Save Burma

အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Posts Tagged ‘Survivor

World focus on Burma (9 September 2008)

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Opposition in exile launches campaign against Burmese junta’s …
Mizzima.com, India –
… in 2007 that called for a tripartite dialogue between the Junta, the National League for democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic groups. .

Myanmar emergency response continues
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –
Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D) continues to provide emergency relief in Myanmar (Burma) through the Action by Churches Together (ACT) …

.. would like to request you to reconsider the most effective ways and means appropriate for settlement of political situation in Burma (Myanmar). …

NLD members accused of medical offences
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
“Everywhere in Burma there are many people who keep syringes to help people in places were there are no doctors or medics,” Dr Aung Moe Nyo said. …

Film director Mike Tee arrested
Mizzima.com, India –
Burmese military junta authorities have arrested Burma’s prominent film director Mike Tee for alleged drug abuse, sources said. Though he was said to have …

Visa-On-Arrival proposal thrills Burmese tour companies
Mizzima.com, India –
Chiang Mai – A proposal to allow tourists to obtain visas on arrival by the Union of Myanmar Travel Association to the Burmese junta has triggered new hopes …

India Urges South Asian Cooperation Against Poverty, Disease
RedOrbit, TX –
He cited the recent cyclone havoc in Myanmar [Burma] and floods in Nepal and Bihar. Expressing empathy with the flood-affected people, he said the need of …

Angola: A Potential Powerhouse Inches Forward
World Defense Review –
Last month, Human Rights Watch issued a report which, citing intimidation of opposition parties and the media as well as interference with the electoral …

Cyclone refugee charged after submitting petition
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Sep 9, 2008 (DVB)–Cyclone refugee U Nyan Win has been arrested in Naypyidaw where he was trying to secure the right for other survivors of Cyclone Nargis to …

Pakokku residents slam security forces’ inaction

Sep 9, 2008 (DVB)–Residents of Pakokku in Magwe division have criticised the actions of government security forces who failed to respond to an attempted robbery that took place in broad daylight. –

The stuff of nightmares for 21st century kids
International Herald Tribune, France –
The junta in Burma looks downright evil – refusing international aid after a cyclone, and starving its own citizens. Watching the resulting chaos erodes our …

Commemoration of Monk’s Death Muted in Arakan State
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Ashin Ottama was born in Arakan State, western Burma. As a child, he was selected to go to England to study, but his mother refused to let him go, …

Thai prime minister toppled by court for hosting cookery show
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –
After taking office seven months ago Mr Samak personally cooked dinner for the Burmese prime minister, General Thein Sein, when he visited Thailand. …

RICS Strengthens Its Position in Hong Kong and Asia with More …
PR Newswire (press release), NY –
It also has members working across the region such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos PDR, Macao, Mongolia, …

Gambari Should Push for Tripartite Dialogue: UNA
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Unless national reconciliation was established, the UNA warned, there would be no peace and tranquility in Burma. “What are the UN’s mandates assigned upon …

Refugees explain problems getting aid
Indianapolis Star, United States –
Fort Wayne is home to one of the largest communities of refugees from Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma. Refugees arrive in the US …

Veteran politicians call for end to hunger strike
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a true democratic leader whose party won the elections in 1990 and she is loved and respected by the people of Burma,” the …

Dissidents Dismiss Junta’s Allegations
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The New Light of Myanmar also claimed that other dissidents, including more than a dozen NLD members, had left Burma to receive training to carry out …

Rambo-type people less likely to survive disasters!
Newstrack India, India –
To reach the conclusion, Gonzales reviewed miraculous tales of survival from catastrophes like the Burmese cyclone, September 11 attacks and the Boxing Day …

Vision Beyond Borders founder shaken by China experience
Billings Gazette,  USA –
The group also visited Myanmar, where Klein said Vision Beyond Borders continues to provide relief and aid to people affected by Cyclone Nargis. …

Mission leaves empty feeling
Jackson Hole Star-Tribune, WY –
“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 …

Hawaii Doctors Help Cyclone Hit Myanmar
KGMB9, HI –
“We managed to get in only because we were sponsored by the chief monk in Burma,” said Dr. Carl Lum, Aloha Medical Mission. Two months after the storm, …

Two dead as monsoon floods hit northern Thailand
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –
… to overflow for the second time this year due to heavy rains in Myanmar (Burma) that are causing the Mae Sai River to rise as it drains into the Mekong. …

Locked in Burma
Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa –
It is hard to imagine what life must be like for Aung San Suu Kyi, locked up inside her Rangoon home, separated from her children, denied visitors, …

