irrawaddy delta. Shari Villarosa, who heads the US Embassy in Yangon, said the number of dead could eventually exceed 100,000 because of illnesses. - AP

US threatens food aid drops on Burma

A US official has suggested the American military could drop unauthorised food aid over Burma, as the White House expressed outrage at the junta's obstruction of international relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.

The food drop suggestion was quickly shot down by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, but four American Navy ships were nonetheless heading towards Burma and US helicopters and air force cargo planes loaded with supplies and personnel began arriving in Thailand. The mobilisation came amid growing pressure on the junta to open up Burma to aid, as the UN warned that 1.5 million people had been ``severely affected'' by the cyclone that swept through on Saturday. The storm is feared to have killed 100,000 people, but the US Government believes existing stocks of relief supplies in Burma might be enough for only about 10,000 people. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice phoned her Chinese counterpart to ask Beijing to persuade Burma to accept international aid.

In New York, US envoy to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad said Washington was "outraged" by the Burmese Government's delays in allowing relief workers and aid shipments.
. “We are shocked by the behaviour of the Government. It should be a no brainer to accept the offer made by the international community,” he said.

Mr Gates also spoke out forcefully, saying the Pentagon was preparing the same kind of assistance it provided after other disasters in the region, including the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.

"There is an opportunity here to save a lot of lives and we are fully prepared to help and to help right away, and it would be a tragedy if these assets - if people didn't take advantage of them," Mr Gates said. “We are on the cusp of a second wave of tragedy . . . It’s a race against time,” Australia’s Tim Costello, chief executive of the charity World Vision, said from Rangoon. “The urgency is great. The level of suffering is enormous.” Aid was arriving “in a trickle but it needs to be a flood because lives are hanging in the balance”.

Mr Costello said helicopters were the only way to get the supplies needed to avert an epidemic of malaria, dysentry and cholera but the Burmese military did not have enough. The US and Burma have long been estranged. President George W. Bush imposed a new round of sanctions on the country's military leaders just last week to pressure them on human rights and political reform.

Thailand’s Prime Minister has offered to negotiatate on Washington’s behalf, but the regime is refusing to accept US assistance. It asked Washington only for satellite photographs of the devastated area. In the meantime, the Pentagon moved aircraft and ships toward Burma to be ready should aid be allowed to commence.

Four ships, including the destroyer USS Mustin and the three-vessel Essex Expeditionary Strike Force, would be off the coast in about five days, carrying about 1800 Marines. The Pentagon has moved many of the 23 helicopters on board the USS Essex, which has been participating in a multinational humanitarian exercise in the region, to a staging area in Thailand where they are waiting permission to enter Burma. Three giant C-130 cargo planes and a C-17 loaded with relief supplies are also waiting there.

A week after the cyclone the first international aid flights were allowed into Burma yesterday. Four UN planes carrying 40 tons of high-energy food and other supplies landed in Rangoon, and a Red Cross plane arrived from Kuala Lumpa carrying shelter kits for 2000 people.
But other relief flights were still awaiting permission to fly in, scores of disaster experts were struggling to get visas and two of a four-strong UN disaster assessment team were turned back at Rangoon. “This is an unacceptable situation,” said Sir John Holmes, the UN Humanitarian co-ordinator.

The regime is letting in planes and ships from countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Bangladesh that it trusts, but remains deeply suspicious of aid from western nations.

It is allowing free access to the disaster areas to nongovernmental organisations already in Burma, Mr Costello said. The problem, he added, was that the NGOs already working in Burma were focused primarily on development, not disaster relief.

Why is Myanmar's junta afraid of letting foreign aid workers help cyclone victims?

In the eyes of Myanmar's military rulers, everyone is a potential enemy. Even foreign aid workers.
As the international community waits to deliver desperately needed aid to Myanmar's cyclone survivors, it is getting a lesson in the mind-set of the country's military rulers: reclusive, xenophobic generals who despise the Western world.

Six days after Cyclone Nargis slammed into Myanmar's western coast, killing more than 22,000 people, the impoverished country's needs remain enormous. After initially pleading for urgent help, the junta now seems in no rush to welcome it.

