Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Posts Tagged ‘Starvation

World focus on Burma (26 September 2008)

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Win Htein remains in Katha prison
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Sep 26, 2008 (DVB)–Political prisoner Win Htein, who was released on Tuesday and re-arrested the following day, remains in Katha prison but has been given …

Under the Dragon celebrates the ‘gentle generosity’ of the natives …
The North Bay Nugget, Canada –
Rory Maclean’s Under the Dragon is the finest book you will ever read about Burma — that tragically abused and heartbreakingly beautiful southeast Asian …

Denmark continues to be the world’s least corrupt country
Copenhagen Capacity, Denmark –
For the second consecutive year, Somalia and Myanmar (former Burma) have bottom rankings. The countries are ranked on a scale from 0-10, 0 being the lowest. …

Checks and search operations in Rangoon after bomb blast
Mizzima.com, India –
New Delhi – The Burmese military junta authorities are searching and monitoring crowded places such as traffic lampposts, markets and bus stops in the wake …

Rights groups deplore pervading atmosphere of repression in Burma
Mizzima.com, India –
Specifically, the rights watchdog references the fact that dialogue with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is presently non-existent, …

1st anniversary of Burma’s bloody Saffron Revolution
OpEdNews, PA –
As a result of the junta’s excessive use of violence, nearly 100 monks and many lay people were killed. Over 8000 people were arrested nationwide. …

NLD to Celebrate 20th Anniversary
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Filipino protesters display photos of Burma’s last year protests led by Buddhist monks during a silent protest outside the Burmese Embassy at the financial …

Doing What Needs to be Done
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Earlier this week, The Irrawaddy spoke with Win Tin, Burma’s longest-serving political prisoner, who was released on Tuesday after spending 19 years behind …

UNESCO: Director-General welcomes Myanmar’s release of U Win Tin …
ISRIA (subscription), DC –
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today expressed his “immense joy” over the release by the authorities of Myanmar of U Win Tin, …

EU: Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU following …
ISRIA (subscription), DC –
… the Burmese authorities, showing a real willingness to meet the expectations of the international community, in both political and human rights terms, …

Release Aung San Suu Kyi: Laura Bush
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By LALIT K JHA / UNITED NATIONS The US first lady Laura Bush on Thursday again urged the Burmese military junta to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu …

Weekly Business Roundup (September 26, 2008)
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
It’s believed to be associated with shipping and aviation—key transport in junta-linked exports. The British human rights NGO Burma Campaign UK says its …

Gambari Should Be Tougher on Junta: PM in Exile
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Gambari is often accused by critics of spending more time in the company of the junta than with pro-democracy leaders when he is in Burma. …

False dawn in Myanmar
Asia Times Online, Hong Kong –
There is no word yet if opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), or other opposition parties, will be allowed to …

Burma on alert on anniversary of Saffron Revolution
Radio Australia, Australia –
CHO: He is a former army captain and senior assistant to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He was released from Kosar prison in northern Burma but a few hours later he …

Laura Bush implores junta to respect international appeals
Mizzima.com, India –
… democratic opposition for several years, and an especially avid observer of the prolonged plight of Burma’s detained democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Burma: UK Considers Further Sanctions
UNPO, Netherlands –
Britain has admitted that it could seek further sanctions against the Burmese junta if it fails to improve its human rights record and deliver on promises …

World at a glance
InTheNews.co.uk, UK –
Britain has admitted that it could seek further sanctions against the Burmese junta if it fails to improve its human rights record and deliver on promises …

Philippine activists remember violent Myanmar protests
Earthtimes (press release), UK –
Egoy Bans, leader of the Free Burma Coalition-Philippines, said the repression in Myanmar continues and the military has been arresting pro-democracy …

No Happy Anniversary for Than Shwe
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
… political struggle, as he was considered to be close to detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and is known to command respect among Burmese people. …

Bitterness lingers on in Burma a year after `Saffron Revolution’
Toronto Star,  Canada –
… of the new constitution would also bar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from holding any kind of political office in Burma, also known as Myanmar. …

The trouble with India
European Voice, Belgium –
It would irritate China, undermine India’s status at the UN and complicate regional diplomacy with Iran, Burma and central Asian autocracies. …

EDITORIAL: Let’s weigh dangers before we jump into biofuel production
ThisDay, United Republic of Tanzania –
Several years ago, faced with growing food shortages, the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) ordered farmers throughout the country to start growing …

Fearless, and not forgotten
Guardian Unlimited, UK –
And exactly a year ago today those protests in Burma were met by brutal force from the ruling military junta. Hundreds were injured in the crackdown as the …

