Friday, May 16, 2008

Group founded by George Clooney, other stars donates $250,000 for Myanmar cyclone victims

NEW YORK: The humanitarian organization founded by actor George Clooney and other "Ocean's Thirteen" stars has donated US$250,000 to help children and families in Myanmar affected by Cyclone Nargis.

--Read More: here

Judgment Day: Should world let massive deaths by man made disaster?

One has to wake up from the nightmare of allowing Burma's brutal regime's final episode of ignoring its own people dying in post cyclone Nargis. Having an ineffective UN good office and international disagreement over Burma's latest political development, the world indeed witnesses with its own eyes the brutal generals' heartless decision over storm survivors. Now the World Theater shows "We don't care for Burmese people who are suffering and dying, our intention is to approve our sham referendum by all means."

--Read More: here

News update -May 15

Read this doc on Scribd: Burma Update News -May 15 B

Read this doc on Scribd: Burma Update News - May 15 A

A battle for Burma's soul

The military and the Buddhist clergy have long been competing for the souls of Burmese people.The military has guns, helicopters, and now relief supplies.The monks have temples sheltering cyclone victims and an underground network of sympathetic citizens and exiles worldwide, and in border areas such as Mae Sot.

--Read More: here

Remember the victims of Cycone Nargis Sat 17 May 4-6pm 174 Collins St Melbourne

Baptist Church174 Collin Street, Melbourne
Saturday, May 17 @ 4 - 6 pm
It is also opportunity for all of us to build community unity and solidarity in collaboration with diverse our ethnic sisters and brothers of multi-community, in order to extend our hands in helping out to whose families of cyclone victims of Burma by approaching different levels of Australian Government. We need your continued support!!!
We are also having a community open discussion forum about how we can best work together with in order to support the victims through family networks, NOT military thugs.
This meeting will take place at
Springvale Community CentreNo. 1
Osbourne Avenue
Sunday, May 18 from 2:30 to 5:30 pm.

everyone is welcome!
In the spirit of justice & peace,
minthura wynn

Burma: Monks vs. Junta

Officials move refugees out of monasteries to stem monks' influence

The longstanding tensions between the two largest organizations in Burma (Myanmar) – the military and the Buddhist clergy – are finding new outlets as both groups confront the devastating aftermath of cyclone Nargis.

The monks have temples sheltering victims in the delta – and have begun to organize funding and supplies for victims, which they hope to deliver via an underground network of sympathetic citizens and exiles worldwide and in Thai border areas such as Mae Sot.

But nearly two weeks since the storm struck, the military, unquestionably, has the upper hand, with guns, helicopters, and relief supplies. And now, it is starting to force cyclone victims out of monasteries into tent camps, prompted by concern that the monks could help spur protests.

--Read More: here

Myanmar: Malteser International teams treat first cholera patients - Two more cargos with relief supplies for the Irrawaddy Delta

Labutta/Cologne. "By now, we have treated the first cholera patients," Malteser International staff members report from the hardly affected coastal town in the Irrawaddy Delta. Since the cyclone hit the region, the people here in Labutta could only drink water from wells that have been spoilt and heavily polluted by the flood wave."

In order to reach as many survivors as possible in the disaster region, Malteser International has sent out three mobile clinics to the Delta. About 50 staff members - of the total of mean-while around 200 staff working for Malteser International in Myanmar - are providing relief in the disaster region nearly round the clock. The top priority besides medical care now is to secure the access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Malteser International is going to provide rainwater harvesting tanks for the 8,000 internally displaced people in the biggest camp in a monastery in Labutta (Lay Htat Kyaung). Furthermore, the water is sanitized with chlorine. In addition, Malteser International in cooperation with Unicef will set up 100 latrines in this camp. In total, Malteser International provides help for about 50,000 survivors of the cyclone in the Irrawaddy Delta and in Yangon.

--Read More: here

Deep wounds and broken bones, but no medical aid

THANN LITE, Burma: Something hard and heavy slammed into Ko Kyaw Win's leg as he clung to a coconut tree, fighting for his life against hurricane-force winds and a surging torrent strong enough to bend steel.

The object swirling in the six-metre swell smashed a hole in the fisherman's right shin. At the time, it was the least of his worries.

--Read More: here

A Trickle of Aid Reaches Survivors

International aid groups have sent hundreds of tons of emergency supplies to Burma’s cyclone victims, but local aid workers say no aid is reaching huge numbers of homeless in the Irrawaddy delta, 13 days after the devastation.

According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), it has dispatched more than 700 tons of rice, high-energy biscuits and beans to nearly 100,000 people (about 7 kg per person) in cyclone-affected areas in Burma. However, there are at least 1.5 million homeless, say officials.