"The military regime is extraordinarily xenophobic. They are afraid of everything," said Sean Turnell, a Myanmar expert at Australia's Macquarie University.

Among the junta's fears are internal uprisings, a U.S. invasion, globalization and its capacity to dilute traditional Burmese culture. In the aftermath of Saturday's cyclone, the junta appears to be afraid of losing face with its people.
"If they can't handle the situation and they let Westerners come in with helicopters, this will demonstrate to their own people the shortcomings of the military," Turnell said. "They are more concerned with control and maintaining an omniscience in front of their people than saving lives."
Myanmar's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that it wants relief supplies but not foreign aid workers in the country. It said the government "is not yet ready" to receive foreign rescue workers or journalists and was capable of delivering emergency aid "with its own labor to the affected areas."
After days of stalling, the junta gave clearance Thursday for the first major international airlifts carrying aid to cyclone survivors. But it was not allowing U.S. military planes to fly in critical relief and continued to withhold visas for several U.N. teams seeking entry, said Richard Horsey, a U.N. spokesman in neighboring Thailand.

A foreign military's presence in Myanmar would mark a major concession for the junta.
"They're afraid that if foreign soldiers come in they are the spearhead to overthrow the government," said Josef Silverstein, a retired Rutgers University professor who studied Myanmar for more than a half century. From the junta's perspective: "Aid workers could be carrying weapons to give to the people, they could give them ideas of how to overthrow the government."

Aid agencies say efforts to rush relief supplies to large-scale disasters are often slowed by red tape.But Myanmar's foot dragging has a deeper, historical context.
For decades, the military regimes that have ruled Myanmar have isolated the country from the rest of the world.

The junta particularly mistrusts the Western world, stemming from more than a century of British colonial rule that ended in 1948. A parliamentary democracy survived until the ruthless dictator Gen. Ne Win seized power in a 1962 coup. During his 26-year rule, Ne Win's regime curtailed human rights and political opposition and closed off the country to outsiders, earning Burma, as it was then known, the nickname, "Asia's hermit."

Tourists were, for the most part, not allowed in for years until the 1970s when visitors were given strict, seven-day visas.

These days, tourists get one-month visas but journalists are welcome only during carefully scripted occasions, such as the annual celebration of Armed Forces Day to commemorate the military's might.

Over the years, ruling juntas have imposed a variety of laws designed to keep Burmese culture strong and block the influence of the outside world: It is illegal for locals to hold foreign currency and to host foreigners in their homes overnight. Foreign diplomats are required to seek government permission to travel outside Yangon, the commercial capital.

The junta despises detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, partly because of her connection to the West. Suu Kyi spent time living in Britain and was married to a British man, which the junta says makes her a traitor, even though her father, Gen. Aung San, is a national hero who founded the army and led the fight for independence from Britain.

Another foe of the junta is the United States, which has imposed economic sanctions against the generals and is a strident critic of Myanmar's human rights record. Washington is a regular target of contempt in Myanmar's state-controlled media.
U.S. invasions of Iraq in 1991 and in 2003 reportedly spread panic among the junta and high hopes among the people.
Some analysts believe that the junta's abrupt decision in 2005 to relocate the country's capital from Yangon to the remote city of Naypyitaw, which it carved out of dense jungle, was driven by fears of a U.S. invasion.
On Monday, first lady Laura Bush described the junta as "very inept" on several fronts and accused leaders of failing to give citizens some lifesaving warnings about the cyclone. President George W. Bush said Tuesday that his message to military rulers was: "Let the United States come help you."

U.S. navy ready to help cyclone-ravaged Myanmar




The U.S. Navy ships that are ready to leave for Myanmar include the USS Essex, an amphibious assault ship that carries 23 helicopters, three landing craft, and a contingent of 1,800 marines, the Pentagon said.






