Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Attention: Commanders from Burmese Military from U Aung Lin Htut

Less Self-centredness, More Humanity

Min Khin Kyaw

As we’ve seen how the junta is desperate to win and will win by cheating, we can predict how it will declare how it wins with decisive majority support. Yet, we are right that we encouraged the people to go and vote; we can clearly see the ways the junta cheats as result. Also we will get stories from the people who have voted the way the junta forced them to; these voters are now indeed eyewitnesses and of course, they‘ve seen all voting places. All we have to do is to collect stories from all over Burma (the way the NLD is doing). Whence the effects of cyclone Nargis have been emerging, the way the junta’s contempt on our people has its own story to say the international communities.

Certainly we’d like to see the aids workers to be able to reach all the needy people. As the junta has blocked their entry and laughing at their generosity, we’d also like to see the supply planes to fly in to airdrop the supplies. However, whoever who tries to seek the supplies could be accused as unpatriotic and for worse they can be mistreated. We know the way how Burmese volunteers and social workers were forced to give up their good intentions. Now we have to content with the way the junta handling the crises. And we have to accept as long as the junta accepts the supplies and the way it delivers them.

Certainly we’d like to see only the supplies to flow in. Any cash donations certainly will not reach the needy ones.Hopefully, the UN would find solution and reach to a condition to deal with our country - for peace sake. But if the UN members from free world be soft at the obstacles, we Burmese would have to wait through more torturing of a few selfish countries who are supporting the junta their independent silly puppet tied up with its own greed that it’s unable to see humans as humans and Burmese as Burmese. Yet the world must push the junta to accept the aids workers eventually - especially the medical workers and construction technicians who understand sewage environment; they also have to mobilise both affected and non-affected communities - of course, that‘s clearly apolitical. Sadly an earthquake occurred in China and we’ve seen how the Chinese are dealing with it - In comparison with the Burma’s junta. The junta might argue it’s just a small earthquake. Here, we have to ask China’s government why they had to block France’s attempt to deal with Burma’s junta.

We have to ask China that why it doesn’t like to see Burma’s junta to activate help for the people the way China does - not just for photo opportunities and media sake for MRTV. As we all know the junta will declare a winning result for its self-profiting referendum, it can stop its efforts on it and just take a win, and concentrate on rescuing the cyclone affected survivors. We should ask the junta to ask the regional countries for help whilst accepting other international communities who are trying to do so. We must see the junta’s sympathy to our people as much as it has shown its pride. Rather less pride but more humanity.

Now what will Burmese people do? Let’s forget 100,00 people who died. We must put all energy on the survivors, rescue and rebuilding. Certainly not much time, no prospect for help as all blocked by the junta and China opposing forced aid delivery. Does China oppose aids to come in for the earthquake victims too?Let’s forget about history and past pains for now and forever.We have to see determined humanity from humanity for Burma.

Min Khin Kyaw

Asian governments urged to pressure Myanmar

As hold-ups continue in the supply of foreign aid to Myanmar, Asian leaders have been urged to pressure the country's military rulers into taking swift action to address a growing humanitarian catastrophe. Amnesty International believes that by deliberately blocking life-sustaining aid, the government of Myanmar may be violating the right of the population to life, food and health."
Time is of the essence if lives are to be saved," said Mika Kamae, chair of Amnesty International's Asia Pacific Forum in Hong Kong.

Read More : here

EU ministers discuss Myanmar aid

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana says officials must use all diplomatic means to convince Myanmar's military leaders to let in more emergency aid to cyclone victims.Solana spoke Tuesday before emergency talks in Brussels with ministers from all 27 EU nations.

He says EU diplomats are pushing the United Nations to take action to convince Myanmar to open its doors to aid workers.Solana says the "most important objective" now for international donors ― including the EU ― is to get aid into the Asian country devastated by a deadly cyclone.

Read More : Here

Cyclone Nargis News Update inside Burma

Read this doc on Scribd: May 12 Update

Why Myanmar's junta steals foreign aid


From the junta's perspective, the group that needs to be fed first is the 400,000 strong military, rather than the desperate civilian survivors of the crisis. With their respective family members, the military's associated numbers could be as high as 2 million, according to one Western military source. To the generals, the people now gathering in makeshift camps can be controlled, but only if the military remains united. An army without food or with starving families, especially in an army where most of the soldiers were forcibly recruited, is much more likely to revolt.


Yet the junta continues to hamper aid efforts by denying visas to humanitarian relief specialists, many of whom are now stranded in neighboring Bangkok. The military regime has consistently said it wants the relief supplies, but not the aid workers. It especially does not want aid workers who may control the distribution of relief supplies, precisely because that would keep the military from monopolizing the dispersal of the aid and prevent it from channeling it to its own members.

