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Posts Tagged ‘Camp

Aid groups press Myanmar on camp evictions

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By Aung Hla Tun Tue Jun 3, 7:43 AM ET

Cyclone Nargis victims prepare to leave the Central Relief Camp after the authorities decided to close the camp in Kawhmu on June 2, 2008. Each household was given a bag of rice and 10 yards of tarpaulin for the roofing of their houses, the victims told Reuters. All of them are supposed to leave the camp by Tuesday but many said that their villages are still flooded and inhabitable. (Aung Hla Tun/Reuters)

Reuters Photo: Cyclone Nargis victims prepare to leave the Central Relief Camp after the authorities decided to…

YANGON (Reuters) – International aid groups pressed Myanmar on Tuesday to stop closing cyclone relief camps as southeast Asian experts kicked off a mission to pin down the scale of the devastation a month after the storm.

Cyclone Nargis, the world’s most deadly natural disaster since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, is officially thought to have left 134,000 people dead or missing and 2.4 million destitute.

But many survivors have not yet been reached and Western nations and foreign aid groups complain the relief effort is being hampered by the inflexibility of Myanmar’s military rulers.

“They’ve had a cyclone but they’re not changing the rules. It’s business as usual,” said one official at an aid agency in Yangon, who asked not to be named.

Cumbersome regulations were blocking more vehicles and boats being used to distribute vital aid and even access to satellite communications was being made difficult, the official added.

Authorities have pushed ahead with a campaign, condemned by human rights groups and deemed “unacceptable” by the U.N., of evictions of displaced people from government shelters.

“If populations are on the move all the time, it’s very hard to reach them,” said Chris Webster, a spokesman for the charity World Vision in Yangon.

Closing the camps, usually clusters of tents around schools or other buildings, meant that growing numbers of displaced were returning to areas where the situation was already bad, said the first aid worker.

The last camp in Kawhmu, a district south of Yangon, was shut on Monday, witnesses said of the closures which appeared aimed at stopping the tented villages from becoming permanent.

International relief groups, the U.N. and government disaster officials met in Yangon, but little progress was reported on key issues affecting the delivery of aid.

They had sought details on camp evictions and the government’s repatriation policy, but got no answers, said a senior Western aid worker who declined to be named.

Foreign aid workers would be allowed to stay for two days in the badly-hit delta area but it was not clear if they would be accompanied by official minders.

“To be honest it’s still not clear how it will work,” the aid worker said.


The United Nations estimates that 1.3 million people had been given some assistance, although this was patchy and only half of those in the worst-hit delta had been reached.

“There remains a serious lack of sufficient and sustained humanitarian assistance for the affected populations,” the U.N.’s humanitarian arm said in a report.

In the last week around 15 international staff had been allowed to travel to the delta, but agencies still had no permanent presence, it said.

World Food Program boss Josette Sheeran said its $70 million food aid program faced a 64 percent funding shortfall, as did its logistics plan which includes boats, trucks and helicopters.

A United Nations “flash appeal” also remains well short of its $201 million target a month after the disaster.

The level of aid stands in stark contrast with the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia’s Aceh, when governments around the world promised $2 billion within the first week for a disaster which killed at least 232,000 people.

With the needs on the ground still so murky, an assessment team of experts led by Southeast Asian nations and the United Nations arrived in Yangon on Monday.

“Based on the assessment report that they will produce, we will be able to identify the needs of the Cyclone Nargis’ victims and intensify our efforts in the most needed areas,” said Surin Pitsuwan, secretary general of the Southeast Asian body ASEAN.

Southeast Asian nations have been seeking to take a leading role in relief efforts, particularly since Myanmar’s generals have often been wary of accepting help from Western countries, whose patience also appears to have been wearing thin.

(Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Sanjeev Miglani);_ylt=AjkkqMlsnN2Uqz8FWLFNhgtm.3QA

Slideshow: Tens of thousands killed in Myanmar cyclone


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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 3, 2008 at 7:42 pm

World Focus on Burma (1 June 08)

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Myanmar criticized for plan to reopen some schools a month after …

International Herald Tribune –
AP YANGON, Myanmar: Myanmar’s plan to reopen schools this week in the country’s cyclone-devasted delta region could do more harm than good, aid groups said Sunday, a day after the government came under criticism for forcing cyclone survivors out of …

US aid ships could soon leave Myanmar coast

The Associated Press –
… said the Myanmar representative at the forum did not seem interested in speaking with him. But, he said “it was interesting to watch as minister after minister described their respective unhappiness at their inability to get assistance in to Burma.