WASHINGTON,
U.S. Navy ships are standing by off Thailand awaiting permission to join relief efforts in cyclone-hit Myanmar, the Pentagon said Tuesday."But that's all we can do at this point, is to plan, because we have not received a request from the Burmese (Myanmar's) government," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.The U.S. Navy ships that are ready to leave for Myanmar include the USS Essex, an amphibious assault ship that carries 23 helicopters, three landing craft, and a contingent of 1,800 marines, the Pentagon said.The nearest U.S. navy ships to Myanmar were reportedly a four-and-a-half-day sail away taking part in an exercise in waters in the Gulf of Thailand.U.S. President George W. Bush made an appeal to Myanmar's government on Tuesday to accept U.S. disaster teams, saying Washington was ready to help more after a devastating cyclone."

The United States has made an initial aid contribution but we want to do a lot more," Bush told reporters at the White House.Also on Tuesday, the Bush administration is offering three million U.S. dollars, up from an initial emergency contribution of250,000 dollars, in aide for cyclone-hit Myanmar."
We urge the government of Burma to grant full access to the affected areas to international humanitarian relief teams and non-governmental organizations," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.Tropical cyclone Nargis, which developed over the Bay of Bengal, ripped through Myanmar's five divisions and states, leaving at least 22,500 people dead and more than 41,000 missing.The United States has long imposed a trade and investment ban on Myanmar, accusing the government of "poor human rights records."

Dead are thrown into rivers as the living wait for aid

The funeral-like procession to the river was one of the many disturbing images of the destruction left by Myanmar's deadly cyclone.The cyclone's devastation could be seen everywhere in Bogalay.
Almost half of the total death toll could have come from Bogalay, according to an estimate by China's state run news agency Xinhua. Many of the survivors have been left with nothing.Monasteries were being used as temporary shelters for hundreds of people left homeless.
At one there were about 600 people sleeping where they could. Many had lost someone they loved. Some sat with bleak, numb stares as small piles of food were guarded by young apprentice monks. The monks said they have food for two days. After that, they say, they have no answer.Another monastery was called an operating theater, but there were no medical supplies. One man sat with open wounds, blood running down his back.
Read More here
video

Humanitarian aid may take long to reach the cyclone victims


Millions of people in Myanmar have been left homeless by the devastating Cyclone Nargis and piles of bodies have begun rotting in the disaster zone.Andrew Kirkwood, director of the aid agency Save the Children, said on Wednesday that he believed millions had been left homeless although he didn't "know how many millions". Speaking by telephone to the AFP from Yangon, Myanma'r former capital, Kirkwood also said: "There are 41,000 people missing but most people assume most of those 41,000 missing are dead."

Cyclone Nargis, which slammed into Myanmar's southern coast on Saturday, has left at least 22,000 people dead and another 41,000 missing by the official count, but the toll is expected to rise. Harrowing tales Kirkwood said the organisation's staff had gathered harrowing eyewitness accounts from the worst-hit area of the Irrawaddy Delta region, a low-lying agricultural region which was inundated by a huge storm surge.One team came across thousands of people killed in one township, with piles of rotting bodies lying on the ground as the water had receded," he said. He said there were "really worrying" reports that people were dying in the town of Pyinkaya in the southwest of the delta, home to 150,000 people, which received no supplies of food or clean water since the storm hit. "Assistance hasn't reached them yet and they are dying - completely isolated," he said. Government red tape Countries around the world are pledging aid in the wake of the devastation in Myanmar, but few relief agencies have actually been able to get on the ground. Although the military government has given the green light to foreign aid in principle, many agencies have complained that red tape and the government's inexperience have delayed efforts.
There are also concerns over what the military government will do with the money. The United Nations says a million people may have been displaced and the situation on the ground is desperate, with survivors sleeping where they can and running out of food and water. The government has been criticised for responding slowly, before and after the cyclone struck. Meteorologists say they gave 48 hours warning before the storm, but people were not told early enough to evacuate.A spokesman for the UN's World Food Programme said on Tuesday it had begun distributing food in damaged areas of Yangon and that 800 tonnes of food had already arrived. But many other aid providers were still waiting for visas to allow their teams entry into Myanmar, including a five-person UN disaster assessment team waiting to go in from Bangkok. Two US navy ships are waiting near the waters of Myanmar for its green light to carry out evacuation and other critical relief activities.Aid abuse fears George Bush, the US president, said: "We're prepared to move US navy assets to help find those who have lost their lives, to help find the missing, to help stabilise the situation. "But in order to do so, the military junta must allow our disaster assessment teams into the country."Some refugees from Myanmar have criticised Bush for setting conditions on aid in their country's hour of need. But others are pushing for caution, saying they do not want humanitarian assistance to end up enriching the generals who run the country.

