Monday, May 19, 2008

News update -May 18

Read this doc on Scribd: may 18a

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be in Burma on Wednesday

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel this week to Burma, where the government is under growing pressure to accept a full-scale international relief operation for cyclone survivors.
A U.N. spokeswoman says Mr. Ban is expected to arrive on Wednesday. U.N. officials say Burma's military leader, Than Shwe, has refused to accept the U.N. chief's telephone calls and has ignored two letters sent by Mr. Ban since Cyclone Nargis hit May third

--Read More: here

Focus in Myanmar on saving lives, not politics, Ban Ki-moon tells Assembly

16 May 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the United Nations is concerned with saving lives, not with politics, as he tries to ramp up aid efforts following Cyclone Nargis which struck Myanmar and has severely affected up to 2.5 million people.

--Read More: here

Qatar sends relief aid to Myanmar cyclone victims

Qatar Red Crescent has delivered 30 tonnes of emergency relief materials for survivors of the recent Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, it was announced yesterday.A relief team from Qatar arrived on a special aircraft in Yangon, Myanmar’s second largest city.The aid kits, worth $300,000, include 1,000 tents, 1,000 kitchen sets and 5,000 one-gallon jerrycans.

--Read More: here

War Crafts Also Must Be Ready

So the referendum has given result that the junta won by 92% Yes votes. This clearly outnumbers the NLD 90 election result that was never implemented. Let it be! As the referendum has come true with the result predicted, now the junta should have time, energy, and all resources to manage the cyclone crises. Yes, it should have.

--Read More: here

Britain to back air drops to deliver aid to Burmese cyclone victims

Britain would support unilateral humanitarian intervention in Burma if the military government’s refusal to accept foreign aid for the victims of Cyclone Nargis results in epidemics and widespread deaths, Lord Malloch-Brown, the Foreign Office Minister, told The Times yesterday.

--Read More: here

Asean medical workers to be allowed into Myanmar

Asean medical workers to be allowed into Myanmar

CYCLONE-stricken Myanmar will accept foreign medical workers to help with the relief effort, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) agreed on Monday.

'Myanmar will accept international assistance,' Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo told a news conference.

More details to come.

--Read More: here

Situation at Kunchankone: Interview with a villager

“…The situation at Kunchankone at the moment is not even good to look at. Here, both humans and animals are dead. No help came.

DVB: It is only in town or rural areas?

“It is happening in rural areas. Tawchaung village, Kunchankone Township. On the day the storm struck, all the homes were struck down in that area. Many people were dead. In our village alone, it is estimated that 200 died. For the whole township, there are 500 villages and we estimated that more than 5,000 died. That is the death toll.

--Read More: here

Please come quickly say people of Burma

“…We want the international community to enter the country by any means…as it is very important to save lives…therefore, we want them to enter as soon as possible. They (the authorities) are unable to save people and they must accept people who could. There is nothing more important than human life.” (Reverend U Pyinnyar Wunthar, Buddhist monk)

“We are away from Cyclone Nargis and we don’t know the situation. But the Abbot of Thidagu Reverend Nyan Neisara, U Zagana (renowned comedian) said in the media that there are many people who are in trouble as the result of the storm and villages disappeared, people don’t have food and drink. People are in trouble. As the majority are accepting thus, as for us, the sooner the better. Whichever country comes to our country and helps, we like it the more. Here (in Burma), I heard that there are only 6 or 7 helicopters for rescue. And in the delta region, roads are in ruin and it is not very easy to travel on water paths…” (U Myin Lwin, National League for Democracy, Kyaupadaung, Upper Burma)

--Read More: here

UN leaders given access to Myanmar cyclone zone

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's military regime, which has barred almost all foreigners from its cyclone disaster zone, allowed the U.N.'s humanitarian chief into the Irrawaddy delta for a brief tour Monday, a U.N. official said.

John Holmes, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, flew by helicopter into an area where hundreds of thousands of cyclone victims are suffering from hunger, disease and lack of shelter.

--Read More: here

Asean opens emergency meeting on Myanmar cyclone disaster

SOUTHEAST Asian foreign ministers opened an emergency meeting here on Monday to find ways of escalating delivery of foreign aid to cyclone victims in Myanmar amid resistance from its military regime.

The ministers observed a minute's silence in remembrance of the victims of Asia's twin tragedies this month: the Myanmar cyclone and last week's killer earthquake in China.

--Read More: here

Deep into the delta

A survivor of Cyclone Nargis tries to salvage parts of what remains
of his home in Burma's Irrawaddy delta.
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In his third dispatch, Jonathan Pearce describes the scene as a team from the aid agency Merlin delivers supplies to outlying villages near the town of Laputta

The quayside in Laputta looks out onto utter desolation. The sky is dark and it's still raining. From here a series of low-lying islands stretch across 50 miles of the Irrawaddy delta. Around 300,000 people used to live out there. In the desperate struggle to get help to the survivors of the cyclone, their plight is the most critical.

--Read More: here