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Local officials attacked by cyclone victims in Rangoon division

A local official in Rangoon Township received serious head injuries when three desperate cyclone victims attacked him for failing to distribute aid supplies on Friday, a local resident said.

Three victims, whose homes and properties were destroyed by Cyclone Nargis on Friday, attacked the chairman of the Ward Peace and Development Council of Kwungyan in Thwante town, southwest of Rangoon, for failing to distribute relief material provided by Medicines San Frontiers (MSN), also known as doctors without Border.

"The chairman sustained injuries on his head but was not hospitalised," the local said.

The MSF last week donated several bags of rice to the ward's Buddhist monastery to be distributed to cyclone victims. But the abbot of the monastery handed over the rice to the local authorities saying he was not capable of calculating and therefore requested the authorities to take charge of the distribution.

The local resident said the authorities failed to distribute the supplies and held on to it for two days. When the villagers asked about it, the authorities could not give a proper answer.

"So, the three men were outraged and started attacking the Chairman," the local, who wished not to be named, said.

He added that several people in the ward, affected by the cyclone, were looking forward to the relief and after waiting for two days, people started thinking that the authorities must have distributed the rice among themselves without giving it to the victims.

The MSF's aid is the first relief that the villagers saw and were desperately waiting to get a share to alleviate their sufferings.

Source: Mizzima News

Cholera outbreak in Laputta relief centre

In the aftermath of the Cyclone Nargis in Burma, there is apprehension of the health situation of people deteriorating severely. There are at least 10 cholera patients in each relief centre in Laputta, it is learnt.

Lack of potable water and crowded relief centres will exacerbate the current situation in all 32 relief centres in Laputta Town. Read More...

Monks Help Cyclone Victims Despite Military Pressure

Monks and homeless villagers gather at the monastery of Kyi Bui Kha village, in Pyapon, a town in Burma’s Irrawaddy delta, a week after cyclone Nagris slammed into the low-lying region and Rangoon. (Photo: AP)

The saffron-robed monks who spearheaded an uprising last fall against Burma's military rulers are back on the front lines, this time providing food, shelter and spiritual solace to cyclone victims. Read More...

Regime Seals Off the Irrawaddy Delta to Foreigners

Survivors of the cyclone Nargis are seen in Laputta, in the Irrawaddy delta of southern Burma. (Photo: AFP)

Local staff for international relief agencies are stretched to breaking point and facing tighter restrictions on their ability to deliver the trickle of foreign aid flowing in to 1.5 million survivors facing hunger and disease.


40 per cent of Burma dead are children: aid group

Part of the reason for the cyclone's devastating toll on young people is simple demographics, with 40 per cent of Burma's population younger than 18, according to Save the Children spokesman Dan Collinson.

But children are also the least able to survive powerful winds and towering tidal waves sparked by Cyclone Nargis, Collinson said. -Read More...

'Dubai Cares' team back after Myanmar job

“As per reports from my team on the ground the country’s only unloading vehicle could not reach the airplane’s cargo bay, so they worked hand in hand with more than 200 Burmese volunteers to implement the arduous task of physically unloading the shipment. The entire operation took over six hours.' - Read More...

Myanmar rejects US, UN pressure on aid

YANGON (AFP) — Myanmar's military rulers on Tuesday rejected growing international pressure to accept aid workers, insisting against all the evidence that it had the emergency cyclone relief effort under control.

Even as US President George W. Bush and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon voiced their fury at the country's generals, and aid agencies again warned that time was running out, the regime remained defiant about letting in outsiders. -Read More...

Burma state media ignore tragedy

SURVIVORS and aid workers emerge from Burma's devastated Irrawaddy delta with stories of families wiped out, bodies floating in rice paddies and starving cyclone victims begging by the roadside.
But none of that is making it into the tightly controlled state media.

Instead, it is generals in medal-covered uniforms handing out food packets, and soldiers clearing trees from the roads, who are the stars of the show. -Read More...

Myanmar's generals are ruled by paranoia

To the outside world, the reaction of Myanmar's military regime to last week's devastating cyclone seems not just obscene, but inexplicable. Instead of rushing to help its desperate people, the regime of General Than Shwe all but shut off the country from foreign assistance while pushing ahead with a referendum on a new constitution. But to those who know the regime, its reaction is perfectly in character.

Myanmar's government is among the most xenophobic in the world, deeply distrustful of outsiders and all they represent. -Read More...

World wrestles with Burma aid issue

The scale of the suffering prompted by the cyclone in Burma is huge.

Only a massive outside relief effort can help the authorities there to cope with the catastrophe.