Myanmar junta flexes muscles a year after crackdown
Reuters UK, UK –
Security was especially tight near the house of detained opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and in front of City Hall, where a small …

Thida: Imprisonment a temporary death
The Brown Daily Herald, RI –

Thida, this year’s International Writers Project fellow, was imprisoned by the Burmese government in 1993 for actively supporting Aung San Suu Kyi, …

Monks travelling to Rangoon subjected to rigorous checks
Independent Mon News Agency, WA –
Monks from rural areas in Burma are undergoing stringent checking by the military junta authorities. The checks begin from the onset of their journey till …

On the first anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, despite U Win …
Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –
Despite attempts by the military regime to hinder the operations of the traditional media like television and radio, hundreds of Burmese civilians used the …

Tight security in Myanmar
Straits Times, Singapore –
‘Human rights were violated here,’ he said. The protests began sporadically in late August 2007 over a hike in fuel prices, and slowly escalated. …

Unrest in Malaysia, Thailand – The Washington Times
International Analyst Network, NY –
In Thailand, People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protestors have occupied government buildings since August 26, with a state of emergency declared in …

35 NLD members march to detained party leader’s residence
Mizzima.com, India –
At least 35 members of Burma’s Opposition party the National League for Democracy have begun marching towards detained party leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’, …

No progress in Burma, says group
BBC News, UK –
Repression in Burma has increased since the ruling military government crushed pro-democracy protests a year ago, says the US-based Human Rights Watch group …

Police on streets for anniversary of brutal crackdown
First Post, UK –
The date September 26 has entered Burma’s calendar of events commemorating the current regime’s 20-year iron rule – beginning with the September 1988 mass …

EU-India: Time to move from style to substance
New Europe, Belgium –
… its global responsibilities and should stand up more forcefully against violations of democracy and human rights in countries like Burma and Zimbabwe . …

Tight security prevents repeat of Myanmar protests: opposition
AFP –
The NLD, led by detained Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. Myanmar has been run by the military …

Suu Kyi’s party asked to retract statement
Peninsula On-line, Qatar –
yangon • Myanmar’s police chief held his first meeting with leaders of Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party yesterday, asking them to retract their call …

Undercover: Peter Cave interviews a student leader (ABC)
ABC Online, Australia –
In addition, I needed an interview with an official of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. It was a tall order but within an hour it had all …

Rights group says Myanmar repression continues year after crackdown
AFP –
Rather than let Burma’s rulers continue to engage in fruitless dialogue, the international community should demand real action,” she said in a statement. …

Burma’s unfinished revolution
Boston Globe, United States –
… have called for “true democracy” in Burma, appealing for the release of their sister laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and expressing solidarity with all people …

Burma’s Bluff
Wall Street Journal –
Burma’s state media reported 9002 prisoners were released this week as part of the junta’s plan for a “peaceful modern discipline-flourishing democratic …

In Myanmar, cyclone continues to take a toll
Los Angeles Times, CA –
… said Shin Imai, who runs the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s operations in Myanmar, which also is known as Burma. …

Myanmar: Junta Threatens Action Against Opposition
Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –
YANGON, MYANMAR: Myanmar’s military government has threatened the party of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi with legal action unless it …

Assam] Support Burma’s Monks From Your Home
AssamNet, India –
The petition asks Ban Ki-moon to make freeing Burma’s 2130 political prisoners a top priority. Yesterday the regime released 9000 prisoners; however, …

A year has passed since popular protests against Burma’s ruling junta filled the streets of Rangoon. A military crackdown finally brought the demonstrations …

Rampaging rats bring starvation to Burma
BBC News, UK –

Local human rights groups say of an estimated 500000 population, 100000 people are at crisis point. They blame a natural phenomenon, which occurs every 50 …

Generals still rule Myanmar with firm grip
International Herald Tribune, France –
The generals’ domination in Myanmar, formerly Burma, has been tested repeatedly over the past two decades — by the monks last September, by Daw Aung San Suu …

Tradition and technology
Times Online, UK –
While democracy activists and Buddhist monks marched in their hundreds of thousands against Burma’s military regime, it was the country’s internet …

In tiny acts of defiance, a revolution still fickers
Times Online, UK –

… general election in 1990, won by the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent most of the intervening years under house arrest.