They have warned that aid may be funnelled off to the military if it is not distributed directly to the people who need it.Bush Gulati, with the Committee for the Restoration of Democracy in Burma, said: "If any aid goes in the hands of the government, even if it's a blanket, the army will use it for themselves." Countries such as France have also expressed concerns over how the relief will be distributed. It seems clear the military rulers in the secretive country are trying to control the situation. Rashid Khalikov, director of the Geneva-based UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that efforts to assist hundreds of thousands of people in need of help were being hampered by the government's inexperience and red tape such as the need for visas.

The scale of the devastation is also posing logistical problems for relief teams, with communications and transport severely affected.Difficult decision The worst-hit Irrawaddy delta remained largely cut off from the rest of the world four days after winds, floods and high tidal waves tore through the densely populated region. Despite all that, governments and aid agencies have already pledged more than $10m in aid with the European Commission and the US contributing $3m each. Walter Lohman, a South-East Asian expert at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said Myanmar's military rulers now face a difficult decision because of years of isolation from the rest of the world.

"The generals have a choice to make between helping the Burmese people - who are in dire need of help - or out of fear of losing their total grip on power and spoils, effectively turning away international assistance," he said

Cyclone Death toll could reach 100,000


Aid workers are hopeful that relief supply flights will finally get clearance to land in Myanmar Thursday. The death toll from Saturday's cyclone continues to climb and could top 100,000.

Cyclone devastates Myanmar


New video: Cyclone devastates Myanmar

Newly released video shows the cyclone that slammed Myanmar. In its wake, at least 100,000 may be dead with more than 42,000 missing. But the country's military government may be blocking humanitarian aid.

Death toll rises as aid starts to reach cyclone


Death toll rises as aid starts to reach cyclone

Myanmar's government is now calling for international help in getting aid to victim's of this weekend's deadly cyclone. The death toll is estimated at at least 10,000 and could continue to go higher.

President Bush urges Myanmar to allow U.S. aide


Bush urges Myanmar to allow U.S. aide


President Bush called on Myanmar's military junta on Tuesday to allow the United States to provide disaster assistance after a devastating cyclone.

First Lady urges Myanmar to accept assistance


First lady Laura Bush urged the military junta in Myanmar to accept disaster assistance from the United States and other countries and organizations to help the thousands of its citizens affected by this weekend's devastating cyclone.

Government sells food to disaster victims


Residents of the former Burmese capital Rangoon said the government is selling food to victims of Cyclone Nargis, but the prices remain too expensive for destitute survivors to afford.Rangoon authorities made announcements on the streets over loudspeakers that the government was selling food for disaster victims at the city's tax-free markets, a local resident said."

The announcement also said rice priced at 750 kyat for one pyi, cooking oil at 2240 kyat per viss and zinc sheets [for roofing] at 4500 per sheet were now available to buy at the township Peace and Development Council offices in Rangoon," he said.But for local residents who have been made destitute by the natural disaster, the provisions remain prohibitively expensive."
Despite the government's effort to help us by selling these materials at cheap prices, we can only sit back and watch as we have no money at all to buy these things as we are only daily-paid workers," the resident said."Now all the businesses have collapsed and we are left empty-handed."Rangoon residents are suffering shortages of food, water and electricity, and blocked roads are making it difficult for aid to get through.

Cyclone survivors have complained that the government has not provided assistance to victims as they search for loved ones and try to rebuild their homes.The Burmese government has said it would welcome international aid, but the lack of infrastructure and delays in visa processes have meant that relief efforts are moving slowly.

