Burma Cyclone


AP: Myanmar politics roiled, but junta grip firm by karenzr

Interesting piece from the Associated Press on the political fallout from the Saffron Revolution and then the cyclone. Here’s an excerpt: 

<<Analysts say these passions and emerging trends may in the longer term loosen the junta’s grip on power. But for now it’s business as usual: dissidents are arrested, a brutal campaign against ethnic minorities rages on and the military strides toward elections guaranteed to perpetuate its control.>>

Also states that the influx of foreigners post-Nargis ‘may be the most intense interaction Myanmar has experienced with the outside world since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1948.”

Also, from Agence France Presse: UN chief says will press Myanmar on democracy.

–Karen  

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Opinion/Editorial: The real reason Than Shwe declined U.S. assistance by carpediemdg

As news about the Myanmar cyclone and it’s aftermath recedes into the background (including in the media), an op-ed in the Burmese news magazine, The Irrawaddy, sheds light on why the junta refused assistance from the U.S. military. And I quote,

“What the generals truly fear is that if they allow US warships and foreign forces to come to the aid of cyclone survivors in the Irrawaddy delta, people will soon rise up and the regime would be overthrown. That fear prevented the Than Shwe regime from allowing the US to come in and help.”

As the fate of more than 2 million remains unknown, local Burmese sources such as The Irrawaddy are good to remain tuned in to what’s happening on the ground.

Some of the it’s top stories include:



Latest News: Vollies funnel aid through Thai Border:Christian Science Monitor by karenzr

Simon Montlake reports in the Christian Science Monitor that grassroots groups are funneling aid through the volative Thai-Burma border region.

An excerpt:

<<Aid is also trickling over the Thai-Burmese border, a hotbed of activism against Burma’s regime. It’s a backdoor channel for aid groups unwilling or unable to go through the front. By tapping an existing underground network in Burma, they try to bypass official channels and put aid directly in the hands of the most needy. >>

–Karen



Opinion/Editorial: When natural disasters turn state-sponsored: Time Magazine by carpediemdg

This article is about Zimbabwe and Mugabe’s dictatorial ways that are proving all too self-destructive for his own country. It raises an interesting point for humanitarian relief, however, particularly in the wake of the Burma and China disasters, and I quote…

“Zimbabwe is in the midst of a slow-motion, man-made disaster. It is as if the cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China were state-sponsored tragedies.”

Read the full article here.

— Divya



Breaking News: Myanmar government says detention of democratic leader is legal by lamivo
June 11, 2008, 5:56 pm
Filed under: Latest News, Media | Tags: , , ,

From the AP:

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A state-controlled newspaper said Wednesday that Myanmar’s military rulers were breaking no laws by holding pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for a sixth straight year.

The junta’s recent decision to extend Suu Kyi’s detention by one year sparked international outrage, with the Nobel Peace laureate’s party and foreign defense lawyers arguing the junta could legally only hold her for five years.

Read more here

 

-Lam



Latest News: Junta Evicting Cyclone Victims by karenzr

The latest New York Times story says that a visit to some of the Irrawaddy Delta villages hardest hit by the cyclone suggests “that the story of the death and destruction, compounded by the junta’s actions, has been neither fully told nor even fully seen.” Their reporter inside Myanmar is still anonymous.

–Karen



Latest News: Junta reneging on promises to UN chief: Economist by carpediemdg

A month of misery
(First para of the article)

WHEN the United Nations’ secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, met Myanmar’s reclusive leader, General Than Shwe, on May 23rd, he secured a promise of free access for foreign aid workers to the millions of victims of cyclone Nargis. But more than a month after the cyclone, many have still not been reached. Access to the devastated Irrawaddy delta is only slightly freer.

Read the full article here.

–Divya