But Burma's isolated military regime has been dragging its feet in accepting offers of aid - something that has frustrated non-governmental organisations and many other governments alike. -Read More...

Burmese Officials Skimming Cyclone Aid

Burmese military officers and village heads are stealing relief supplies in many areas following Cyclone Nargis, according to Rangoon sources.

Sardines, clothe, high energy biscuits and other relief aid sent to the survivors of the cyclone are being sold at markets, shops and even teashops, said a cyclone survivor.. Read More...

Read Also:
Directly from Burma on relief distribution

Kunchangone villagers still waiting for assistance

A resident of Kunchangone township, Rangoon division, said local villagers in the township have still not received assistance after being hit hard by the recent cyclone. - Read More...

Aid strategy for cyclone victims

The country of Burma or Myanmar has already lost at least 25,000 of its citizens to a terrible cyclone over a week ago.

Now, with well more than a million people adversely affected by the storm's aftermath, the death toll could rise as much as tenfold if Burma's oppressive government in its paranoia about dealing with the outside world continues restricting access to foreign aid workers. Read More...

Myanmar Junta Pressed by UN, U.S., India to Take Aid (Update1)

The United Nations, U.S. and India told Myanmar's military rulers to allow international aid to reach the country, where more than 1.5 million people need help after Tropical Cyclone Nargis struck 10 days ago.

The junta must ``put its people's lives first,'' UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday in New York. The delay is ``another reason why the world ought to be angry and condemn the government,'' President George W. Bush said in an interview with CBS Radio. Read More...

The dangers of reporting Myanmar's cyclone in a country where journalists are not welcome

"I can't talk now, I think I'm in danger," a reporter in Myanmar whispered into the phone. Click.

Phones are tapped and the few foreign journalists inside Myanmar are operating in secret, making it dangerous and difficult to tell the story of the cyclone that has devastated the Southeast Asian country. Read More...

We don't need your skills: Burma

A US military official says a second flight has left with relief supplies for Burma's cyclone victims, and more flights are expected.

Lt Col Douglas Powell said the Marine C-130 cargo plane left for Burma's main city, Rangoon, today carrying 43,780kg of water, blankets and mosquito nets.

He said a third flight carrying more supplies would leave later today.

American Admiral Takes Plea To Burma

The head of the U.S. Pacific Command flew into Burma on Monday aboard the first U.S. military aid flight, to press for a full-scale international relief operation for victims of Cyclone Nargis. Facing mounting international pressure to open their country's borders, Burmese officials promised to consider the request. - Read More...

Narrow escapes for CNN reporter in Myanmar

NEW YORK - A CNN reporter who left Myanmar Friday was chased by authorities as he reported on the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis but escaped primarily because of the incompetence of the people after him.

Dan Rivers hid under a blanket at one police checkpoint and casually covered up his name on a passport to avoid detection another time. He may ultimately have gotten out of the country due to a stewardess' impatience.

"I was amazed at the lengths they apparently went just to catch me," Rivers told The Associated Press by telephone from Thailand on Saturday.


Burma aid feared too late

NEW YORK — U.N. humanitarian officials yesterday warned they might already be too late to prevent a "second wave" of deaths in cyclone-ravaged Burma from malaria, diarrhea and other diseases that will ravage a population weakened by exposure and hunger.

Burma's military government has begun to issue a small number of visas to foreign relief workers, but U.N. officials say they need much more to immediately deploy logistical and aid specialists as well as emergency supplies to fend off a looming crisis.


US sends second relief flight to Myanmar, more expected in coming days

UTAPAO, Thailand: A U.S. military official says a second flight has left with relief supplies for Myanmar's cyclone victims, and more flights are expected.

Lt. Col. Douglas Powell says the Marine C-130 cargo plane left for Yangon Tuesday carrying 19,900 pounds (43,780 kilograms) of water, blankets and mosquito nets.

He said a third flight carrying more supplies will leave later Tuesday.


'Clock Ticking' As Burma Aid Trickles In

The first planeload of British aid is to arrive in Burma today more than a week after the Cyclone Nargis left swathes of the country underwater.

A consignment of bales of plastic sheeting were sent last night from a government store in Dubai - the first of four such flights as part of a £5 million UK aid package.

It also emerged that the Queen had made a "significant" personal donation to the relief effort.


Myanmar remains defiant on relief workers

YANGON - Myanmar's military regime on Tuesday thanked the United States for a plane-load of aid but said it still was opposed to letting in foreign aid workers to cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

Myanmar's Vice-Admiral Soe Thein, quoted in government mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar newspaper, said the needs of hundreds of thousands of storm survivors "have been fulfilled to an extent".

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