Monday, May 12, 2008


India, ASEAN Also Need to Push Generals to Accept International Help

(New York, May 10, 2008) - China, India, Thailand and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should work to convince Burma's government to lift restrictions on international assistance so aid can reach survivors of Cyclone Nargis, Human Rights Watch said today.
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US airlifts aid to Myanmar, UN urges junta to cooperate

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The United States delivered its first relief supplies to Myanmar on Monday, as the U.N. urged the reclusive nation to open its doors to foreign experts who can help up to 2 million cyclone victims facing disease and starvation.

Myanmar reported that the official death toll from Cyclone Nargis had risen by nearly 3,500 to 31,938. Nearly 30,000 others remain missing, and the U.N. and others have said the death toll could reach 100,000 or higher.
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Burma’s Generals—Blending Nazi-like Thought, Astrology, Brutality and Greed

Over a week since Cyclone Nargis struck Burma, the death toll is estimated to be at least 100,000—and still rising. Yet as the bodies decompose, Burma’s ruling Generals continue to refuse access to international aid workers. The limited aid supplies that have reached Burma have been seized by the military, either to distribute themselves for propaganda purposes or, according to some reports, to sell on the streets. And now the regime has taken a three-day public holiday and closed its embassies, causing another delay for international aid workers trying to find a way in to help.

Who are these Generals who are prepared to stand by and watch while thousands of their people die and more than 1.5 million are left homeless? How could they ignore the warnings they received of the cyclone’s advance? India issued 41 warnings from April 26 but the regime did nothing. Why?

Read More : Here

A letter of "My Dearest friend Hay Mann Thazin



Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) today called for immediate, significant and effective action to address the deteriorating humanitarian and political emergency in Burma. CSW warned that failure on the part of the regime to facilitate international relief efforts could result in the international community being left with no option but to act without the regime’s permission. CSW also called on the UN Security Council to refer a case against Burma’s military regime to the International Criminal Court.

While CSW welcomes the news that a US plane carrying aid has been permitted to land in Burma today, it is vital that international aid workers be permitted to access the disaster regions without further delay in order to ensure aid reaches the victims of Cyclone Nargis. Nine days after the cyclone struck, visas continue to be denied to aid workers.

CSW is concerned after receiving clear evidence that in addition to the regime failing to respond to the crisis and blocking international access, it is actively obstructing the delivery of aid. There are reports that Burmese people attempting to distribute aid have been attacked by the regime’s militia, the Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA) and Swan Ah Shin. CSW believes these actions provide further evidence amounting to charges of crimes against humanity already levelled against the regime, and calls for the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1674, known as the “Responsibility to Protect”.

CSW has also received reports from sources in some parts of Burma that people have overwhelmingly rejected the regime’s proposed constitution in a referendum held on Saturday 10 May. Initial reports from some villages in Chin and Kachin states indicate a strong majority of votes cast against the constitution, and reports from other parts of the country show clear rigging by the regime. CSW has strongly condemned the referendum process as a “sham” and urges the international community to unite in rejecting the result if the regime declares victory. Voting in the cyclone-affected areas will take place on 24 May.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “As the death toll mounts daily, further delays in bringing aid and aid workers into Burma simply mean more deaths through starvation and disease. The bodies are piling up, and shocking photographs smuggled out of the country show whole communities wiped out. The regime is now guilty not only of neglect but of deliberate obstruction of emergency relief efforts. This adds to the list of charges of crimes against humanity which has mounted against this brutal regime over the years. It is time now to bring help to the Burmese people and to bring the Generals to justice.”

For more information, please contact Rebecca Nind at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on 020 8329 0026, email or visit

CSW is a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom, works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.

Junta under pressure as fears grow of 1.5m cyclone victims

The Burmese government came under growing international pressure last night as aid agencies warned that the death toll following the cyclone disaster could reach 1.5 million.