Burmese refugees want help getting aid
WTHI, IN –
Fort Wayne is home to 1 of the largest communities of refugees from Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma. The News-Sentinel of Fort …

Is Cold War Rhetoric Back at the UN?
Asian Tribune, Thailand –
Judging by the recent deadlock in the Security Council — over Kosovo, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), Zimbabwe, Sudan and most recently Georgia — one wonders …

Analysis and Strategy: My Country First
Asian Tribune, Thailand –
Burma is a classic example and now the plight of Burma is the most highlighted in the world, what in Burmese we always boast “Myanmar Ko Kaba Thi Say Mae” . …

Miraculous survivors: Why they live while others die
CNN –
Whenever a disaster hits — a cyclone in Myanmar; an earthquake in China; a climbing accident in Alaska — Gonzales scans the headlines for the stories of …

Samak to ask Burma to let UN play a role in elections
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Thailand will try to convince Burma to allow the United Nations to play a role in its general elections scheduled for 2010, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej …

Appeasing the junta _ the UN’s dangerous detour
Bangkok Post, Thailand –
Either way, the UN is taking a dangerous gamble on the goodwill of the Burmese junta. And even if the regime honours any promises that it may have made _ …

Opposition denies junta’s accusation of terrorism
Mizzima.com, India –
Khin Yi said NLD members Yan Shwe, Zaw Zaw Aung and Myint Aye, that last of whom is also a member of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters Network (HRDP) …

Ex-local to lead Buddhist classes
Vail Daily News, CO –
He has traveled on pilgrimage and for teachings to India, Tibet, Nepal, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. SDC also offers a weekend retreat, “Living Dharma in …

Karachi, a beggar’s paradise, continues to provide for many
Daily Times, Pakistan –
There are around 60 Burmese and Bengali colonies in the city, with a population of approximately 1.5 million. The colonies are spread from Machhar Colony to …

Sept 9, 1951 – Nehru becomes president of Congress party
Sify, India –
1988 – Burma’s former Prime Minister U Nu, toppled in a 1962 military coup, announces formation of a rival government. Burma is now known as Myanmar. …

South Africa’s Human Rights Reputation Tarnished
Human Rights Watch (press release) –
By Carroll Bogert, published in The Sunday Independent Supporters of human rights around the world watched in joy 14 years ago as apartheid ended and a new …

Likewise, Chinese and Thai tourists are going to the Shan state in Myanmar (Burma) to take advantage of child sex workers,” another study by the UN agency …

POLITICS: Is Cold War Rhetoric Back at the UN?
Inter Press Service, Italy –
Judging by the recent deadlock in the Security Council — over Kosovo, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), Zimbabwe, Sudan and most recently Georgia — one wonders …

Myanmar’s colonial-era Strand Hotel well preserved
San Jose Mercury News,  USA –
Before World War II, the Strand was reserved for “whites only,” but during the Japanese occupation of Burma—as Myanmar was formerly known—it became an army …

The probing of love in its non-romantic forms is back too — the love of truth, the fearless love of an Aung San Suu Kyi, the love of the divine. …

Burma’s opposition urges UN to take stronger action
Mizzima.com, India –
… spokesperson for the VPC-Myanmar. He added that they would like to see the reformation of Burma under the UN’s initiative and hope that a future UN …

Aung San Suu Kyi’s aide shifted to another hospital
Mizzima.com, India –
Ma Win Pa Pa and her mother Khin Khin Win have been closely serving detained Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and have been detained along …

Arms: Northern Ireland’s import-export business
Open Democracy, UK –

… very measures which would stop Northern Ireland-supplied weaponry ending up in the hands of human rights abusers in countries like Burma and Zimbabwe. …

Conflicting reports over Daw Suu hunger strike rumours
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Sep 8, 2008 (DVB)–The National League for Democracy and the Burmese regime have offered conflicting responses to rumours that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is …

Burmese share aid problems
News Sentinel, IN –
Luse gave details on recent legislation that bans import of jade, rubies and other gems from Burma, now called Myanmar, in hopes it pressure the reigning …

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World focus on Burma (21 August 2008)

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ASIA: Rock Star’s Expulsion Says No to Child Sex Tourists
Inter Press Service, Italy – By Marwaan Macan-Markar
Likewise, Chinese and Thai tourists are going to the Shan state in Myanmar (Burma) to take advantage of child sex workers,’’ another study by the UN agency …

State media: 5.9-magnitude quake kills 1 in China
The Associated Press –
BEIJING (AP) — A 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted southern China near the border with Myanmar Thursday, killing a woman — one day after another quake damaged …

