Burma Cyclone

Opinion/Editorial: To intervene or not to intervene? by carpediemdg

This week’s New York Time’s Magazine carries an article by writer and political analyst, David Rieff, entitled ” Humanitarian Vanities.” The question he poses is a simple one – What does the urge to intervene amount to?

One of his main points seems to be that there is a “law of unintended consequences” operating when a country or set of countries decide to intervene in another on humanitarian grounds. Regime change is never just that – it comes with baggage and unforseen challenges that the intervening country/countries have historically seemed ill equipped to handle. Case in point – Iraq.

Read the full article here.



From the field: Firsthand account by photojournalist of Burma caught in the storm by carpediemdg

I have so far refrained from posting graphic photography/imagery of the Burma cyclone victims on this blog…until I came across this.

In the Eye of the Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone: A Firsthand Account (May 2008 ) by James Whitlow Delano

In a hard-hitting piece that appeared in the latest edition of “The Digital Journalist,” Delano provides a written first-hand account of what he saw in Burma as cyclone Nargis unleashed its fury. Mid-way through the account there is a powerful description of the extent and force of the disaster when he writes:

“A street sign 6 feet wide (2 m) and 3 feet high (1 m) shuttered suddenly and then a gust sent it frantically flying into infinity, never to be seen again. It simply disappeared.”

Delano’s intrepid reporting may have cost him a future ticket to Burma, as he admits himself in the postscript.

[AUTHOR’S POSTSCRIPT: “I may not be able to return after this series is seen because it poses some tough questions about the true nature of a government that already had a reputation for brutality. Now, you see neglect. If that is the price for reporting this – so be it. I would wear the honor of being on their blacklist with honor (though I would be happy too if I could return again).”]

Below is an image from the feature gallery that accompanies Delano’s article.

(Note: Viewer discretion advised. Graphic images may be disturbing to some viewers).


Photos: Trail of destruction in Burma by carpediemdg

Here’s the link to ‘pictures of the day’ on the New York Times website. Among other events across the globe, the photographs capture the trail of destruction left behind by cyclone Nargis as UN Sect. General, Ban-Ki-Moon surveys the scene.

Pictures of the Day

— Divya

Videos: BBC reporter captures horrifying state of cyclone survivors by carpediemdg

Here are some images from a BBC video of survivors and the cyclone aftermath. Reporter, Natalia Antelava reports on the horrifying condition on the ground. A human disaster is fast turning into a man-made one…

1) Here is the image of a cyclone survivor who said government helicopters did come for rescue but somehow missed them because they might not have seen them.

2) Here is a picture of a mother and child, huddled along with several others in a dark room – one of the few standing buildings in the area but without any electricity.

3) Here is the picture of a young boy who lost all his family in the cyclone. He said he clung to a tree for 14 hours before help could arrive. By then, it was too late for his family members.

4) Here, he points to what remains of his home.

5) Here is one of the only standing buildings where a few dozen survivors are taking refuge. 400 people lived in this particular village. 20 survive.

6) Here, a child eats a bit of rice – the only food available in addition to rain water.

Watch the entire video here.


Photos: Pictures shed light on ground situation in Burma by carpediemdg

Here are links to three telling slideshows from the New York Times which illuminate the situation on the ground in Burma and the havoc wreaked by Cyclone ‘Nargis.’

Myanmar faces aid delays

Myanmar struggles in cyclone aftermath

Myanmar junta allowing little aid after cyclone