Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Posts Tagged ‘SOS

Burma: updated top news (12 June 2008)

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The Southern Ledger

UN: 35000 pregnant women need care in Myanmar

The Associated Press –

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Up to 35000 pregnant cyclone survivors are in urgent need of proper care in Myanmar, a UN expert said Wednesday, as relief agencies again raised concerns about the junta’s willingness to accept foreign aid.

Myanmar red tape delays cyclone aid, agencies say International Herald Tribune
Burma says no tax taken from aid The Press Association
The Associated Press
all 166 news articles »


National Post

UN’s Myanmar appeal only 44 percent funded

The Associated Press –
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – The United Nations says it has raised less than half of its goal for relief operations in Myanmar more than five weeks after a cyclone devastated the country. The UN says it set out to raise $201 million but so far has gotten …
UN official says pregnant Myanmar cyclone victims in urgent need … International Herald Tribune
Myanmar Cyclone Disaster Appeal Is Only 40% Funded, UN Says Bloomberg
Los Angeles TimesAFPToledo BladeWall Street Journal
all 1,701 news articles »


LIVENEWS.com.au

RI running out of time to play key role in Myanmar

Jakarta Post –

A month after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar, more than one million people severely affected by the storm have yet to receive any food, water, or shelter, and the so-called “second wave” of dying from disease, thirst, and hunger has begun in earnest.

Myanmar says detention of democracy leader legal The Associated Press

Burma’s Suu Kyi deserves to be flogged: junta ABC Online

ReutersNew York TimesTelegraph.co.ukCBC.ca

all 344 news articles »


Christian Science Monitor

Volunteers send aid through Burma’s (Myanmar’s) back door

Christian Science Monitor –

No, Ms. Finke elected to fly here June 11 to join a grassroots effort for cyclone relief and civil empowerment for Burma (Myanmar), run by the father of her friend who was calling to urge her to come. For most volunteers hoping to help, Burma seems …

Six Weeks After Cyclone, Burma Devastation Remains Uncertain Voice of America

In Burma, A Crime for Civil Society to Provide Relief? AlterNet

Mizzima.comUSA TodayToronto StarChristian Science Monitor

all 166 news articles »


All American Patriots (press release)

Burma still struggling 40 days after cyclone

Radio Australia –
Craig Strathern from the International Committee for the Red Cross in Myanmar says the doors are starting to open. STRATHERN: In the past week we have been fortunate enough to have a number of our own staff – both locally employed and expatriate …
Canada donation helps speed up Burma aid CBC.ca
BURMA: One Million Survivors Not Yet Reached – UN Inter Press Service (subscription)
Mizzima.comVoice of AmericaRTE.ieRadio Australia
all 74 news articles »

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 12, 2008 at 4:30 am

Burma’s updated top news (3 June 2008)

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In darkened Rangoon, Burmese get resourceful

The Christian Science Monitor

Rangoon, Burma – Unable to read street signs at 8 p.m., a Burmese driver was lost in the darkness somewhere in a western township of his native Rangoon (Yangon). Ghostly figures of people emerged in the headlights, like deer on a mountain road. In the flickering light of passing cars, shoppers milled around a bustling food market, fumbling for money and buying fruit and vegetables sight unseen.


Voice of America

Untold story of Burma’s relief effort

BBC News –
Meanwhile state television shows Burma’s military generals touring showcase, largely empty, camps and posing beside well-stocked shelves of medical supplies.
Burma might accept UN choppers this week Melbourne Herald Sun
Myanmar cyclone: half of survivors without aid Telegraph.co.uk
Radio AustraliaSlateVoice of Americaguardian.co.uk
all 97 news articles »