Deforestation may have exacerbated cyclone impact

Destruction of Burma's mangrove forests may have contributed to the devastating impact of the recent cyclone that swept the country, ASEAN leader Dr Surin Pitsuwan said in a speech today.Dr Surin said population increases had led to an "encroachment into the mangrove forests which used to serve as a buffer between the rising tide, between big waves and storms and the residential area," he said in a speech in Singapore quoted by AFP."
All those lands have been destroyed. Human beings are now direct victims of such natural forces."Deforestation, often a result of population pressures, commercial logging or construction projects, can leave coastal regions and hilly areas more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.The World Rainforest Movement highlighted the problems caused by deforestation in Burma in a 2002 report in which it described the mangroves of the Irrawaddy Delta as "some of the most degraded or destroyed mangrove systems in the Indo-Pacific".WRM blamed the declining mangroves on upstream deforestation and the conversion of mangrove forests into prawn farms.
The Irrawaddy Delta region and the former capital Rangoon bore the brunt of Cyclone Nargis, which hit Burma on 2 May.The latest government figures state that 22,000 people were killed in the natural disaster, 10,000 of those reported to be in Bogalay township alone.Many thousands more have been made homeless or are suffering shortages of food, water and electricity.

10,000 reported dead in Bogalay township









































































As the scale of the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis in Burma becomes clearer, government figures say that 10,000 people were killed in Bogalay township alone.
The Burmese military regime has estimated the overall death toll to be more than 15,000, though this figure is being constantly revised as new information becomes available.U Myint Aye of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network said his sources in Bogalay had confirmed the extent of the devastation in the Irrawaddy town.He told DVB the cyclone had begun to hit the town at around 5.30pm on 2 May, and was at its strongest between 8.30pm until 4am on 3 May.“Houses in wards 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the Bogalay town were completely destroyed by the wind,” Myint Aye said.“Strong buildings in ward 1, 3 and 5 had their roofs ripped off by the cyclone while the small houses collapsed.”Myint Aye said all the villages around Bogalay were now under water, leaving many people stranded."
In 4 April, I was informed by a resident of Mondine Gyi village, located south of Bogalay town, that all the houses there were under water and people were forced to stay on top of their roofs,” he said.“He said some people even died after falling of their roofs due to the strong tide."Myint Aye also criticised the lack of government response to the crisis."Authorities have so far provided no assistance to the villagers and they have no food, no shelter and no clean water,” he said.“Monasteries have also had their roofs blown off and so have been unable to provide shelter to the victims."

Donation World Wide for Victims

How to Donate (Thailand)

The representative persons to access donation accordance to related area are as follow;

(1) Venerable Zawtika (0846465663) zawtik@gmail.com
(2) Venerable Kavinda (0875109141)
(3) Dr. Thein Lwin(Ed.D) (0898517162)
(4) U Kyaw Thaung (Rakhine newspaper) (0846705727) kyawthaung@gmail.com
(5) Ko Kyaw Lin Oo (Burmese university students group) (0841079352) ukyawlinoo@gmail.com
(6) Ko Aung Zayya (Burmese university students group) (0838295767)
(7) Saya Sai (Migrant Learning Center, Chiang Mai) (0847393003)
(8) Saya U Thein Win (Migrant Learning Center, Chiang Mai) (0832012885)
(9) Ko Thet Khaing (TACDB) (0899981327) thet_khaing80@yahoo.com
(10) Ma Jue Jue May (Alinyaung reading class, DEAR Burma school, Bkk) (0812086570)
(11) U Ko Ko Aung (LPN- Mahachai, Bkk) kkbur_rangoon@yahoo.com
(12) Ko Saw Than Zaw (MKLU, Bkk) (0898151813) thanzaw_mklu@yahoo.com
(13) Ko Than Phay (NCCM) (0867769485)
(14) Ko Maung Maung Oo (Ohnnwel, BTT garment factory) (0854089244)
(15) Ko Tint Lwin Oo (Ohnnwel, BTT garment factory) (0873724451)
(16) Ko Moe Thet (Ohnnwel, BTT garment factory)
(17) Ko Myo Aung (Bangkae, OMYPO) (0869747451)
(18) Ko Win Lwin(TACDB, Phang Nga) (0814771405)
(19) Ko Ohn Kyaing(Taplamu, Phang Nga)(0896474462)
(20) Khaig Ata (secretary-Layyatwati, Phuket) (0846893143)
(21) Ko Oo (chairman-community library, Phuket) (0814169839)
(22) Ko Khaing Ne (Kawthoung island-Surat Thani) (0874710598) khingni@yahoo.com
(23) Ko Myo (community library, Surat Thani) (0874727702)
(24) Ko Saw Hla (Ratchaburi) (0841544583)
(25) Ko Husein (community library, Surat Thani) (0840515717)
(26) Ko Thiha (community library,Donsak- Surat Thani) (0846250473)
(27) U Maung (chairman-community library, Ranong) (0862803049)
(28) U Maung Maung (community library, Ranong) (0833916143)
(29) Ko Moattama (chairman-community library, kuraburi-Phang Nga)(0857877339)
(30) Ko Tar (chairman-community library, -Ban Nam Khem-Phang Nga) (0859446130)
(31) Ko Myint Lwin (chairman-community library, -Ban Na Faek-Phang Nga) (0861642722)
(32) Ko Soe Lin (chairman-community library, Takua Tung-Phang Nga) (0857823573)