The charity Oxfam said the stricken country faced a public health catastrophe unless clean water and sanitation was quickly provided.The Burmese military junta has been criticised for not allowing emergency supplies and skilled aid workers into the secretive south-east Asian country quickly enough.
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In the website of Mae Tao Clinic, Dr. Cynthia has this to say about respect for Burma's border controls. Below is an excerpt from her web page. "We are calling on all governments and UN bodies to provide aid immediately to our people who are dying in their thousands.
International humanitarian organizations and local community organizations must do whatever they can to prevent further deaths and to assist in the restoration of life in Burma. This is not the time to respect Burma's border controls. National restrictions that are causing further deaths, do not deserve anyone's respect.
The global community has a responsibility to protect its citizens. The SPDC has time and again failed to protect the people of Burma, and this time the scale of their neglect is killing our people. The United Nations must invoke the Responsibility To Protect, even if it is necessary to coerce or force the regime to comply with providing protection and rehabilitation to its citizens.
For Further Information
Dr Cynthia Maung

For Cyclone Victims in Rangoon!

Chinese community in Myanmar actively takes part in cyclone relief work

YANGON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese community in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon is taking part in the cyclone relief work along with the Myanmar people with three major local Chinese associations having successively donated through the authorities concerned to storm victims a total of 50 million Kyats (45,000 U.S. dollars) in cash in the last two days.

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S'pore may host ASEAN meeting on Myanmar aid

SINGAPORE - Foreign ministers of Southeast Asian countries could meet in Singapore soon to discuss measures to boost relief and recovery efforts in cyclone-hit Myanmar, the Straits Times reported on Monday.

Myanmar has agreed to Singapore's offer to host the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the city-state and its foreign minister is expected to attend, the Singapore-based newspaper said in a report without identifying its source.

The reported meeting comes after Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo wrote to his Myanmar counterpart Nyan Win last Friday, a Foreign Ministry statement said.
As many as 100,000 people are feared to have died in the cyclone that hit Myanmar eight days ago. The U.N. humanitarian agency said in a new assessment that between 1.2 million and 1.9 million people were struggling to survive in the aftermath of the storm.
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WFP need more human resources

Dear All,
I would like to inform you that WFP is urgently required young & energeticpeople to help us for assessments and collecting information of for deltaarea.As such, if any of you know anyone, have any young relatives who areeducated and want to work with WFP for a month or two.
Eg. ChurchOrganizations, University Graduates, Unemployed relatives etc. all arewelcome.Please send the particulars soonest to WFP following address.
United Nations World Food Programme

UNDP Building
No. 6, Natmauk Road,
Tamwe Tsp

we help our people

Bodies Litter Burma Delta; Survivors Focus on Staying Alive

As bloated bodies rise and fall with the current, women scrub clothes along the bank of the Pyapon River, where villagers also bathe to cool themselves and a lone child sits on a dock staring aimlessly into the water.

The bodies of people unable to escape the catastrophic cyclone that pounded Burma's rice-growing Irrawaddy delta a week ago continue to litter the flooded landscape.

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US Begins Airlifting Aid to Burma

The US began its first airlift of relief goods for Burma’s cyclone victims on Monday after prolonged negotiations with its military rulers, accused of endangering the lives of up to 1.5 million survivors by restricting international aid efforts.

In what was seen as a huge concession by the junta, the United States finally received the go-ahead to send a C-130 cargo plane packed with supplies to Rangoon, with two more air shipments scheduled to land on Tuesday.

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US Aid Flight Arrives in Burma

Prime Minister Thein Sein gives relief goods to cyclone-affected people during visit to relief centre in Rangoon, 08 May 2008


The C-130, carrying water, mosquito nets and blankets from an air base in Thailand, is the first U.S. aid flight that Burma's military government has allowed to enter the country since Cyclone Nargis struck May 3.
The military government has granted a few visas to foreign experts, and are insisting that Burmese nationals, mostly soldiers, distribute the aid. Donor countries are concerned military officials will hoard the supplies or use the goods for their own benefit.