NDTV.com

Myanmar junta withholds permission to choppers

Merinews –
Farce and the Myanmar military junta have become synonymous. A month after over a million people perished and 2.5 million were rendered homeless, the heartless regime withholds permission to airlift relief supplies by choppers to devastated areas.
US accuses Burma of criminal neglect guardian.co.uk
Burma junta ‘put children in danger by re-opening schools’ Telegraph.co.uk
San Jose Mercury NewsLos Angeles TimesPhiladelphia Daily News
all 702 news articles »


NDTV.com

ASEAN-UN-Myanmar tripartite core group to make joint assessment on …

Xinhua –
YANGON, June 3 (Xinhua) — A tripartite core group involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations (UN) and Myanmar is working to make joint assessment on the impact of Cyclone Nargis that devastated Myanmar in early …
Asean, UN to help Myanmar assess cyclone damage Thaindian.com
Southeast Asia: Series of unfortunate disasters Global Voices Online
USA TodayReutersRadio AustraliaXinhua
all 50 news articles »


Sydney Morning Herald

Burma Says New Constitution Washes Away NLD Victory

Voice of America –
By VOA News Burma’s state media say a referendum approving a new military-backed constitution has “washed away” the victory won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party in 1990 elections.
Myanmar charter ‘washes away’ Suu Kyi victory: state media AFP
MIAMI HERALD: Burma’s rulers sink to new low Belleville News Democrat
all 7 news articles »


BBC News

More firms ‘have ties with Burma’

BBC News –
… the country since the group began compiling the list six years ago. Qantas appears on the list because of its controlling stake in Jetstar Asia, which, according to Burma Campaign, flies to the country in partnership with Myanmar Airways International.
Over 150 companies are accused of helping finance Burma’s dictatorship InTheNews.co.uk
all 5 news articles »


BBC News

Burma’s unsung heroes

BBC News –
It has been a month since Cyclone Nargis laid waste to huge areas of southern Burma, leaving more than 130000 people dead or missing.
Feature: After the cyclone Inspire Magazine
Burma reopens schools hit by Cyclone Nargis guardian.co.uk
Watford Observer
all 6 news articles »


ITV.com

Burma pressured over camp evictions

ITV.com –
Foreign aid groups have pressed Burma to stop closing relief camps after Cyclone Nargis left millions destitute. A meeting is being held between aid groups and the Burmese government, during which red tape and the closure of cyclone camps will be …
Rangoon residents left in dark Toronto Star
Eyewitness account Ottawa Citizen
BBC NewsReliefWeb (press release)The Irrawaddy News Magazine
all 8 news articles »

Soft line on Burma hard to beat: Malaysian PM

The Age –
Malaysia is a vocal member of ASEAN, and Mr Abdullah said the grouping had taken the lead in talks between Burma and the global community.


AFP

Myanmar denies delays to cyclone aid, as relief effort lags

AFP –
YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar denied Tuesday any delays to cyclone aid, but the United Nations said the operation to help 2.4 million survivors is still moving too slowly one month after the deadly storm.

Post-disaster reconstruction in Myanmar underway

Xinhua –
YANGON, June 3 (Xinhua) — Official media the New Light of Myanmar Tuesday quoted state leaders as saying that the first phase of the country’s post-disaster restoration work — rescue and relief, has finished up to a certain extent.
Myanmar Rulers Still Impeding Access New York Times
Back to school in Myanmar Los Angeles Times
The Associated PressReutersInternational Herald TribuneJerusalem Post
all 527 news articles »


WBT

A month on, sickness and sadness in Myanmar’s neglected villages

AFP –
ANGU, Myanmar (AFP) – The Irrawaddy delta bore the brunt when Cyclone Nargis struck on May 2 and 3, instantly killing more than 20 people in Angu village, while dozens of villagers have since fallen ill with coughs, colds and diarrhoea as vital aid …
Second wave economic crisis in Myanmar Asia Times Online
Myanmar Delays Cost `Thousands of Lives,’ Gates Says (Update2) Bloomberg
ABS CBN NewsAFPAFPAFP
all 2,281 news articles »