One dead as two quakes hit NEWS.com.au, Australia –

5.9-magnitude quake hits China The Standard, Hong Kong –

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Thailand: Flooding in Chiang Rai business districts; Chaiyaphum …
Mathaba.Net, UK –
Greatly over the critical level of 2.50 metres following heavy rain in Thailand and Myanmar, overflowing its banks and flooding residential and business …

ACT Situation Report: Myanmar emergency response operation 21 Aug 2008
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –
ACT members and partners continue co-ordination between each other and with other non-governmental organisations and UN agencies. …

Tanzanian refugees settle in Ireland
The Press Association –
Last year, Ireland accepted almost 100 refugees from Burma who were living in hillside camps on the border with Thailand. The Tanzania refugees, who are …

Burma Rights Group Says XL, Chubb to Withdraw; Chubb Charges …
Insurance Journal, CA –
The Burma Campaign UK, a human rights group, has issued a bulletin stating that XL and Chubb have separately announced their withdrawals from the Burmese ..

Appreciating the Spirit of India´s Independence Day
American Chronicle, CA –
The landlocked Northeast, which has been surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet (china), Burma and Bangladesh, is the home for more than 30 active armed groups, …

Dead-end in Burma for UN envoy
Mizzima.com, India – by Larry Jagan
“The SG has also indicated his intention to return to Myanmar (Burma), when conditions are right, to continue his dialogue with the Myanmar leadership,” a …

Myanmar: “I only lost my home,” says cyclone survivor
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –
YANGON, MYANMAR (BURMA), August 21, 2008 – Ma Yi* was one of the fortunate ones: all that she lost was her house, and everything in it. …

More US Regional Engagement Needed
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
In 2003, the US introduced the Freedom and Democracy Act in response to the ruthless attack on Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters in the central Burmese …

Court charges monk on 10 counts
Mizzima.com, India –
He said ‘even if I did not put on my robe, I am still a monk, it is not necessary to handcuff me, you are violating human rights’, the monk’s sister quoted …

Burma democracy group names insurers on ‘dirty list’
Royal Gazette, Bermuda –
Ace Marine, it added, offered insurance for Burma through its London office. The Burma Campaign, whose aim is to bring democracy to a country currently …

Habeas corpus returns to Burma?
United Press International, Asia, Hong Kong –
(Awzar Thi is the pen name of a member of the Asian Human Rights Commission with over 15 years of experience as an advocate of human rights and the rule of …

International Text Messaging Approved in Burma
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
GSM phones were introduced by Myanmar Post and Telecom in 2002. Despite being more expensive, they’ve quickly become more popular than CDMA and cell phones …

Gambari May Leave Without Seeing Suu Kyi, Than Shwe
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By SAW YAN NAING With one day of his current visit to Burma left, UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari has still not met either opposition leader Aung San Suu …

Migrants Flow out of Burma as Economic Woes Deepen

The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Some local observers suggested that the steady influx was due to the impact of Cyclone Nargis, which slammed into Burma’s largely agricultural Irrawaddy …

Gambari Fails to Meet with Suu Kyi
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
By SAW YAN NAING The United Nations special envoy to Burma failed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday as scheduled, according to Rangoon sources. …

Solo Protestor and Wife Released
Narinjara News, Bangladesh –
During the protest, he demanded the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in a message written on a poster that was hanging around his neck. …

More US Regional Engagement Needed
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
In 2003, the US introduced the Freedom and Democracy Act in response to the ruthless attack on Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters in the central Burmese …

U Myint Aye to be charged with misappropriating aid
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Aug 21, 2008 (DVB)–Human rights activist U Myint Aye is to be charged with misappropriating relief funds despite the lack of evidence against him, …

Monsoon floods strand 80000 in India’s northeast
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –
South Asia’s monsoon season typically runs from June through September, bringing deadly flooding and landslides to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar (Burma) …

SCR Studios Launches Asian Photo Gallery Web Site Version 2.0
PR Web (press release), WA –
Some upcoming trips that will be incorporated into his online stock include India, Nepal, Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sir Lanka, Malaysia, …

Tsunami warning system improvements stalled
Phuket Gazette, Thailand –
… provinces should a storm similar to Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta region, make landfall and cause a storm surge there. …

UN: UNITED NATIONS BRIEFING AND TV: WEDNESDAY, 20/08/2008 …
MaximsNews Network, NY –
On his third day in Myanmar, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Ibrahim Gambari, met with the ministers of Planning and Health with whom he discussed …

Flooding in Chiang Rai business districts; Chaiyaphum prepares
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –
… of 2.50 metres following heavy rain in Thailand and Myanmar, overflowing its banks and flooding residential and business areas in Mae Sai municipality. …

It’s about time for a fresh look at China
University of North Carolina The Daily Tar Heel, NC –
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Human rights are global rights. What’s good for the Chinese is good for all Zimbabweans, Burmese and Sudanese.