Junta’s election road map: political amnesty
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
… weekly Myanmar Times reported. Amnesty International estimates there are still more than 2100 political prisoners languishing in Burma’s jails. …

Burma: One Year After Violent Crackdown, Repression Continues
Human Rights Watch (press release) –
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, made a report after his November 2007 visit, but acknowledged it …

Myanmar’s Release Of Long-Serving Detainee ‘Positive’ Step, Says …
Scoop.co.nz (press release), New Zealand –
The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has hailed Myanmar’s release of U Win Tin, a writer and former …

Starving in Burma
BBC News, UK –

One of Burma’s smallest ethnic minorities, the Mara, say hundreds of their people have starved to death. Local human rights groups believe food shortages …

Myanmar’s Release Of Long-Serving Detainee ‘Positive’ Step, Says …
Scoop.co.nz (press release), New Zealand –
… vice-chair of Myanmar’s Writers’ Association and a founder of the National League for Democracy (NLD), whose leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house …

S Korean court says Myanmar refugees can stay
Daily Times, Pakistan –
SEOUL: South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that eight men from Myanmar should be granted refugee status since they were likely to face political …

Six hurt as blast rocks Myanmar
The National, United Arab Emirates –
“What happened then has changed Myanmar for ever – the screams of the monks being beaten is indelibly marked in the hearts of all true Burmese,” he said, …

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In Picture: Junta’s crackdown during the Saffron Revolution in 2007

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World focus on Burma (10 September 2008)

with 2 comments

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Student Warriors lambast junta over false accusations
Mizzima.com, India –
The group also lambasted the junta for arresting members of the National League for Democracy and Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network (HRDP) for …

Suu Kyi’s supporters banned from visiting her sick housekeeper
First Post, UK –
Burmese authorities have sealed off a Rangoon hospital to prevent outsiders from visiting a sick woman companion of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San …

Show of solidarity for Suu Kyi
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Burmese nationals form the largest refugee group in Japan, which in a rare break from Western nations maintains friendly relations with the military regime. …

‘Bangladesh on front line of climate change’
Bangladesh News 24 hours (subscription), Bangladesh –

… of people face drought in Ethiopia; 11 million people affected by flooding in India; and up to 128000 people killed by the cyclone that struck Burma. …

Pupils’ joy as Burmese friend is found safe
Bolton News, UK –
… at a Bolton primary school are celebrating after a young Burmese girl they sponsor was found alive and well in the aftermath of a deadly cyclone. …

In love with cars
CSR Asia, Hong Kong –
Officially, Three Pagodas Pass border crossing is closed and the Burmese junta has not permitted border trade with Thailand since 2006. …

Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2007 documents Burmese ruling junta’s …
Asian Tribune, Thailand –

Human Rights Year Book of Burma Twenty years since the brutal suppression of the 1988 uprising, the Burmese military junta continues to exert tight control …

Thai Court Rules Against Samak, Orders his Resignation
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
He stressed that he would not mention the position of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in any talks he had with the Burmese junta, the Bangkok Post said. …

Samlee nominated
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
The regional committee said its decision was guided by Dr Samlee’s speed in activating emergency funds to help victims hit by Cyclone Nargis in Burma, …

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Myanmar explosion injures 3
Straits Times, Singapore – AP.
The military has ruled Myanmar, also called Burma, since 1962 and has been widely criticised for suppressing basic freedoms. —
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Three injured in a bus explosion in Myanmar: report
AFP –

YANGON (AFP) — Three passengers were injured when an explosion ripped through the back of a bus at a busy intersection in Myanmar’s main city Yangon, …

US concerned, as hunger strike rumors swirl
Mizzima.com, India –
On Sunday, Police Chief Brigadier General Khin Yi told a press conference in Burma’s capital of Naypyitaw that neither Suu Kyi’s lawyer nor personal …

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FACTBOX-A look at North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

Reuters AlertNet, UK –
Intelligence experts say Kim ordered the 1983 bombing in the capital of Burma, now Myanmar, that killed 17 senior South Korean officials and the bombing of …

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Burma: Cyclone, starvation – now plague of rats devastates Burmese …
guardian.co.uk, UK – Pete Pattisson in Chin state, Burma
A report last month by the Chin Human Rights Organisation estimates that up to 200 villages are affected by severe food shortages and at least 100000 people … (Video included)

Myanmar 1990 election winners want junta’s UN seat
The Associated Press –
The junta has ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, ever since. Daw San San, vice president of the Members of Parliament Union (Burma), said in the letter …

US concerned about welfare of Suu Kyi
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Washington (dpa) – The United States expressed concern Tuesday about the health of Burma’s leading democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who reportedly began …

Suu Kyi supporters on hunger strike in Japan
Daily Times, Pakistan –
TOKYO: Some 50 Myanmar nationals in Japan are to stage hunger strikes in solidarity with detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the protesters said …