CTV.ca

UN: 1 million in Myanmar aren’t getting basic aid

The Associated Press –
“It’s unconscionable for Burma’s generals to force cyclone victims back to their devastated homes,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Aid ‘lottery’ for Myanmar survivors Aljazeera.net
Aid groups: 1 million in Myanmar without help CNN
ReliefWeb (press release)
all 132 news articles »

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Despite damage, many schools reopen in Myanmar

Schoolchildren leave their school with cyclone damaged roof, windows and walls in the village of Thuwana, 26 kilometers (16 miles) south of Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, June 2, 2008. Schools reopened Monday with many in and around Yangon still bearing the scares and damage of the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis that left more than 130,000 people dead or missing. (AP Photo) (AP)

THUWANA, Myanmar – As students filed into Middle School No. 1 on Monday for the first day of classes since the cyclone hit Myanmar a month ago, all eyes stared skyward — at the gaping hole in the roof.

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Xinhua –
YANGON, June 3 (Xinhua) — A tripartite core group involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations (UN) and Myanmar is working to make joint assessment on the impact of Cyclone Nargis that devastated Myanmar in early …
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PRESS TV

CNN –
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — One month after the devastating cyclone hit Myanmar, aid groups say more than a million survivors are still without basic relief.
Myanmar monks a vital lifeline for cyclone survivors AFP
all 18 news articles »
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Citizen

Who’s in the Junta?The mysterious generals who run Burma.

Slate –
By Jacob Leibenluft US Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused the military leaders of Burma of “criminal neglect” on Sunday for their reluctance to accept international aid after Cyclone Nargis.
Top UN Official Accuses Burma of Obstructing Aid Voice of America
Myanmar reopens schools 1 month after cyclone The Associated Press
guardian.co.ukTelegraph.co.ukSan Jose Mercury News
all 501 news articles »

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Seattle Post Intelligencer –
After a cyclone devastated the Asian country several weeks ago, the public encyclopedia’s editors – remember, anyone can edit it – changed the title of the country’s encyclopedia article from Myanmar to Burma. Others changed it back again.

Burma Cyclone Disaster Fundraiser, Scala, London

Independent –
It’s always tempting, when thinking about a disaster of Cyclone Nargis’s magnitude, to conclude that there is nothing much one person can do.

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CSMonitor.com Mon Jun 2, 4:00 AM ET

Rangoon, Burma – Flying home, Burmese sailors are awestruck when they see the Irrawaddy Delta below them. Four weeks after cyclone Nargis hit, much of the delta is still underwater, a murky inland sea of swollen rivers and flooded fields, dotted with soggy clumps of thatch and bamboo that used to be villages teeming with children and water buffaloes.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 3, 2008 at 4:19 am

Myanmar cyclone victims die waiting for help

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Myanmar monsoon

Los Angeles Times

GLOOMY OUTLOOK: Daily monsoon rain lashes villages in the Irrawaddy River Delta, where boats are the only way in or out for residents and relief groups.

Los Angeles Times

From a Times Staff Writer
May 30, 2008

PA DEWE GAW, MYANMAR — Tropical Cyclone Nargis didn’t kill Ma Thein Hlaing. Neglect did.

She was in the village monastery, reciting Buddha’s canons day and night in the five-day ceremony of pahtan, as the storm gathered strength over the ocean close enough to see from her riverbank village.

The cyclone struck like a ferocious beast clawing at its prey. Thein Hlaing, 56, cowered inside with 19 other worshipers who fought to hold on against a rising flood.

The monastery began to break apart and a large stereo speaker toppled onto her, forcing her head under the surging seawater.

Several men heaved the teak speaker off. But when the 12-hour tempest had subsided May 3, her 19-year-old son, Saw Ko, had disappeared along with the splintered pieces of the family home.

Thein Hlaing was still conscious. She needed a doctor, but in a flattened village with no boats left, her husband, Ko Myint So, had no way to get her to one.

