Filed under: From the Field, Latest News, Resources, Uncategorized | Tags: karen, mae sot, refugees, thailand
My friends Justin & Zoe have been teaching photography to Burmese refugees in Mae Sot, Thailand, for the past few months. Mae Sot is a small town just across the border from the Karen state of Burma. I had just sent them a worried email when I saw their latest blog post. They say Mae Sot was hit with heavy rains but there’s been no real damage, and no one has yet arrived in Mae Sot from the interior of Myanmar. Also of interest: their beautiful project, Unseen Mae La.
Filed under: International Response, Lessons and Theory, Resources, Uncategorized | Tags: government, humanitarian intervention, lessons, sovereign, tsunami
(via Sree Sreenivasan, Dean of Students, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism)
The Carnegie Council for International Intervention has compiled a useful synopsis of some key lessons on humanitarian intervention in the wake of the Burma cyclone disaster. It draws comparisons to the Tsunami response and also one clear distinction:
” … in the case of the tsunami, the affected governments not only welcomed international humanitarian relief, they literally pleaded for it. Not so in Myanmar. What began as a purely natural disaster has quickly become exacerbated by the lack of cooperation–even the obstruction–of the country’s ruling Junta.”
The news digest goes on to pose a critical question: “Does the sovereignty of the state trump the responsibility of the international community to take action when the peoples of a nation are at risk?”
The think tank says it has been trying to answer the complex question by engaging some of ‘the brightest minds and most profound thinkers on this topic.’ The result is a comprehensive sampling of works from their journal – Ethics and International Affairs, that explore the boundaries (and beyond) of humanitarian intervention from a variety of perspectives.
See a list of work samples below:
Toward a Realist Ethics of Intervention
Michael Wesley, Vol. 19.2, Summer 2005 [Excerpt]
Wesley explores the possibilities for developing a realist-informed
normative framework for humanitarian intervention in the context of the
post–September 11 international concern with transnational threats.
The Moral Basis of Humanitarian Intervention [Abstract]
Terry Nardin, Vol. 16.1, Spring 2002
Nardin examines the moral principles underlying the idea of humanitarian
intervention from the perspective of international law and from that of the
natural law tradition.
Humanitarian Intervention: An Overview of the Ethical Issues [Excerpt]
Michael J. Smith, Vol. 12, 1998
This essay analyzes the arguments justifying or opposing the notion of
humanitarian intervention from realist and liberal perspectives and
considers the difficulties of undertaking such interventions effectively
Intervention: From Theories to Cases [Full Text]
J. Bryan Hehir, Vol. 9, 1995
This piece examines the ethics of intervention in light of recent policy
and academic debates on the subject. It proceeds from an examination of the
reasons for intervention today to an assessment of the moral and legal
traditions governing intervention and also provides a review of selected
cases of intervention recently confronting U.S. foreign policy.
LEARNING FROM THE PAST
Legitimizing the Use of Force in Kosovo [Full Text]
Julie Mertus, Vol 15. 1, Spring 2001
Kosovo captured the attention of policy makers, ethicists, journalists,
peace and human rights activists, military analysts, and international
relations scholars. Something new happened there. This review covers books
by Noam Chomsky, Howard Clark, Michael Ignatieff, and others.
Humanitarian Intervention: Which Way Forward? [Abstract]
Richard Caplan, Vol. 14, 2000
NATO’s member states put aside their concerns for national sovereignty in
favor of humanitarian considerations, acting without UN authorization.
European states are rethinking historic prohibitions against humanitarian
intervention after Kosovo.
Special Section: The Politics of Rescue [Abstracts]
Lead authors Amir Pasic and Thomas G. Weiss, “Yugoslavia’s Wars and the
Humanitarian Impulse”, plus commentaries by Andrew S. Natsios, Morton
Winston, Alain Destexhe, and David R. Mapel, Vol. 11, 1997
THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
Whither the Responsibility to Protect? Humanitarian Intervention and the
2005 World Summit [Abstract]
Alex J. Bellamy, Vol. 20.2, Summer 2006
This article examines how consensus was reached on the responsibility to
protect, given continuing hostility to humanitarian intervention expressed
by many (if not most) of the world’s states and whether the consensus
will contribute to avoiding future Kosovos and Rwandas.
Responsibility to Protect or Trojan Horse? The Crisis in Darfur and
Humanitarian Intervention after Iraq
Alex J. Bellamy, Vol. 19.2, Summer 2005 [Excerpt]
What does the world’s engagement with the unfolding crisis in Darfur tell
us about the impact of the Iraq war on the norm of humanitarian
intervention? Is a global consensus about a “responsibility to protect”
more or less likely? There are at least three potential answers to these
Redefining Sovereignty and Intervention [Full Text]
Joelle Tanguy, Vol. 17.1, Spring 2003
The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty’s effort
to revisit intervention and the lessons of the 1990s have resulted in a
conception of intervention as a “responsibility to protect.” But its effort
to ensure that past failures are not repeated may go unfulfilled. (Review
Filed under: Events, International Response, Latest News, Uncategorized | Tags: Burma, demonstration, Events, New York, vigils
The New York Burmese community will gather in Union Square tomorrow night.
Event: CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR BURMA CYCLONE VICTIMS
“LET THE AID REACH BURMA CYCLONE VICTIMS NOW!”