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Burmese military controls aid


MA NGAY GYI, Burma - When one of Burma's best-known movie stars, Kyaw Dhyu, traveled through the Irrawaddy Delta in recent days to deliver aid to the victims of the May 3 cyclone, a military patrol stopped him as he was handing out bags of rice.

"The officer told him, 'You cannot give directly to the people,' " said Tin Win, the village headman of the stricken city of Dedaye, who had been counting on the rice to feed 260 refugees who sleep in a large Buddhist prayer hall.

The politics of food aid - deciding who gets to deliver assistance to those homeless and hungry after the cyclone - is not just confined to the dispute between the military junta and Western governments and outside relief agencies.

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US Navy ships move closer to Myanmar, ready to help if asked: commander

JAKARTA, Indonesia: A U.S. Navy commander says three ships are sailing toward Myanmar, ready to aid cyclone victims if they are given permission.

Vice Admiral Doug Crowder said Monday that the ships were currently in the Bay of Bengal.

"We have three of our amphibious ships that are part of the 7th fleet that are headed that way right now," he told reporters in Jakarta.

Source: ITH

Humanitarian Update - Myanmar's sruvivors


(Edited to protect the informants)


Today, we went to a town nearby Yangon in where many houses suffered the storm. We met with two locals there for information.

We also saw the broken house of people we know today. His family stays in another nearby house at the moment. He has to rebuild the house very soon but it is impossible for them to rebuild a parker one because the price increases nearly double. So they will build a small hut. An small organization decided to help for the building of the hut.

The event is very much terrible. A lot of people in many townships in Ayeyarwaddy Division suffered badly and terribly. Many people died, and many others are dying because of poor communication and transportation. Tomorrow, we will have special meeting for relief and rehabilitation ...
Keep praying for us, and please let other people know.


Yes, the cyclone went pass Yangon last Saturday and it lasted for more than twelve hours in my area. The storm knocked down most of the trees in Yangon. We have been out of power since it happened and we live with a meager amount of water everyday.

At some mornings we don't even have water to wash our face. I go around to take a bath in some evening. My family is doing OK despite this difficult situation. My daughters were singing during the storm because they haven't experienced it before.

The other day I had a discussion with one of my daughters that our sense of peace and joy doesn't depend on the have of water.

Today I go around to have access to the information of the damages in delta area. I met my close friend from one small village, who lost his wife and his two daughters by the cyclone. I was in his village some years ago and I know his family. He told me the whole story. He escaped because he was at the other village when the storm hit the area.

The next day when he went back to his village his house was gone and his family as well. Only a third of his villagers made it. This is very hard to take. There are several others who are heavily affected.

We are trying to help as much as we can. But it is overwhelming. I am so saddened by this disaster and please continue to pray for us.


Thanks to you all for your concern. Thank you for remembering us in the horrible crisis in our country.

For me, I'm safe. The cyclone did not pass my hometown directly. It was just heavy rain and wind but nothing happened. Although there was announcement in my place, finally it changed the direction.

As you know, the capital city Yangon was one of the affected area. People in Yangon are now suffering shortage of electricity, water and basic commodities. They have hard time to get basic things. Everything is sky high but also difficult to buy.

One of my friends from Karuna said that she could buy only two candles even though it was expensive. She also said that Yangon is now like a village - no electricity, no water, etc. and frogs are singing at night.

My parents' house in Yangon had no more roofs like many other people houses. Now, people cannot buy roofs anymore even nails. The rainy season is coming. The transportation and communication is difficult. I couldn't contact anyone. Only few telephones are working and I just get the information if someone called me.

We could say that it is still better than other places where many people died and their houses were collapsed. I also could not contact some of my relatives from that areas. We really are worried about them and sorry for those who lost their lives, home, families.

I still have very limited information about the affected areas since most of the telephone lines are cut out. The prices of commodities in my places are now increasing. I hope that this mail will reach you.