He watched the horizon, hoping help would come from one of the nearby military bases guarding the southern coast of Myanmar, also known as Burma. It never did. More than three weeks after the storm struck, no one from the government, neither soldiers nor civilians, has come here.

In the early days after the storm, as the military government insisted that it had everything under control and shunned most foreign relief aid, the armed forces moved slowly to assist hundreds of thousands of survivors stranded in devastated Irrawaddy River Delta villages.

The government estimates that the cyclone killed 78,000 people, and that an additional 56,000 are missing. The number of injured survivors isn’t known yet. Many survivors are only now being reached as civilian relief workers push farther into isolated areas.

For days, Thein Hlaing lay in pain, pleading with her husband to do something. Each time one of the few remaining civilian vessels plying the river passed the village, he and neighbors frantically shouted and waved from the ruins.

On the fourth day after the cyclone, the crew of a fishing boat stopped at the remnants of the village dock. It would take almost three more hours to reach the nearest hospital, 25 miles northeast, in the town of Bogalay.

Thein Hlaing held on long enough to reach the jetty in Bogalay, a military relief hub. She was still alive when villagers eased her onto a stretcher and took a few hurried steps along wooden planks toward the main hospital, her husband and other witnesses said.

She passed away before reaching solid ground again.

“My wife talked a little bit on the way, and just a few minutes before she died, she said, ‘My eyes can see clearly now,’ ” recalled Myint So, 53. “Then she just closed her eyes. And she was gone.”

“She didn’t have to die,” he said, looking down at weathered hands flecked with mud. “She just didn’t get help in time.”

Nwet Nwet Win, the village nurse and midwife, was in Bogalay when the storm barreled ashore. She worked at the town’s hospital until the chief doctor announced that any staff with homes to return to could leave on Sunday.

The nurse said the first patients from outlying villages began arriving at the hospital four days after the cyclone. She knows of 30 who died, mainly children and the elderly.

“Many people died on the way to the hospital,” she said.

As if a giant hand had swept across the land, the cyclone razed hundreds of villages in the southern delta and deposited the debris along the eastern shores of islands and riverbanks for miles.

To signal relief boats, survivors squatting in makeshift shelters who are trying to stay dry in the daily monsoon deluge have raised tattered pieces of cloth on trees stripped of their branches by the winds.

In one long stretch of broken planks, tree limbs and other wreckage along the shore of Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary, a small statue of a local spirit, a protector on horseback called U Shin Hyi, is the only thing in one piece and still standing.

Burmese staff from U.N. relief agencies reached this village Tuesday, along with several cartons of food and other supplies delivered by Buddhist monks. But without fuel and a pump to clean the reservoir, or some other way to provide clean water, an outbreak of disease is a constant danger, Nwet Nwet Win said.

“I’m very worried,” the nurse said. “All I can do is tell people to boil the water.”

The United Nations and foreign relief agencies say they already have or are ready to deliver equipment to purify large amounts of water in Myanmar, but need to bring in more experts to determine the best places to set up the machines and keep them running.

The military regime has issued dozens of visas to foreign relief workers since top leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a weekend meeting that all nations were welcome to send help.

Many more aid workers are waiting to get in, along with tons of food, medicine, building materials and other supplies, for a relief effort to support about 2.4 million people. Ban said survivors would need support for at least six more months.

The government, which has urged storm victims to be self-reliant, insists that the relief phase is complete and says it has moved on to reconstruction.

But for survivors like Myint So, what to do next remains unclear.

Before the cyclone, he had made a comfortable living making small, low-interest loans to villagers through his micro-credit bank, financed with capital from his son. Now, like most people in the delta, Myint So is broke.

He couldn’t pay for his wife’s funeral, so volunteers took care of it for him, burying her in Bogalay. He lives in a leaky shack smaller than a garden shed, which he hammered together from snapped tree trunks and clear plastic tarps.

He can’t stop thinking about the woman he loved and what could have been done to save her life.