Myanmar: Opposition Leader Misses UN Meeting

New York Times, United States –

The ruling generals in Myanmar, formerly Burma, had thrown a tight security cordon around the state guest house where the envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, …

Myanmar Opposition Concerned About Aung San Suu Kyi’s Health

Bloomberg –

“The government didn’t give an explanation for why she didn’t show up and neither did Mr. Gambari,” Nyan Win said by phone from Myanmar. …

Burma – a genocide of neglect

HUMAN NEED: Pakuranga’s Stuart Corlett with refugee child Tommuang, due to get plastic surgery thanks to Partners Relief and Development. Photo supplied.

Times Online – Auckland, New Zealand –

… Mr Corlett is back in New Zealand on a five-week journey to bring Burma (also known as Myanmar) back into the minds of New Zealanders. …

Global insurers targeted by human rights activists

Lloyd’s List, UK –

HUMAN rights activists are renewing pressure on the global insurance industry and its leading market place, Lloyd’s of London, to reassess its policy on …

Pacific Team Delivers GEOINT in Paradise

DirectionsMag.com, IL –

When Tropical Cyclone Nargis struck Burma on May 2-3, 2008, causing catastrophic damage and killing tens of thousands, these well-prepared virtual partners …

The Military and the Monetary,

Toward Freedom, VT –

Chinese military hardware is shipped regularly to Burma, including the 2005 supply of 400 military trucks to Myanmar’s army. Chinese military exports went …

ASEAN considers observer status for Burma civilian Govt

ABC Online, Australia –

Elected in 1990 but unable to form government he was driven from Burma by the military junta in 1994. “I’ve been out of Burma for nearly 15 years,” he said. …

Daily Times, Pakistan –

The former Burma’s ruling generals threw a tight security cordon round the state guest house where Ibrahim Gambari and the 63-year-old Nobel laureate have …

Thumbs up for Mandela, down for Geldof

OneWorld.net, UK –

A greater proportion of Londoners also voted for Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi (9 per cent) than any other region. …

Intermountain Catholic, UT –

Aden Batar (back row, second from right) meets in the CCS courtyard with newly arrived refugees from Burma (Myanmar). Most Burmese refugees have spent at …

Johann Hari: John McCain and his secretive plot to ‘kill the UN’

Independent, UK –

For example, the UN is routinely blamed for not intervening in Burma, or Zimbabwe, or Georgia – but the UN has no army of its own; it is only as good as its …

Emergency Appeal update: Myanmar(Burma) Cyclone Nargis response

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –

Nargis struck Myanmar (Burma) on May 2-3 and, according to figures supplied by the United Nations in July, killed more than 84530 persons; 53836 are still …

Samantha Power’s Special Pleading

The Plank on TNR.com, DC –

… Chinese fleeing the Mao regime, Asian nationals from Uganda, and the avalanche of human wreckage from Paraguay, Guatemala, Burma, Cambodia, …

PMO: No decision yet on Bnei Menashe

Jerusalem Post, Israel –

The Bnei Menashe, who live in the states of Mizoram and Manipur on the border with Myanmar (formerly Burma) claim to be descendants of a lost tribe of …

Myanmar: UN envoy meets with ministers on third day of visit

UN News Centre –

20 August 2008 – The top United Nations envoy to Myanmar met with the country’s planning and health ministers today to discuss ways to tackle the …

Mwanawasa Leaves Mixed Legacy

Inter Press Service, Italy –

Burma and Somalia, ranked 179th in the Index, are the countries viewed as the most corrupt. Zambia is ranked 68 in the latest index measuring the level of …

The Mislabeled “United Nations Human Rights Council”

Post Chronicle –

Well-known human rights abusers Burma, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe voted in favor of the new council and many …

Two international insurance companies to pull out of Burma

Mizzima.com, India –

“…we strongly condemn all insurers that remain involved in our military junta run country. They help keep the generals in power, and condemn Burma’s 50 ..

Harrowing stories from Cyclone Nargis

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MSF article

June 23, 2008

“While we were in the villages, we heard a lot of stories about the cyclone. Apparently the sky went red and they heard a very loud noise. The rain and the wind started at the same time, but the wind was very strong. The water levels rose to 12 feet high, so the villages near the river were completely overwhelmed.