US aid ships could soon leave Myanmar coast

Hartford Courant –
By AP SINGAPORE – Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he’ll decide within “a matter of days” to withdraw US Navy ships from the coast of Myanmar, because “it’s becoming pretty clear the regime is not going to let us help.” As a result, he said many …

Myanmar in ‘state of denial’ over cyclone aid–Canada –
“And I think it’s quite disheartening to hear the state of denial that this official appears to be in as far as his recollection of what countries… have put forward as our contributions to the relief of the people of Myanmar, Burma.

SINGAPORE – Myanmar’s rulers “have kept their hands in their pockets” while other countries sought to help cyclone victims, the Pentagon chief said Saturday, branding the military government as “deaf and dumb” for obstructing aid efforts.

Cyclone aid drips in but Myanmar still wary of foreign help

KANZEIK, Myanmar (AFP) – Nearly a month after a cyclone tore through swathes of Myanmar, residents in this Irrawaddy Delta village are only now getting the plastic sheets and clean water that should have arrived long ago.

Meet a smile in Myanmar’s diaspora

Jakarta Post –
Fragmenting the populace is always an effective way for abusive rulers, and in Myanmar, one method to achieve this is by nurturing the mindset that some are less loyal to the motherland than others.

Myanmar says it acted promptly after Cyclone Nargis to provide relief

International Herald Tribune –
AP SINGAPORE: A Myanmar official says his government acted promptly after Cyclone Nargis last month to provide relief. Deputy Defense Minister Maj.

Defence ministers establish protocols for disaster relief

Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
Among those agreeing were representatives of Burma. “Countries should be able to work together with the international community and other countries to bring …

Cyclone Survivors Expelled From Refugee Camps By Burma’s Junta, Canada –
For the Xth time, Burma’s junta has taken an action that has once again brought backlash from the international community. Within the last few weeks, …

Aid workers still waiting to enter Burma’s delta

USA Today –
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Burma needs more than food and shelter. It needs human expertise for everything from cleaning water to mental health counseling …

Deaf and dumb!

Gulf Daily News, Bahrain –
SINGAPORE: US Defence Secretary Robert Gates condemned Myanmar’s military government yesterday for being “deaf and dumb” to global offers of aid to its …

Open Borders to Human Rights

Bangkok Post, Thailand –
The negotiations came to an end when officials from the United Nations, Thailand and Burma agreed to amend a small part of item 3 to read that the “Myanmar …

Burma’s cyclone raises risk of forced labour: ILO

Radio Australia, Australia –
The International Labour Organisation says it’s concerned that Burma’s ruling military junta will use forced labour to rebuild areas of the country …

Martinez native helps out in Myanmar

Contra Costa Times, CA –
Much of the relief work was done in coordination with the San Francisco-based Foundation for the People of Burma, particularly a music school, Gitameit, …

UN in Myanmar forced labour warning

MWC News, Canada –
By Agencies The UN labour agency says Myanmar’s military government may increasingly use forced labour in the reconstruction of the cyclone-devastated …

Fury as Burma shuts cyclone relief camps, UK –
Burma must stop forcing cyclone survivors to return to their shattered homes, where they face more misery or even death, human-rights groups said yesterday, …

Gates: Myanmar delay killed thousands, OR –
Despite these obstructions, we continue to get help into Burma (which the ruling regime calls Myanmar), and remain poised to provide more,” Gates said at a …

World Affairs

Sunday Leader (subscription), Sri Lanka –
The Western world is still outraged at the attitude of the Myanmar military junta which rejected offers by countries around the world, particularly of …

Chicago area clinic helping disabled refugees, USA –
The clinic’s refugees are from Somalia, Rwanda, Burma, also known as Myanmar, and a growing number from Arabic-speaking countries. …

Local couple organizes fundraiser for Burma cyclone victims

Marblehead Reporter, MA –
In a recent email, Oo said, “The CDCE program has an extensive network of program alumni and related contacts inside Myanmar who have been feeding us …

US condemns Myanmar generals

MWC News, Canada –
By Agencies The US defence secretary has launched a direct attack on Myanmar’s military rulers for being “deaf and dumb” to global offers of aid to Cyclone …

Volunteer stays to help cyclone victims

Watford Observer, UK –
A Watford aid worker has extended his stay in Burma after a “difficult week” spent setting up camps in areas devastated by Cyclone Nargis. …

Relative calm

The Daily Star, Bangladesh –
… which is ahead of India (107), Sri Lanka (125), Myanmar (126), Pakistan (127) and Afghanistan (137). Bangladesh was also 86th among 121 countries in the …

Riot police deployed in Burma’s cyclone zone

Howrah News Service, India –
Dedaye (Burma), May 31: Burma has deployed armed riot police in one of the regions hit hardest by the cyclone, stationing them along a few kilometres of …