“Before she died, I was a fit and strong guy,” he said. “But I haven’t slept a single night since then. I’m getting thinner and thinner every day.”

He paused for a moment to recall his fondest memory of Thein Hlaing, and he smiled.

“The thing I miss most about my wife is the way she talked, the way she moved,” he said. “She was a guiding star for me.”

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hP4hLgwg2sSzc06D5JB576ks8lTg

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 30, 2008 at 9:56 am

Cyclone survivors say life only gets harder

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Regime forces some to return to ruined homes, others to labor

Many survivors of the cyclone have built temporary shelters like this one in Pyapon town, in Myanmar’s delta. But some say the military is forcing them to return to flooded homes with no hope of rebuilding them.

updated 1:28 p.m. PT, Wed., May. 28, 2008

PYAPON, Myanmar – It’s not much, but the flimsy bamboo lean-to on the side of the road is all Aye Shwe has to keep his family dry. They lost their home to the cyclone and may soon be uprooted again — this time by soldiers ordering them to leave.

Three weeks after the storm, survivors say they are being victimized again, by a military regime that has forced some to return to flooded, collapsed homes and others to labor on reconstruction projects.

Even Myanmar volunteers making the difficult trip into the Irrawaddy delta to deliver food and supplies to survivors are being stopped and detained for hours, and the government has started impounding cars.

“Where my house used to be is still filled with water up to my waist,” said Aye Shwe, pointing to fields of rice paddies in the distance, under water as far as the eye could see. “How can I build a new house there?”

The 52-year-old rice farmer’s mother was killed in the cyclone that left more than 134,000 people dead or missing, and the water buffaloes that were a mainstay of his livelihood drowned in the fierce storm surges.

Still, until this week he had more than many: He managed to fashion a shelter from bamboo poles lashed together with palm fronds laid over one side as a crude roof. His wife and six children huddled together Monday on its raised bamboo floor, sheltering from the searing heat and the downpours that now come daily as monsoon season gets under way.

It’s location on the roadside outside the hard-hit delta town of Pyapon, a four-hour drive from Yangon, had given his family access to the Myanmar volunteers ferrying donated food, water and other aid from the country’s biggest city.

Then the soldiers came and ordered the family and the hundreds of others camped out on the roadside to leave.

Sea of despair
Myanmar’s reclusive government has opened up slightly to the world in the past week, allowing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to meet with some survivors living in tents in a refugee camp the military showed off as a model of its efficient handling of the relief effort.

But the U.N. says as many as 2.5 million people are homeless, facing hunger and potential outbreaks of disease, especially in the low-lying areas of the Irrawaddy delta close to the sea, and only a fraction of them have received any aid.

Hundreds lined the road outside Pyapon this week, squatting in the midday heat with only propped-up palm leaves or tree branches with pieces of cloth flung over them as shelter, hoping for handouts from the occasional passing car.

The government has ordered them not to beg, the refugees said, so only children rushed up to a stopped car with their hands out; the adults just waited, looking beseechingly. Military trucks passed by daily shouting orders over bull horns to leave the road and return home, these people said, though they have nowhere else to go.

“We live from hand to mouth. We have no buffaloes,” said Aye Shwe, adding that he hoped to get permission to remain with his family in their lean-to for the next three months until the monsoon rains end. Asked if he thought that was likely, he looked down and did not reply.

Survivors put to work
The military junta has declared the emergency relief phase of the disaster over and announced reconstruction has begun, ordering able-bodied cyclone survivors to work details, according to aid workers and delta residents.

In the nearby town of Bogalay, where 120 refugees were crammed into the Sankyaung monastery, filled with the sound of rattling coughs and wailing children, the abbot said some survivors had been ordered to construction sites by soldiers.

“Some of the survivors were sent to Ma-ubin last week to build roads now that reconstruction has started,” said the monk, Kawvida, adding he’d heard they were being paid a day wage of about 1,000 kyats — or $1. “They have told me that they are being exploited by some generals.”

