May 2008


Kun Wan, Myanmar: It is a scene Myanmar’s ruling generals are unlikely to see played out for themselves: As a convoy of trucks carrying relief supplies, led by Buddhist monks, passed through storm-devastated villages, hungry children and homeless mothers bowed in supplication and respect.
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The Burmese military junta is allowing entry to aid workers into the cyclone devastated areas at snail’s pace. As a result a huge number of survivors continue to be deprived off any kind of support. This despite the regime’s recent permission allowing access to aid workers in to cyclone hit regions, officials of Medicines Sans Frontiers said.
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Pyinmagon, Myanmar – Peering out from under the hood of his raincoat, the boat skipper squinted as he tried to steer his small wooden boat through the narrow, twisting channel leading to a village deep in Myanmar’s cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy delta.
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A planned public fundraising drive by the well-known Moustache Brothers comedy troupe to collect money to help Cyclone Nargis survivors was halted by a professional entertainer’s association in Mandalay on Thursday. (more…)

The start of the school term is likely to be delayed in many areas affected by the recent cyclone while schools are rebuilt, but efforts are underway to reopen as soon as possible.
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Chinese to Join Daewoo in Burma Oil, Gas Exploration

A Chinese state company has secretly agreed a joint venture with South Korea’s leading conglomerate Daewoo to explore for oil and gas in Burma. (more…)

Four weeks after Cyclone Nargis swept through the populous Irrawaddy delta in Burma, a regional effort to help the victims is slowly grinding into shape. (more…)

Burma’s obstruction of international efforts to help cyclone victims cost “tens of thousands of lives,” US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday in his strongest condemnation to date of the military government there.
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Human rights groups lashed out on Saturday at Burma’s military leaders for evicting cyclone refugees from relief camps and forcing them back to their storm-shattered homes.
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Burma’s cyclone survivors have endured a seemingly endless series of heartbreaks and hazards over the past month.
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Cyclone Nargis lashed Burma almost four weeks ago and it is already too late for some survivors. Some have died from lack of emergency aid. With the monsoons approaching, the United Nations’ relief experts are racing against time to save the rest of the cyclone victims in the hardest hit areas of Irrawaddy delta. But until a few days ago the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-ASEAN were unable to convince the military in Burma to open up the country for a full fledged humanitarian rescue mission. (more…)

Ko Min, a rice farmer, and his neighbours are starting to rebuild their collapsed wooden houses, using material scavenged from the wreckage. Of the roughly 20 homes in the hamlet of Thilamyaing, around an hour’s drive south-east of Rangoon, only two withstood the force of cyclone Nargis, which this month battered Burma’s Irra-waddy delta and its largest city for a terrible 24 hours. (more…)

Kun Wan, Myanmar: It is a scene Myanmar’s ruling generals are unlikely to see played out for themselves: As a convoy of trucks carrying relief supplies, led by Buddhist monks, passed through storm-devastated villages, hungry children and homeless mothers bowed in supplication and respect. (more…)

The death toll from Cyclone Nargis, which hit Burma on 2 May, is likely to be greater than the military regime’s official estimate, according to a volunteer team from Mandalay. (more…)

Nearly 500 cyclone refugees from the Irrawaddy delta taking shelter in Christian missionary compounds in Rangoon’s Ahlone township have been ordered back to their villages, according to aid workers. (more…)

A man in one village says a fishing boat took his injured wife to a hospital four days after the storm, but it was too late.  Tropical Cyclone Nargis didn’t kill Ma Thein Hlaing. Neglect did. (more…)

International relief agencies bringing aid to the survivors of cyclone Nargis are calling on the Burmese regime not to build orphanages for children whose parents were killed. (more…)

A referendum held by Burma’s ruling junta on May 10 and 24 was “not free or fair,” according to a report released by a leading international advocacy group on May 26-three days before the country’s state-run media declared that the draft constitution had been “ratified and promulgated.” (more…)

May 30 marks the fifth anniversary of the Depayin massacre, one of the most notorious incidents in recent Burmese history. (more…)

With camp authorities in Ban Don Yang, on the Thai-Burma border announcing a cut in rations for next month more and more desperate refugee camp inmates are attempting to find work outside. (more…)

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