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  



Latest News: Burmese Junta says “yes” to foreign and commercial aid but “no” to military assistance by carpediemdg

Myanmar to allow foreign aid

U.N. chief says Myanmar yields on international aid workers, but not on military help.


ASSOCIATED PRESS
Saturday, May 24, 2008

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar — Myanmar’s ruling junta said Friday it will let foreign aid workers and commercial ships help survivors in the cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy Delta, but it refused to relent on accepting aid from U.S., French and British military ships.

The naval ships, almost within sight of the coast for more than a week, offer a potential boost to the aid effort because they can send helicopters to the hardest-to-reach spots.

The military regime told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday that all aid workers would be let into the country as long as it was clear what they were doing and how long they would remain.

Read full article here.

–Divya



Latest News: Save the Children reaches 160,000 cyclone survivors with aid by carpediemdg

According to a recent press release by Save the Children Alliance on ReliefWeb, the organization has reached 160,632 people including more than 50,000 children with food, water, shelter materials, household supplies and oral-rehydration salts to treat diarrhea.

Other highlights from the release include:

  • The death toll from Cyclone Nargis continues to rise. Unofficial estimates from the United Nations suggest that as many as 102,000 people have died, and up to 1.9 million people have been affected.
  • Authorities have declared five regions — with an estimated total population of 24 million — to be in a state of emergency, including Yangon Division, Pegu Division, Mon State, Karen State and the Irrawaddy Division.
  • Humanitarian agencies are expressing concern about an impending hungry season, as the rice planting thatI normally begins in June may be hampered by lack of tools and supplies, as well as by land made less arable by an influx of salt water from the storm surge.
  • Even before the disaster, an estimated 30 percent of children in the region suffered from chronic malnutrition, according to health experts.
  • Throughout Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta region, many villages have been devastated, with thousands of homes destroyed, and more than 3,000 schools damaged.
  • Much of the delta is reachable only by boat, even in normal times, but many boats were destroyed in the storm — limiting the ability of storm survivors to find food, water and medical assistance.

Read the full press release here.

–Divya



Events: Protest vigil & fast by Burmese Buddhist monks by karenzr

From 8-8-08 for Burma, the opposition group born out of the 1988 student-led protests in Rangoon, now called Yangon:

May 15-16, 2008 UN PROTEST VIGIL & FAST BY BURMESE BUDDHIST MONKS

==============

WHEN: Thursday, May 13, 12pm-8pm // Friday, May 14, 12pm-8pm

WHERE: Ralph Bunche Park, United Nations, 43rd St and 1st Ave

WHO: Sasana Moli International Burmese Monks Organization, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, NY Burma activists

More information on the Global Day of Action available at www.burma-network.org

–Karen



Latest News: Ban Ki-Moon Puts Pressure on Burma by karenzr

Ban Ki-Moon’s recently addressed the United Nations Press Corps “to publicly press the repressive regime in Myanmar to allow a larger number of foreign aid workers to help with the humanitarian crisis created by cyclone Nargis,” wrote UN expert, Bhaskar Menon. See the full blog post here on “Undiplomatic Times” – a blog about international affairs. Also visit the UN News Center here.

–Karen



Activism: Online petition for U.N. to act on Myanmar crisis by karenzr

From Anthony Mon:

A petition has been started to urge United Nations to apply “responsibility to protect” doctrine to force international aid into Myanmar. Over 4,000 signatures so far.

–Karen



Media: Thirteen.org video: Burmese in NY Protest by karenzr

As promised: we did a video of a Burmese protest outside the United Nations over the weekend for thirteen.org. It was just posted in their news & public affairs section, along with a link to NewsHour’s daily updates on the humanitarian crisis.

–Karen