He said survivors were given picks and ordered to break up large boulders into pieces of rock for road construction.

Hardships become harder with junta
Inside the temple, volunteers called out names as they distributed bundles of donated clothing to families sleeping on rattan mats under plastic sheets strung from the leaky roof. Behind them, a large Buddha statue was draped with a tarpaulin to protect it from the rain.

“We have received no help from the government,” said Kawvida. “The survivors have been relying on food and other things provided by private donors.”

But some volunteers, especially those affiliated with opposition political groups, have reported being harassed by police or having their vehicles impounded.

Daw Kyi Kyi said she was driving back to Yangon Sunday night after donating slippers, rice and other food to cyclone victims at a monastery in Dedaye, about 40 miles southwest of the city, when three policemen ordered her to drive to a military compound.

“We were told by authorities that we were detained because we created commotion along the route as we delivered relief goods to victims from cars,” the 65-year-old woman said.

She was freed the next morning, but only after authorities took her driver’s license and car registration and charged her with a traffic violation. She said she saw 40 other cars impounded in the compound.

“We didn’t drop food on the road, and we didn’t violate any traffic regulations,” said another volunteer, Nyi Nyi Zaw. “I cannot understand why we were herded into a compound and held there for several hours. This is absurd and very unpleasant.”

In some cases, worried volunteers have abandoned plans to deliver aid. “We collected 80 bags of rice for the cyclone victims in Kunchangone, but we aborted the plan after hearing news of cars being impounded,” said a volunteer, Moe Moe.

That means survivors like 93-year-old Khin Mya, whose only shelter was a red flowered umbrella and a plastic bag, will go without.

“I get very worried every evening because I have to find a place to sleep — maybe under a tree, or if I can share a hut with someone,” the bone-thin woman said. “I must come to the road to receive food from donors or else I will starve.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24861670/

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 29, 2008 at 1:43 am

Weeks After Cyclone in Myanmar, Even Farmers Wait for Food

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Published: May 26, 2008

The New York Times

On a road near Pyapon, in an area of Myanmar ravaged by a cyclone, people waited on Sunday for aid from Burmese civilians.

PYAPON, Myanmar — The roads of the ravaged Irrawaddy Delta are lined these days with people hoping to be fed.

After lifetimes living off the land, poor farmers have abandoned their ruined rice paddies, setting up makeshift bamboo shelters, waiting for carloads of Burmese civilians who have taken it on themselves to feed those who lost everything to Cyclone Nargis.

Few of those who wait say they have received anything from the government, other than threats.

“They said if we don’t break our huts and disappear, they will shoot us,” one man in the village of Thee Kone said over the weekend before a police jeep approached. “But as you can see, it’s raining now. We are pleading to the police to give us one more day and we will be gone far, far from the road, as they wish.”

A red sign on a stake along one road read: “Don’t throw food on the roads. It ruins the people’s good habits.”

On Sunday, donors from more than 50 countries and international agencies meeting in Yangon promised they would deliver more than $150 million in aid to help the country recover from the May 3 storm, The Associated Press reported, but only if they could get access to hard-hit areas like the delta. It remained unclear if Myanmar’s rulers were willing to meet that demand.

At the donor conference, Lt. Gen. Thein Sein, Myanmar’s prime minister, said that international aid was welcome, “provided that there are no strings attached,” according to news agencies that were allowed to send reporters to the meeting.

The conference also made clear a gap remained between the views of the government and the donors on what Myanmar needed most urgently.

The government, which insists that the emergency phase of the disaster is over, showed a video suggesting the country had enough rice, and that what it needed instead was billions of dollars for long-term reconstruction. Some analysts fear that the focus on rebuilding is a ploy.

“I believe they just want to use it for their ordinary activity, put it into their accounts and use it to buy weapons or houses or whatever they would like to do,” Josef Silverstein, an expert on Myanmar with Rutgers University, said in a recent interview.