In Burma, a U.N. Promise Not Kept

When a parent abuses or neglects a child, government steps in to offer protection. But who steps in when government abuses or neglects its people?

Nearly three years ago, the United Nations announced an answer to that question: It would. At a summit celebrating the organization's 60th birthday, 171 nations agreed that they would intervene, forcefully if necessary, if a state failed to protect its own people. The action was seen as both a sign of remorse for the failure to stop genocide in Rwanda and a rebuke to the United States and its unilateral ways.

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Myanmar accepts int'l aid but rejects foreigners to enter disaster-hit areas

The Myanmar government has made it clear that it accepts international aid from any country but rejects foreigners to enter disaster-hit areas, according to the state-run Myanmar Television Monday.

Meeting with resident representatives of the United Nations agencies, foreign social organizations and international non-governmental organizations on Sunday in Yangon, Myanmar Minister of National Planning and Economic Development U Soe Tha said that aid from any nation is accepted and delivery of relief goods can be handled with enough strength by local organizations so do by Myanmar citizens working in international organizations in cooperation with the government departments concerned but not in individual.

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NLD calls for urgent international intervention

The National League for Democracy has appealed to the international community to use all means available to help Burma immediately, without waiting for permission from the military regime.

In a statement read by NLD spokesperson U Thein Nyunt yesterday, the party condemned the Burmese government for obstructing the delivery of international aid to victims of Cyclone Nargis.

“The State Peace and Development ... Read Full Article

Cyclone victim says aid given only to junta supporters

A cyclone victim in Hlaing Tharyar, Rangoon, has said people in the township are not receiving any assistance and are being driven out of public buildings by local authorities.

In an interview with DVB on Friday, the woman said there were many cyclone victims in the township, perhaps more than 10,000, but they had been forced out of buildings where they had taken shelter by local officials and members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association.

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Resident reports heavy death toll in island villages

Villages on Hainggyi and Pyin Khaing islands suffered a high death toll when Cyclone Nargis struck Irrawaddy division on 2 and 3 May, a local resident said on Friday.

A resident of Pyin Khaing spoke to DVB about the situation on the islands.

“I understand the situation is bad, very bad, with many people being killed. A lot of others also died in Labutta. In Sabo, a village with about 1,000 inhabitants near Pyin Khaing, almost 800 people were killed. There were also hired workers in the village because of the saltworks there. The people there are all homeless now.

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Refugee camps guarded like 'prisons'

Mizzima's correspondent returned from Pathein, the capital of Irrawaddy Division, one week after Cyclone Nargis hit the Delta. As a foreigner, he was denied access to areas which were hit hardest by the cyclone. But he saw hundreds of cyclone victims, including many orphans, and listened to their stories.

The Burma Army and local authorities keep survivors in evacuation camps that are guarded and managed like prisons.

In Myaungmya, close to the totally destroyed township of Laputta, the government has converted the six government high schools into shelters, each housing about 600 survivors. No one is allowed to enter these schools and no survivor is allowed to leave, not even for the search of missing family members.

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The Smell of Death and Destruction

(The correspondent has returned from Kungyangone Township after interviewing several survivors of Cyclone Nargis.)

Thirty-five miles from Rangoon, the air smells of death. Dead bodies and the rotting cadavers of buffaloes lie in the gutters of this town, so near Burma’s largest city and the country’s once proud capital.

Overhead, a cruel sun beats down on the homeless who seek shelter amid the ruins of their houses.

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Misery in Laputta

Survivors take shelter while waiting for first aid treatment in Laputta on May 10. (Photo: Reuters)

Although overwhelmed by the worst disaster in Burma's recent history, the junta has turned down foreign help and insists on using its ragtag infrastructure and poorly equipped military to conduct a grossly mismanaged relief operation for some 2 million people in distress.

And no one dares to protest. Even aid agencies are cautious.

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