Host: NY Burma Roundtable, Coalition for Regime Change, Burma 88 Coalition
When: Friday, May 9 at 7 p.m.
Where: Union Square
Filed under: International Response, Latest News, Uncategorized | Tags: aid, Al-Jazeera, bbc, cyclone, Divya, government, myanmar, relief, UN
(via Ann Cooper, Columbia Journalism School Faculty)
A U.S. diplomat said the death toll in Myanmar following a cyclone could reach 100,000 (WashPost), a number sharply higher than initial estimates. Myanmar government figures put the number of victims at 22,000, with another 40,000 missing. But al-Jazeera reports the situation on the ground has become increasingly grave and that many initial survivors of the cyclone now face life-threatening circumstances, particularly given a lack of clean water.
Myanmar’s government has agreed to allow UN aircraft to fly in aid supplies (BBC). But relief organizations maintain that their efforts to assist the cyclone’s victims are still being hampered by the country’s military. France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner yesterday invoked a UN doctrine called the “responsibility to protect” (IHT) as a way to possibly circumvent the military government. The 2005 doctrine says the international community has the right to intervene when a government could not or would not protect its civilians.
Filed under: Latest News, Media, Uncategorized | Tags: bbc, burma cyclone, Media
(via Anup Kaphle, Columbia Journalism School student)
Getting the boot from Burma
By Andrew Harding
About a million people are now thought to be homeless
I flew into Burma on Monday morning from Bangkok. The smart new airport in Rangoon had finally reopened two days after the cyclone.
Low clouds obscured the vast wetlands of the Irrawaddy Delta but, as we came in to land, I caught a glimpse out of the window.
My mind flicked back to December 2004, flying into Aceh in Indonesia immediately after the tsunami, staring down at miles of pulverised coastline.
At this stage on Monday, the size of Burma’s disaster was not yet clear.
Over the weekend, the military authorities – safe in their brand new capital city far from Rangoon – appeared to be playing things down.
A few hundred dead perhaps, the state newspapers still overwhelmingly preoccupied with plans to hold a national referendum the following weekend.
The headlines full of the usual semi-threatening calls for a big Yes vote.
But the cyclone’s impact was already looking ominous.
There should have been a bright green jigsaw of rice paddies and villages below. Instead I saw a grey-brown smudge of water and ragged trees.
Read full story here
Filed under: Donations, Resources, Uncategorized | Tags: Donations, relief, Resources
I tried to do a story about some Indian guest workers in the U.S. a while back, but they never returned my calls. They did, however, put me on the United Sikhs mailing list. This came in a couple hours ago….
See Press Release here:
UNITED SIKHS prepares to aid cyclone ‘Nargis’ survivors in Myanmar
New York, USA – UNITED SIKHS Aid gears up for relief efforts in Myanmar. A devastating cyclone, ‘Nargis’ that made landfall on May 2nd brought catastrophic damage to the coastal areas of Myanmar. The government and media of Myanmar put the death toll at 22,000 with over 41,000 reported missing. The SIKH Aid team is in the process of mobilizing volunteers for much needed relief efforts in the disaster-hit regions. Survivors claim this to be the worst storm to hit the country with waves as high as 12 feet that swept away villages leaving more than 1 million people homeless.
The five most affected regions are Yangon (Rangoon), Ayeyawaddy, Bago, Kayin and Mon.
Given the magnitude of this disaster, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges the Government of Myanmar to respond to the outpouring of international support and solidarity by facilitating the arrival of aid workers and the clearance of relief supplies in every way possible. This can significantly aid the Government in responding to this tragedy.
UNITED SIKHS is monitoring the situation in Myanmar and working out the logistics with UN agencies. We appeal to everyone to contribute and support the Relief efforts. We will appreciate help with:
1. Food and Emergency Supplies
2. Medical Aid and Counselling services
3. Rehabilitation and temporary shelters
List of Items required:
- Food and water for evacuees – Non-perishable food, Rice, baby food, milk powder
- Water purification tablets
- Emergency supplies – Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap
- Health Kits and First aid Kits
- Cloths for men, women, children, shoes for children’s
- Mosquito Nets
- Plastic roof sheets
North American donor can ship the relief material to our US based Global command centre for Disaster relief at the address below.
95-26 113th Street
Richmond Hill, NY 11419
For more information call 1-888-243-1690
To meet the needs of survivors a great deal of cooperation would be required from individuals and like minded organizations.
To find out more about the disaster and related relief efforts, please visit http://unitedsikhs.org/myanmarnargis/
If you wish to volunteer please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the UNITED SIKHS, which will provide immediate relief and support to those in need. Call 1-888-243-1690 for more information. Contribute to UNITED SIKHS through local chapter in your country http://unitedsikhs.org/contact.php . Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting http://unitedsikhs.org/donate.php . If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation.
Filed under: International Response, Latest News, Uncategorized | Tags: aid, Burma, Latest News
BANGKOK — The first seven tons of United Nations relief supplies arrived in Myanmar by aircraft Thursday after days of excruciating delay during which the insular military junta resisted international offers of large-scale aid.
American officials said they also appeared to be close to an agreement with the government to send in aid and disaster experts, despite the acrimonious relations between the two nations and blunt recent criticisms of the junta by President Bush and his wife Laura.
Read full story here.