Kim (not her real name)is a, nurse, 26, who normally works for MSF in one of the rural projects in Myanmar. She has been with MSF for about two years and normally works on primary health care. She has been working in the Delta for three weeks assisting in the MSF emergency programs following Cyclone Nargis and is now having a few days rest in Yangon before heading back to Pyapon.

“I didn’t hear about the cyclone until a week after it had happened. I was staying in a very rural part of the state where I work. It is very difficult to communicate in the village where I was staying, and it is a long way from the state capital. There is no television there and because all the telephone lines were down, I first heard about the cyclone on the radio.

“The first thing that I heard was that Bogale and Setsan areas had been very badly damaged and that many people had died. Then we were called back to the state capital. We were told that they needed four nurses to travel down to the Delta, so I decided to volunteer because I wanted to help the people who had been affected by the cyclone.

“We first traveled down to Yangon, then after two days we went to Pyapon. I noticed that there were a lot of people living in temporary shelters next to the main road. This was because all the houses in the villages had been damaged in the storm, so people had to come and live by the road.

“All these houses were very small and not big enough for the families. The houses were made out of palm leaves that they had found from coconut trees – this was to try to keep the rain out. This was because they could not afford to buy any construction materials because after the cyclone the cost doubled. But even so, a lot of shops had already run out of construction materials and it was impossible to buy any. When I arrived in Pyapon all the houses seemed to be damaged. Almost all of them had lost their roof.

“From Pyapon, we traveled out to quite a lot of smaller villages. One of the things that I noticed were all the dead bodies. There were so many, especially lots of children. There were also lots of dead animals, especially water buffalos and pigs.

“I was surprised because, although I didn’t arrive until two weeks after the cyclone, there were still a lot of dead bodies which smell really bad. The problem was that people had to survive. They have to rebuild their homes and find clean water and food, so they are not interested in clearing away the dead bodies – there is still too much to do.

“People don’t really seem to care that they are living among dead bodies – I saw quite a lot of people showering in water that had bodies floating in it, but luckily they know not to drink that water.

“Drinking water is a big problem. Most villages had some sources of clean water, such as a lake. But the lakes have now become contaminated because people or animals died there so we had to pump out the water. MSF provides big water tanks, but the problem is that they are difficult to transport, so we can only bring them to villages close to the road or big rivers.

“Many people walk to villages to collect water, so we give them jerry cans to collect the water. People who live in other villages have to collect rain water, so we give them jerry cans or they walk to Pyapon to collect them and bring them back to their villages.

“When we first arrived at Pyapon there were hardly any staff and expat staff were not allowed to travel at that time. We were split into two teams, and we traveled to the villages in our teams.

“When we arrived in the villages we had three jobs to do. First we would assess how many people lived there and what the needs were. Then we would find a place, such as a school, where we could do distribution. Most houses had no roofs so we would give everyone a tarpaulin and a jerry can. After we had finished the distributions we would start medical consultations. The problem was that there were too many people who needed medical consultations, so we had to prioritise treating the under fives first. We would check their nutritional status, and if they were in danger of malnutrition we would give them Plumpynut, which is a ready to use nutritional supplement.

“We would assess other patients for diarrhea and check their wounds. A lot of people had badly infected wounds because they hadn’t been able to clean them properly.

“Now there are three teams when we go to the villages. Some people are in charge of doing the assessments, other people do distributions and medical teams do consultations. I’m happy because now we get to see all the patients who need treatment.

“While we were in the villages, we heard a lot of stories about the cyclone. Apparently the sky went red and they heard a very loud noise. The rain and the wind started at the same time, but the wind was very strong. The water levels rose to 12 feet high, so the villages near the river were completely overwhelmed.

“The villagers said it was impossible to see the land and a lot of the coconut trees were destroyed. A lot of houses were completely submerged by the water.

“Some people ran to the monasteries because the monasteries tend to be higher than people’s houses. In one village everyone climbed onto the roof to keep out of the water. But the roof could not take the weight of all the villagers and it collapsed. Everyone drowned who could not swim. People had to hold onto anything that they could find to stop themselves from drowning.

“One father who could swim tied string around the wrists of all his children, so that they would not be separated or swept away. But the cyclone went on for too long, and he couldn’t swim any longer. Afterwards they found the whole family drowned, tied to one another by the string.

“The wind was also a big problem. One monk told me that he had been lifted from one side of the village to another. Another man was worried about his mother all alone in her house in the other side of the village. He left his own house and went to his mother’s house to bring her to his own house where she would be safe. But as they were walking to his house she was blown away and killed. He feels very bad and blames himself for her death.