--Read More: here

Some cholera confirmed in cyclone-hit Myanmar

SOME cholera has been confirmed among survivors of Cyclone Nargis, but the number was in line with case levels in previous years in Myanmar, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

'We do have some confirmed cholera,' Ms Maureen Birmingham, acting WHO representative in Thailand, said of the hardest-hit Irrawaddy delta where cholera is endemic.

'We don't have an explosion of cholera. Thus far the rate of cholera is no greater than the background rate that we would be seeing in Myanmar during this season,' she told reporters on Friday.

--Read More: here

Local heroes step in to help cyclone victims

From shopkeepers handing out free rice porridge to medical students caring for the sick, ordinary people in Myanmar are stepping in to help cyclone victims as the military regime severely restricts international aid.

Taxi drivers, factory owners, college students, teachers and other Yangon residents _ many of whom lost their own homes _ are among those organizing grueling trips into the Irrawaddy delta, the hardest-hit region.

"They are true humanitarian heroes," said Bridget Gardner, International Red Cross representative in Myanmar, after touring an area where volunteers were giving first aid to the injured.

--Read More: here

UN: Most schools ravaged in Myanmar's cyclone zone

Children in Myanmar may be forced to attend school in relief camps and tents because 85 percent of the educational buildings have been destroyed or damaged in a cyclone-ravaged region, the U.N. said Wednesday.

With the school year slated to begin June 1, UNICEF said there is no time to rebuild the estimated 2,700 severely damaged primary schools used by 350,000 students or to replace the unknown numbers of teachers killed or missing following the storm.

--Read More: here

US pushes for helicopters to ferry Myanmar relief

Myanmar's isolationist ruling junta is now allowing U.S. military cargo planes to regularly fly relief supplies into their largest city to provide aid to cyclone survivors.

But if the aid is to get out to the estimated 2 million people who need it most, Myanmar is going to have to make another big concession: letting the U.S. start flying helicopters directly into the hardest-hit areas and allowing boots on the ground.

--Read More: here

Myanmar’s aid ban is a murderous act of neglect

In 2005, following consultation with the stars, Myanmar’s military chief Than Shwe moved the capital from Yangon – formerly Rangoon – to Naypyidaw.

Then British ambassador to Thailand, Derek Tonkin, revealed: “It is said that Than Shwe’s astrologer told him to move the capital because Rangoon would suffer a calamity.”

--Read More: here

Red Cross: Clean water most urgent for Myanmar

The international Red Cross says a lack of clean water will be the biggest killer in Myanmar in the coming days.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says hundreds of thousands of cyclone victims in the Southeast Asian country need clean water urgently or risk falling victim to diseases such as dysentery.

--Read More: here

Dead bodies no threat to disaster victims: WHO

CONTRARY to popular belief, dead bodies left from natural disasters such as the China earthquake and Myanmar cyclone are not a source of disease or a health threat to survivors, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

Rather, a lack of safe water supplies and poor sanitation were the main epidemic threat in the days after a major catastrophe, Arturo Pesigan in a statement from the WHO's Western Pacific Region's headquarters in Manila.

--Read More: here

Bolton man's Burmese mercy mission

A BOLTON man is flying out to Burma to help victims of Cyclone Nargis.

Iqbal Rawat will be taking five cases of medicine, donated by pharmacies in Bolton, when he travels to the devastated country on Saturday.

The drugs are vital to help stop the spread of disease.

Cyclone Nargis has left 34,000 people dead, 27,000 are missing and millions are homeless.

Health charities are warning that 1.9 million survivors are in desperate need of emergency aid.

Mr Rawat, aged 40, whose family are from the Mandalay area of Burma, is also hoping to help build bamboo shelters and distribute food parcels.

He said: "I have got my visa sorted and all plans are in place for me to fly out on Saturday.

"We will have to be very discreet when we help people because of the authorities.

"Some of the photos I have seen are very disturbing. One of the threats to survivors is catching diseases, so we are taking antibiotics, rehydration solution and water purification tablets, which have been kindly donated by local pharmacies."

Mr Rawat was born in Burma, but moved with his family to Bolton when he was still a baby.

He is one of the founders of Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT), a charity based in Derby Street, Bolton.

It has been operating for three years in Burma, where field workers have been digging wells and building homes.

The trust has so far raised more than £50,000 for the cyclone victims.

Mr Rawat plans to spend 10 days helping the emergency rescue operation in Burma - weather permitting.

He said: "Another cyclone has been predicted so plans could change.

"If the worst happens, I may have to go on a later date because I won't be able to move around the country and get to the people who need the help."

The charity is aiming to raise £500,000 for emergency aid.

--Source: here