The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said he believed that short-term help was a priority, with hundreds of thousands left homeless and aid reaching only a fraction of those who needed it. “The needs remain acute,” Mr. Ban said Sunday, “from clean water and sanitation to shelter, medical supplies and food.”

The breadth of those needs was evident during a trip on Friday and Saturday to the delta, the area most devastated by the storm, which left at least 134,000 people dead or missing. It also ruined rice fields and destroyed stocks of rice in flooding that followed.

Villagers in the region, which previously provided much of the rice for the country of 48 million, now squat along miles of roads, holding out bowls to the occasional passing cars bringing food and other supplies. Children keep a vigil, rushing to the vehicles for handouts, sometimes thrusting their arms inside the cars’ windows.

“I don’t know how the government is helping us,” said Ko Htay Oo, 40, in Kungyangon, a delta town 30 miles south of Yangon, Myanmar’s main city. He said the only aid he had seen was delivered by other Burmese citizens.

“I am no beggar, so I didn’t eat anything in the past two days,” he said, leaning against a roadside palm tree. “Besides, you shouldn’t compete with kids for begged food.”

Those who have gotten government help say it is not nearly enough.

U Min Lwin, 37, said his family had received a government ration only twice in the three weeks since the storm; each time they were given seven cups of rice.

A 51-year-old woman who gave her name as San said she recently received potatoes and a small amount of beans from the government but had no stove for cooking them.

Some people have been given government-issued tents, but the tents can accommodate only a small fraction of those left homeless.

In the village of Thee Kone near Pyapon, a major town in the delta, victims said that the village had received four tents that house 20 people each. Any family lucky enough to find tent space had received 16 cups of rice in the past week, a little more than two cups a day.

“There are many other families who want to move into the tents, but there is not enough space,” said the villager who spoke of the police intimidation. “So people complain. They complain not to the government or to the village administrator, but to each other, arguing, ‘Why are you in the tent and I am not?’ ”

He and others had built their own shelters by the road, but it was unclear where they would go after the police told them to leave Friday.

Those and other makeshift dwellings that have popped up on the roadsides are barely sufficient to shield people from the searing morning sun or the monsoon rains that sweep in to drench the area most afternoons.

Many of those who moved to the roadsides are the poorest of Burmese farmers, those who rent rice paddies from landlords. Before the storm, they traveled with their buffaloes, ducks and pigs from field to field, living in huts beside their paddies.

Now, as before, they live next to their source of food, with whatever little they were able to salvage from the wall of water that smashed into many parts of the delta.

One man found shelter in a large bamboo basket he had salvaged from the floodwater. Another lived in a tent built with a plastic Tiger Beer advertising banner that a truck driver had thrown to him. Pigs are tied to roadside palm trees. Ducks swim in the nearby ditches.

The roads are littered with plastic trash from the packaging of donated food.

“I have no dish, no cup, no blanket, no pillow. I have received nothing from the government,” said Daw San Mar Oo, 31, a farmer in a hamlet near Dedaye. “I have nothing in my hands.”

Still, the government continues to make it difficult for those wishing to offer private charity. Police officers armed with rifles stopped cars at checkpoints on Friday and Saturday. Foreigners without government permits to enter the disaster zone were turned back after their passports were copied. Those Burmese who were allowed to pass through were given a warning: Any donation, a yellow handout notice said, must be distributed through village leaders allied with the government.

In Pyapon, a commercial hub renowned for its “hpaya” grass mats, people maintained a semblance of traditional Burmese hospitality despite the disaster. When outside visitors asked for directions at dusk, a man offered them food and lodging at his home.

Pyapon, a trading center for rice, dried fish and fish paste, is the hometown of many rich Burmese tradesmen. But in this town, too, tales of horror were told, over evening tea.