“Most of the villagers had lost all their clothes because they had been torn off their back by the force of the wind. People had to steal clothes from some of the dead bodies because they were so ashamed of having nothing to wear. Other people used their longhis (Burmese sarongs) to tie themselves to coconut trees, which was how they had managed to survive.

“My colleague was working in Bogale and told me about some of the things that happened there. There are two big boats in that village and a lot of people had taken shelter in the boats. One of the boats was tied to a tree by a rope and everyone survived. But the rope holding the other boat broke, and the boat was destroyed. Everyone sheltering in that boat drowned.

“We also heard some good stories about the night of the cyclone. A lot of women went into labour that night so the midwife was very busy. She did a very good job, so many people have decided to name their children after her!

“A lot of families are very crowded together because they have lost their homes. Normally you have about four of five families staying together in one house. This is not good because disease can spread quickly this way. People really need building materials so that they can get their own houses. They are also in need of food.

“Some people were really starving before they got any aid. In one village they had nothing to eat, so they had to take one of the pigs that had died in the cyclone and eat it. I felt really sick when I heard this story but they had no food and otherwise they would have starved to death.

“People are also scared to eat the fish because they are worried that the fish have been eating the dead bodies. I don’t know if this is true but I think that people are very scared about disease.

http://www.msf.org/msfinternational/invoke.cfm?objectid=B4C74446-15C5-F00A-25084BB5EB234EF7&component=toolkit.article&method=full_html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 23, 2008 at 1:07 pm

World focus on Burma (22 June 2008)

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North-East militants thrive on extortion, recruit youths

Newindpress, India –

“Their weapons come largely from Burma and China and they use AK-47, AK-56, M-16, M-20, sniper rifles, which easily cost between Rs 15000-Rs 30000 each. …

Soccer unites Utah’s refugees

Salt Lake Tribune, United States –

Eight teams, representing Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone and the Karen people, an ethnic group from Myanmar (formerly Burma), came out in force to play in the …

Eastern India becoming hotspot for women traffickers: Study

Zee News, India –

“Women and children from Assam and Bangladesh are trafficked to Moreh in Manipur and sent to Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries through the Golden …

An interview with Albright

Daily Herald, UT –

I would like us to do more, but it requires pressure by countries around Burma to push the junta into allowing more assistance. …

Myanmar refugees display their art, and a talent for survival

Seattle Post Intelligencer –

Born in a small village in Myanmar, formerly Burma, Kennedy was forced to flee to Thailand to escape his country’s repressive military government. …

Burmese saved by survival instincts

Scotsman, United Kingdom –

SEVEN weeks have passed since Cyclone Nargis swept through the Irrawaddy Delta in southern Burma, leaving a trail of flattened villages and broken lives and …

Troy church assists orphans in Thailand

Suburban Lifestyles, MI –

The Akha are an ethnic group that originates from China and Tibet but has immigrated to Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and the hills of northern Thailand. …

Private relief efforts for cyclone survivors fill a gap in Myanmar

Los Angeles Times, CA –

He is an example of a grass-roots movement that has emerged in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Many of those doing private relief work are highly critical of …

Frustrated Burmese Organize Aid

Washington Post, United States –

… the main opposition group in Burma, also called Myanmar, have doubled since the cyclone, according to a student leader of the league. …

Cover: Jade delivers Burma aid

Aircargo – Asia Pacific, Australia –

JADE Cargo International was one of the first airlines cleared to carry humanitarian aid material to Myanmar, Burma. The carrier finished the charter …

Aung San Suu Kyi celebrates yet another birthday in detention

MyNews.in, India –

“By inviting exiled deputies from Burma to hold their congress in Canada, as was done previously by Sweden, Ireland and Norway, the Canadian government …

American Politics, Terrorism and Islam

Asian Tribune, Thailand –

Russia, China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Burma seized the moment, as did many other governments to bring their brand of state terrorism which …

Plague of rats devastates Burma villages

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom –

By Nick Meo After the fury of Cyclone Nargis, a new disaster looms in Burma: packs of rats that swarm through the hills once every 50 years have consumed …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 22, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Myanmar junta evicts cyclone survivors

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Posted: 18 June, 2008

myanmarcamp.jpgPhoto by Reuters/Aung Hla Tun

Myanmar (MNN) ― Myanmar’s junta government has been quietly evicting cyclone survivors from shelters and shutting down refugee camps. They’re sending the people home for “reconstruction,” but there’s nothing left in most villages.

The government has now imposed martial law in many areas of the delta affected by the cyclone, and some local officials are being accused of abusing their authority.