To be convenience people’s donation, more persons list will be announced as soon as possible again!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Donate Online via local groups

Burmese Muslim Network: http://www.bmnetwork.org/
Foundation for the People of Burma: http://www.foundationburma.org/
Give To Burma: http://www.givetoburma.org/
Niknayman: http://niknayman.blogspot.com/
US Campaign for Burma: http://uscampaignforburma.org/cyclone-nargis-devistates-burma
Bank Name : Barclays Bank (uk)
Account Holder Name : Mr A Candobhasa
A/C 90 00 28 36S/C 20 80 71Ph 078 77 297 205
To use PayPal Account Please Pay to ashinucandobhasa@yahoo.co.uk
email: ashinucandobhasa@yahoo.co.uk

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to Donate (Australia)

Donations can be made to the following account
Account DetailsBank: St George
BankAccount Name: Australia Burma Community Development NetworkBSB:
112 879Account No: 419 551 506

Cheques can be mailed to our Treasurer at the following address.
The AddressABCD Network
Treasurer11Pepper Tree RoadLidcombe,
NSW 2141Karenna Laklem (Asian Tribal Ministries)

22 Marsden StCity/Town:Newcastle,
AustraliaPhone: 0432284407

Email: kmailto:karenna_JiL7@hotmail
Account Name: Karenna LaklemBank:
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATIONBranch: HUNTER ST, NEWCASTLE NSW 2307

BSBAccount Number: 732501/556465

Swift Code: WPACAU2S
Fund Raising for Burma Cyclone: http://helpburma-cyclonevictims.blogspot.com/
collected from SOS Burma
(Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=26915997744&ref=nf); Ratchasima.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to Donate (USA)

Myanmar America Burma Buddhist Association (ABBA)

Sayadaw Ashin Indaka and ABBA EC members

619 Bergen Street Brooklyn NYTel: 718-622-8019
eMail: info@mahasiusa.org
http://www.mahasiusa.org/cyclone.html

Ko Yusuf
Tel: 503-545-2901
Email: zamai@yahoo.com

Address:12017 SW TUALATIN RD APT#732TUALATIN OREGON 97062

Bank InformationName: Maung Maung

Bank Name:Washington Mutual

Routing Number:325070760

Account Number: 1883616048

Nang Hlaing Tin MaungSimon’s Rock ’05 and U.Mass Medical School ‘1114 Mohican RoadWorcester, MA 01605413-207-1388
nanghlaing@gmail.com or nang.maung@umassmed.edu

Aye Moah MoahMIT ‘05
Ayemoah@gmail.com

Nang Khin Khin Gyi

Simon’s Rock ’01, U.Mass Boston ’04 and Brandeis’067497 W Dancing Rabbit CtTucson, AZ 85743413-281-7776
khingyi@gmail.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to Donate (UK)