The Worst is Yet to Come

CounterPunch, CA –
Laura Bush has taken Myanmar, aka Burma, to her heart. But now she’s put her foot in it. In the wake of the terrible cyclone the First Lady said the United …

Myanmar appoints Deputy FM as Chairman representing Myanmar in …

Xinhua – May 30, 2008
YANGON, May 30 (Xinhua) — Myanmar Friday appointed its Deputy Foreign Minister U Kyaw Thu as Chairman representing the country in a Yangon-based tripartite core group, the State Radio quoting the National Disaster Preparedness Central Committee …
Burma: Asean Steps in Where Others May Not Tread The Irrawaddy News Magazine
Myanmar junta praises UN aid International Herald Tribune
American ChronicleReliefWeb (press release)China PostXinhua
all 116 news articles »

Burma: Cyclone updated top news (31 May 2008)

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The Southern Ledger

Mulish Myanmar

Seattle Times –
The ruling generals of Myanmar try the world’s patience with their cruel indifference in the face of the country’s humanitarian crisis.
Burma’s Rulers Tighten Grip on Power Voice of America
US sharply skeptical of Myanmar constitution AFP
all 2,019 news articles »



US Defence Secretary criticises Burma’s junta over cyclone relief

Radio Australia –
America’s Defence Secretary Robert Gates says the delay by Burma’s junta in allowing international aid into the cyclone-hit country cost tens of thousands of lives.
Burma’s rejection of aid has led to death of thousands, says US
Gates slams Myanmar’s response to Nargis Radio Netherlands
all 192 news articles »


The Daily Star

Poor access irks RP, SEA aid workers in Myanmar

ABS CBN News –
YANGON – Myanmar has asked Southeast Asian nations to coordinate the international cyclone relief effort, but regional officials here said Saturday they are frustrated by the regime’s handling of the crisis.
Myanmar warned against premature resettlement The Associated Press
Myanmar Delays Cost `Thousands of Lives,’ Gates Says (Update2) Bloomberg
Washington PostHinduMinneapolis Star TribuneThe Press Association
all 2,509 news articles »


Help is scant in Myanmar village deep inside delta

A man looks out at damaged roof sections being used to gather storm water into large jugs  in Pyinmagon village on an island in Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta, Thursday, May 29, 2008. Due to the lack of aid and relief after the cyclone that ravaged Myanmar many survivors are forced to resort to making make shift fresh water gathering solutions to get by. (AP Photo)

AP Photo: A man looks out at damaged roof sections being used to gather storm water into...

PYINMAGON, Myanmar – Peering out from under the hood of his raincoat, the boat skipper squinted as he tried to steer his small wooden boat through the narrow, twisting channel leading to a village deep in Myanmar’s cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy delta…..


UN: Myanmar forcing cyclone survivors out of camps

People displaced by Cyclone Nargis line up by their tents for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at a refugee camp in Kyondah village, Myanmar May 22, 2008. (Stan Honda/Pool/Reuters)AP – 2

YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s military government is forcing cyclone victims out of refugee camps and “dumping” them near their devastated villages with virtually no aid supplies, U.N. and church officials said Friday.


Myanmar Races to Plant Delta Rice Crops Before Monsoon Rains Bloomberg
Aid Agencies Say Logistical Difficulties Hamper Burma Aid Deliveries Voice of America
ReutersMinneapolis Star TribuneCNNHindu
all 3,209 news articles »


Gates: Obstructed efforts in Myanmar cost lives

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, center, speaks with China's Deputy Chief of the People's Liberation Army staff, Ma Xiaotian, right, at the opening session of the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference, Friday May 30, 2008 in Singapore. (AP Photo/Stefen Chow) AP –
SINGAPORE – Myanmar’s obstruction of international efforts to help cyclone victims cost “tens of thousands of lives,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday, reflecting the widespread frustration with the military government there.


Myanmar starts mass evictions from cyclone camps

Fri May 30, 2:05 PM ETKYAUKTAN, Myanmar (Reuters) – Myanmar’s junta started evicting destitute families from government-run cyclone relief centers on Friday, apparently fearing the ‘tented villages’ might become permanent.


BBC News

Burma’s Rulers Tighten Grip on Power

Voice of America –
He promises the United Nations will continue to press Burma, also known as Myanmar, to free political activists. “The sooner restrictions on Aung San Suu Kyi and other political figures are lifted, the sooner Myanmar will be able to move towards …
Burma arrest condemned Scotsman
Cowardice of silence
Aljazeera.netEdmonton SunABS CBN NewsWashington Post
all 1,868 news articles »

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 31, 2008 at 3:02 am