Donor organizations are still NOT allowed into the villages affected. They are allowed to deliver supplies to an SPDC (Burma Army)-controlled warehouse in township areas where who knows what is happening with the supplies donated. There are growing concerns that the government is merely stockpiling the supplies and issuing propaganda showing distribution.

Vision Beyond Borders’ Patrick Klein says in order to get aid to these areas, “There’s a list. For that village, you have to be on that list; you have to be approved by the village leaders. If it’s not (on the list), you’re turned back, and any supplies you’ve brought for the cyclone victims will be confiscated by the government. I don’t know how our friends are getting on those lists, but they are going in with a team.”

There are other concerns, too. Klein says  they have confirmed reports that the army is now shooting survivors as well as raping female survivors. Blockades are up on all roads and river ways to the delta area to intercept local individuals bringing aid to survivors in order to extort money from them.

Vision Beyond Borders’ team arrives in Myanmar tomorrow. Continue to pray that the Lord would intervene so that the team can reach those needing help. The team sent ahead two containers: one is full of medicine, the other is full of food. They’re also taking in 15 duffel bags with medication, water purification tablets, clothes and money.

Aside from providing the physical help, they’ll also be living their faith. Klein says during his last trip, the team got the chance to talk about Christ and share their testimony.

The response was overwhelming. “I’ve never seen the people cling to every word. They were desperate for hope. That’s what we want to do is bring them not just the supplies. That’s the secondary thing. But we are trying to get the Gospel to these people because we know that there’s a lot of people that could die as a result of this catastrophe, but we want to give them the hope that is in Jesus Christ.”

http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11347

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 18, 2008 at 8:43 am

Burmese Endure in Spite of Junta, Aid Workers Say

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Published: June 18, 2008

YANGON, Myanmar — More than six weeks have passed since Cyclone Nargis swept through the Irrawaddy Delta in southern Myanmar, leaving a trail of flattened villages and broken lives and arousing international sympathy that turned to anguish as the military government obstructed foreign aid.

Now doctors and aid workers returning from remote areas of the delta are offering a less pessimistic picture of the human cost of the delay in reaching survivors.

They say they have seen no signs of starvation or widespread outbreaks of disease. While it is estimated that the cyclone may have killed 130,000 people, the number of lives lost specifically because of the junta’s slow response to the disaster appears to have been smaller than expected.

Relief workers here continue to criticize the government’s secretive posture and obsession with security, its restrictions on foreign aid experts and the weeks of dawdling that left bloated bodies befouling waterways and survivors marooned with little food. But the specific character of the cyclone, the hardiness of villagers and aid from private citizens helped prevent further death and sickness, aid workers say.

Most of the people killed by the cyclone, which struck on May 2-3, drowned. But those who survived were not likely to need urgent medical attention, doctors say.

“We saw very, very few serious injuries,” said Frank Smithuis, manager of the substantial mission of Doctors Without Borders in Myanmar. “You were dead or you were in O.K. shape.”

The cyclone swept away bamboo huts throughout the delta; in the hardest-hit villages, it left almost no trace of habitation. Some survivors carried away by floods found themselves many miles from home when the waters receded.

But those who survived were not likely to be injured in the aftermath by falling rocks or collapsing buildings, as often happens during natural disasters, like the earthquake in China.

That appears to be the primary reason villagers were able to stay alive for weeks without aid. As they waited, the survivors, most of whom were fishermen and farmers, lived off of coconuts, rotten rice and fish.

“The Burmese people are used to getting nothing,” said Shari Villarosa, the highest-ranking United States diplomat in Myanmar, formerly Burma. “I’m not getting the sense that there have been a lot of deaths as a result of the delay.”

The United States has accused the military government of “criminal neglect” in its handling of the disaster caused by the cyclone. Privately, many aid workers have, too. The junta, widely disliked among Myanmar’s citizens, did not have the means to lead a sustained relief campaign, they say.

But relief workers say the debate over access for foreigners and the refusal of the government to allow in military helicopters and ships from the United States, France and Britain overshadowed a substantial relief operation carried out mainly by Burmese citizens and monks.

They organized convoys of trucks filled with drinking water, clothing, food and construction materials that poured into the delta.

“It’s been overwhelmingly impressive what local organizations, medical groups and some businessmen have done,” said Ruth Bradley Jones, second secretary in the British Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. “They are the true heroes of the relief effort.”

Aid workers emphasize that of the estimated 2.4 million Burmese strongly affected by the storm, thousands remain vulnerable to sickness and many are still without adequate food, shelter and supplies.