… a month before she was put under house arrest, but that the Myanmar, also known as Burma, “has severely limited outside contact with her” since then. …

Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. The report finds the distinction between civilians and combatants is …

Fears Aung San Suu Kyi will starve to death
NEWS.com.au, Australia –
By Daniel Pedersen in Mae Sot, Thailand DISSIDENTS from Burma fear that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will starve herself to death. …

Visit Myanmar—That’s an Order
World Hum, CA –
It was November 18, 1996, and at 5:30 that morning, Myanmar’s military junta had rounded up the few foreign journalists in town and bussed us to a stadium …

Missionary trip to China leaves empty feeling
Rapid City Journal, SD –
“That medicine would have cost us $20000 to $30000 in the US” With about 60000 to 80000 orphans left behind in Burma, Klein said sex slavery is a …

Burma/Myanmar: 44 children die of starvation; 2,000 flee to India

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Children Die in Chin State Famine

By SAW YAN NAING

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More than 30 children have died in a famine in Chin state, western Burma, according to the Chin National Council, an exile rights group.

The famine was caused by a plague of rats, which ate rice stocks in many of the state’s villages.

Another Chin group, the Chin Human Rights Organization, said the famine had hit about 20 percent of the state’s population, or at least 100,000 people.

“They have no food,” said Lian H Sakhong, a leader of the Chin Humanitarian and Relief Committee. “Unless we provide sufficient relief soon, the situation will become worse.”

He pleaded with donors to contact the Chin Humanitarian and Relief Committee so that relief can be rushed to the stricken areas.

The famine occurs about every 50 years when the flowering of a native species of bamboo gives rise to an explosion in the rat population. The International Rice Research Institute has warned of “widespread food shortages” because of the crisis.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article1.php?art_id=13943

44 children die of starvation; 2,000 flee to India

August 21, 2008 – Famine plaguing Chin state in western Burma killed 44 children after they were afflicted by malnutrition and diarrhea, according to Chin National Council’s secretary Pu Ralhnin. Faced with starvation around 2,000 people have fled to India.

“All the victims are children. They died from malnutrition and diarrhea, Pu Ralhnin said.

The children who died from malnutrition and diarrhea – as a result of food shortage in Chin state – are from Surngen, Tisen (A, B), Sentun, Ngalang, Lawngzuite, Lawngtlang villages in Thangtlang Township.

“Since they had nothing to eat, they looked for Yams in the jungle and had it as their daily meal. It led to malnutrition and diarrhea,” he added.

Meanwhile faced with starvation, around 2,000 villagers from Paletwa Township, one of the worst affected areas in Chin state have fled to Mizoram state in northeast India.

“I heard that around 2000 Khumi people from Paletwa region had arrived in some areas in Mizoram close to the Indo-Burma border because they are facing food shortage and there is nobody to help them,” Terah, coordinator of Chin Famine Emergency and Relief Committee based in Mizoram said.

The villagers belong to the Khumi tribe from famine hit areas in Paletwa township. They entered illegally to take refuge in Saiha district and Lawngtlai district in Mizoram.

Terah also said that most of the villagers from Paletwa Township are in search of whatever jobs are available in Mizoram for survival.

Bamboo flowering began on the Indo-Burma border in late 2006 leading to multiplication of rats in the region. The rats gradually invaded the farmlands and destroyed crops such as paddy and maize – the main staple food of Chin state.

As a result along the Indo-Burma border areas, over 100,000 people, heavily dependant on cultivation are facing food shortage.

Initially, the most affected areas were Paletwa, Matupi, Thangtlang township but later the phenomenon spread to northern Chin state.

Since early July, rodents started devouring crops in several farms of some areas in Tamu and Kalay Township in Sagaing division. The farmers were helpless, unable to contain the situation.

“Since early July, rats have been destroying several crops such as paddy and maize planted in farms in our villagers,” a villager from Khanpat said.

Despite the local authorities distributing rat poison to farmers in Kalay to prevent further spread of rats in the region, the farmers said that using the poison is no longer effective.

The Burmese regime said that it had provided rat poison and around 1000 bags of rice to the affected areas in Chin state.

The locals from the affected areas in Chin state denied that they had received any aid from local authorities. – KHONUMTHUNG.

http://khonumthung.com/kng-news/2008-news-archive/august-2008/44-children-die-of-starvation-2-000-flee-to-india

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 22, 2008 at 2:31 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

Related

Myanmar Diverts French Warship Carrying Aid (May 27, 2008)

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