“Dead bodies floating down the Pyapon River are no longer strangers to us,” said Daw Khin Kyi, a resident. “Some of these bodies still wear gold necklaces and bracelets, so some people went out to collect them in the first few days. But now, after many days, nobody goes near. Fish are nibbling at the bodies.”

Ma Ye Ye Tan, a 17-year-old from a hamlet down the river, survived the cyclone. She had arrived at the home of a Pyapon relative several days after the cyclone with virtually nothing on, shivering in monsoon rain.

Now, she said, she did want to go back to her village, which is filled with death. She is not sure what happened to her parents.

“After the cyclone came and went, we continued to hear people shouting in the darkness, but when village men went to search for them, they could find no one,” she said. “We think they are ghosts shouting. I am afraid of ghosts.”

Seth Mydans contributed reporting from Bangkok.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/26/world/asia/26myanmar.html?hp

The New York Times

The Irrawaddy Delta provided much of Myanmar’s rice.

Times Topics: Myanmar | Cyclone Nargis

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Times Topics: Myanmar | Cyclone Nargis
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Lisandru/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Children from an isolated Irrawaddy Delta village, which is accessible only by boat, waiting on Friday to receive donated food.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 26, 2008 at 8:13 am

Burma: Cyclone updated top news (24 May 2008)

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Voice of America

Myanmar cyclone victims vote on eve of aid conference

AFP –
YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar opened polls for hundreds of thousands of cyclone victims, many hungry, homeless and still waiting for aid, in a much-criticised constitutional referendum Saturday ahead of a key donors’ conference.
Myanmar Holds Ballot in Region Devastated by Cyclone (Update1) Bloomberg
Myanmar votes across cyclone zone Hindustan Times
Voice of AmericaBBC NewsBloombergVoice of America
all 152 news articles »

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Mission: Saving Myanmar ABC News – Fri May 23, 9:01 AM ET

The Age

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Cautious response to Burma pledge

BBC News –
Aid agencies have given a cautious welcome to the announcement that Burma’s leaders will allow all foreign relief workers into cyclone-hit areas.
“No time to lose” after Myanmar cyclone deal Reuters
Myanmar to allow foreign help for cyclone victims The Associated Press
Washington PostNew York TimesChicago TribuneTimes Online
all 4,823 news articles »

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China Daily

Arizona State University supercomputing helps Myanmar relief efforts

Bizjournals.com –
Arizona State University has put its supercomputing powers to use to aid relief organizations trying to reach Myanmar. The country in southeast Asia was devastated by Cyclone Nargis on May 2, and recent reports have placed the number of people dead or …
National soccer team to resume training next month in cyclone-hit … Xinhua
DPM Wong to give update on Mas Selamat case; MPs ask about Myanmar … TODAYonline
The Asian Banker (subscription)Bombay NewsTimes OnlineEconomic Times
all 1,050 news articles »


Voice of America

Myanmar Holds Ballot in Region Devastated by Cyclone (Update1)

Bloomberg –
The US has denounced the vote, saying the charter aims to prolong military rule in the country formerly known as Burma, and is calling on the junta to focus instead on providing humanitarian relief.
Myanmar votes across cyclone zone Hindustan Times
Burma Prepares for Referendum in Areas Devastated by Cyclone Voice of America
BBC NewsRadio NetherlandsAFPVoice of America
all 94 news articles »


Monsters and Critics.com

Norway ready to help cyclone victims in Burma

Aftenposten –
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon could finally report a breakthrough in international efforts to aid cyclone victims in Burma on Friday, announcing that the country’s military leaders had agreed to allow disaster assistance.
Myanmar: Health cluster situation report no. 17, 23 May 2008 ReliefWeb (press release)
ASEAN Warns Burma to Boost Confidence Ahead of Donors Meeting Voice of America
Philippine StarNation MultimediaReliefWeb (press release)ReliefWeb (press release)
all 375 news articles »

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

May 24, 2008 at 5:23 am