But their ailments are — for now — minor. Medical logs from Doctors Without Borders show that of the 30,000 people the group’s workers treated in the six weeks after the cyclone, most had flesh wounds, diarrhea or respiratory infections. The latter two afflictions are common in rural Southeast Asia even in normal times. Diarrhea can be especially dangerous for infants and young children, but doctors say that, while they have treated thousands of cases, the illness has not reached critical levels.

“I can’t say it was an outbreak,” said May Myad Win, a general practitioner who works for Doctors Without Borders and spent 25 days in the delta treating an average of 25 patients a day. “It was not as severe as we feared.”

The number of people in need of serious medical aid was judged to be low enough that officials at a British medical group canceled plans to bring in a team of surgeons in the days after the storm, said Paula Sansom, the manager of the emergency response team for the group, Merlin.

For several weeks after the disaster, the government prevented all but a small number of foreigners from entering the delta. Now a more comprehensive picture of the damage is being assembled by a team of 250 officials led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The officials plan to release their findings next week.

The number of people killed in the storm may never be known. The government has not updated its toll since May 16, when it said 77,738 people were killed and 55,917 were missing.

In a country that has not had a full census in decades, it is not even certain how many people had been living in the area before the storm. Itinerants who worked in the salt marshes and shrimp farms were probably not counted among the dead, aid workers say.

But it is clear that in many villages, women and children died in disproportionate numbers, said Osamu Kunii, chief of the health and nutrition section of Unicef in Myanmar.

“Only people who could endure the tidal surge and high winds could survive,” Mr. Kunii said. In one village of 700, all children under the age of 7 died, he said.

With only minimal food supplies in villages, aid workers say, delta residents will require aid until at least the end of the year. The United Nations, after weeks of haggling with Myanmar’s government for permission to provide assistance, is now using 10 helicopters to deliver supplies to hard-to-reach places and alerting relief experts at the earliest sign of disease outbreaks.

Still, the military government continues to make it difficult for aid agencies to operate.

Last week, the government issued a directive that accused foreign aid agencies and the United Nations of having “deviated from the normal procedures.” The government imposed an extra layer of approvals for travel into the delta, effectively requiring that all foreigners be accompanied by government officials.

“They’re changing the goal posts,” said Chris Kaye, the director of operations in Myanmar for the United Nations World Food Program. “We have a whole set of new procedures.”

Myanmar’s government says it issued 815 visas for foreign aid workers and medical personnel in the month after the cyclone. But some aid workers were never allowed in, including the disaster response team from the United States Agency for International Development.

Local news media reported over the weekend that the government planned to build 500 cyclone shelters in the delta. These structures are used in neighboring Bangladesh, which has a relatively widespread early warning system.

When Cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh in November, the winds reached an intensity similar to the 155-mile-an-hour gusts that blew through the Irrawaddy Delta last month.

Tellingly, the number of people killed by Cyclone Sidr — about 3,500 — was a small fraction of those killed in last month’s cyclone here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/world/asia/18myanmar.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5087&em&en=1c25e65d3c2c81f0&ex=1213934400

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 18, 2008 at 8:35 am

Burma: updated top news (15 June 2008)

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Canada.com

Myanmar rice growers in need of fuel for tiller machines: UN

Press Trust of India –

New York, June 14 (PTI) Myanmar urgently needs one million gallons of diesel to operate 5000 tiller machines to help farmers plant rice in the cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady Delta area, a senior official of a UN agency has said.

UN says Myanmar farmers need fuel for planting The Associated Press

Burma heading toward a new civil strife due to fall in rice production Asian Tribune

BBC NewsReutersExpressindia.comHindu

all 95 news articles »


The Southern Ledger

Spotlight on Burma – a mix of art, politics and aid

ic Wales –

MP for Cardiff North Julie Morgan is to hold an event at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre to show solidarity with protesters in Burma and the victims of Cyclone Nargis. Spotlight on Burma will be a “mix of art, politics and aid”, featuring updates …

Fierce purity and the fate of Myanmar International Herald Tribune

Burmese Academic’s Letter Draws Fire The Irrawaddy News Magazine

Jakarta PostThe Associated PressABC OnlineReuters

all 374 news articles »

11 killed in landslide in northern part of Myanmar

Xinhua –
YANGON, June 14 (Xinhua) — A total of 11 people were killed in a landslide in Myanmar’s northern part of Mogok, the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported Saturday. The landslide caused by midnight torrential rain on Wednesday-Thursday, …
Landslides Kill 11 Northern Burma AHN
Eleven killed in Myanmar landslides WLOS
Macau Daily TimesThe Associated PressDaily Times
all 100 news articles »

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 14, 2008 at 11:46 pm