Burma Cyclone

Latest News: TOP OF THE AGENDA:Myanmar crisis devolves by carpediemdg

(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.

— Divya

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