Ko Myo Win + 07528898058
Ko Kyaw Swar (+44) 7828 890 224
Ko Thant Zin (+44) 7727 248 755
Ko Moe Swe (+44) 7773 325 635
Ko Myat Soe Khine (+44) 7939 222 932

Ko Htike (+44) 7974 817 387
(http://ko-htike.blogspot.com/)
Bank Name : Barclays Bank (uk)
Account Holder Name : Mr A CandobhasaA/C 90 00 28 36S/C 20 80 71
Ph 078 77 297 205

To use PayPal Account Please Pay to ashinucandobhasa@yahoo.co.uk
email: ashinucandobhasa@yahoo.co.uk

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to Donate (Singapore)

1. Ko Min Than Win (Tel) +65 9027 7370, minthanwin@gmail.com
2. Ko Win Zaw (Tel) +65 9451 5247
Peninsula PlazaLin Let (Second Floor)
Sin Myanmar ( Third Floor)Daw Than Than Nu (5th Floor)
Lan Pya Kyal Library (5 th Floor)

– Collection on everyday 6:30 pm to 9pm
Daw Soe Soe Aung @ Catherine - 92986743

Si Thu Aung @ Chris - 81681121Ye Thway @ Danny - 91084611

Additional info pls see (http://linletkyalsin.blogspot.com/)Collection of clothes, shoes, caps, pencils and so on.If u want to participate in this activity pleasecontact as follow ~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to Donate (Inside Burma)

Nyi Lin Seck (ညီလင္းဆက္)Manager, Online DivisionInforithm-Maze


CompanyID - (9/Ma Hta La (naing) 169065) [၉/မထလ(ႏိုင္) ၁၆၉၀၆၅]

Address: Bld A-3-1, 1103, Myanma Goan Yi Condo, Mingalartaungnyunt Township, Yangon.

Ph: 09 80 20413
Email: lynnseck@gmail.com
Web:http://nyilynnseck.blogspot.com/
Ko Tin Maung Than - (Tel) 0950 13159၊ 0951 07704
Mufti U Myint Thein - (Tel) 200156

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to Donate (Malaysia)

Ko Thant Zin Htwe (Pagan Computer Center): Tel - 006-012 3612 731
Ko Thant Zaw Oo
(Myo Kyawt Myein): Tel - 006-017 3898 606

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Donate Online via NGOs

Save the Children http://www.savethechildren.org/newsroom/2008/cyclone-nargis-myanmar.html

World Vision South East Asia cyclone relief web site http://www.worldvision.org/Worldvision/eappeal.nsf/egift-disaster-response-southern-asia-cyclone-relief?OpenForm&campaign=11365555&cmp=KNC-11365555

International Rescue Committee http://www.theirc.org/news/irc-sends-team-myanmar0505.html?gclid=CN6HiLmnkZMCFQ81egodyhGpTQ

Disater Emergy Committee: http://www.dec.org.uk/

British Red Cross (select Myanmar): http://www.redcross.org.uk/donatesection.asp?id=77029

Give To Burma: http://www.givetoburma.org/

Direct Relif International: https://secure.ga3.org/03/DRIdonate07 (please select Burma/Myanmar when you donate)

World Vision Canada: http://www.worldvision.ca/give-a-gift/Pages/PowerfulCycloneHitsMyanmar.aspx

Save the Children: http://www.savethechildren.org/newsroom/2008/cyclone-nargis-myanmar.html

World Vision South East Asia cyclone relief web site http://www.worldvision.org/Worldvision/eappeal.nsf/egift-disaster-response-southern-asia-cyclone-relief?OpenForm&campaign=11365555&cmp=KNC-11365555

International Rescue Committee: http://www.theirc.org/news/irc-sends-team-myanmar0505.html?gclid=CN6HiLmnkZMCFQ81egodyhGpTQ

World Vision Canada: http://www.worldvision.ca/give-a-gift/Pages/PowerfulCycloneHitsMyanmar.aspx

TUC Aid - Burma Cyclone Appeal:
www.tuc.org.uk:80/international/tuc-14740-f0.cfm