Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Concerns Over Myanmar Junta’s Role

Hhaing The Yu, 29, in rain falling on the ruins of his home, in a township outside Yangon, Myanmar, on Sunday. Officials are expressing worry about disease.
Burmese soldiers waiting on the tarmac at Yangon International Airport on Monday to unload aid flown in from Dubai.
YANGON, Myanmar — Further deliveries of small-scale aid arrived in Myanmar on Tuesday — a darkly clouded and rainy day in Yangon and in the south — but international aid experts and diplomats in the capital expressed concern that the Burmese government may not be up to delivering it, a task it has claimed almost exclusively as its own.In Brussels on Tuesday, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, Javier Solana, said that if the Myanmar government continued to bar large-scale aid, outside donors should find a way to deliver it anyway.

“We have to use all the means to help those people,” he said. “The United Nations charter opens some avenues if things cannot be resolved in order to get the humanitarian aid to arrive.”

Ten days after the devastating cyclone struck, the isolationist military government has slightly eased its restrictions on aid but is still blocking most large-scale deliveries of relief supplies, aid officials said. Adding to the difficulties, the hundreds of thousands of people who most need help are largely in remote and inaccessible coastal and delta regions.

Myanmar’s state television reported that the death toll from the May 3 cyclone had risen again, to 34,273, The Associated Press reported, with 27,838 missing. The toll has been increasing daily, as more and more of the missing are identified as dead. The United Nations has estimated that the toll could be more than 60,000.

Still, the junta was making some progress in accepting aid. Two more American relief flights landed Tuesday and United States officials said they were talking to the government about expanding the relief program. But Shari Villarosa, the top American diplomat in Myanmar, said the junta has refused the United States’ offer to send in search-and-rescue teams and disaster-relief experts. The United States is conducting a military exercise together with Thailand and has 11,000 troops in the area and several ships off the coast.

Ms. Villarosa also said the government had also rebuffed teams from China, Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand and other countries.

The New Light of Myanmar, a government mouthpiece, also published photographs on Tuesday showing the arrival and distribution of foreign aid, a surprising representation of assistance considering the junta’s hostility toward outside influences, particularly the United States. Among these were an eight photographs of American deliveries, including one close shot of the nose of the aircraft, bearing the words U.S. Air Force.

In a report from Yangon, the official news agency of Myanmar’s friend and neighbor, China, said that international aid had been arriving in Myanmar since last week with aircrafts landing at the airport one after another. The Chinese reports made no mention of delays.

On Monday, President Bush said that the slow flow of aid suggested that the generals in charge were either isolated or callous.

“It’s been days, and no telling how many people have lost their lives as a result of the slow response,” he told CBS News in a radio interview. “An American plane finally went in but the response isn’t good enough.”

Although United Nations officials have criticized the government for blocking efforts to help its citizens, spokesmen from the various aid groups, relieved to have even one toe in the door, and clearly worried that harsh words might slam it shut again, have adopted a tone of cautious hope.

“We are optimistic that the restrictions will be relaxed,” said Rigoberto Giron, a spokesman for Care, based in Atlanta.

But he said the group had not been granted visas to bring in international staff members whom it needed. And another Care spokesman said over the weekend that the group had been waiting to ship in supplies until it could be sure that Care would control their distribution.

Doctors Without Borders, another international aid group, also said the government had allowed it to take possession of a planeload of supplies and to begin distributing them.

But there are still problems, the group said. Three of its workers in the devastated city of Bogale, a physician, a water and sanitation expert, and an aid coordinator, were refused permission on Monday to travel or even to enter hospitals to consult on problems.

“We are worried,” said Hugues Robert, a spokesman for the group in Geneva. “This has been happening for a few days.”

On Monday, several medical teams from the Swiss-based branch of Doctors Without Borders were ordered out of the delta with no explanation.

Andrew Kirkwood, country director in Myanmar for Save the Children, said he had surveyed the Irrawaddy Delta by air in recent days and he said trucks and helicopters would not be enough to deliver the aid needed by the people affected by the storm. The Myanmar government reportedly has five working helicopters.

“It’s clear that the vast majority of people will have to be reached by boat,” he said.

He said his teams in the delta had seen no outbreaks of cholera yet, although he expected other diseases and diarrhea to start taking their toll soon, especially on children.

“Children can die within 24 hours from diarrhea,” he said, “and delivery of oral rehydration solution is one of the things we’ve prioritized. Water is not enough. It has to be water, sugar and salt, in the right combination.”

He said Save the Children rented two boats from private owners and in the past two days delivered 180 metric tons of rice, water and rehydration fluids to a remote, storm-smashed island. He said that aid reached 9,400 people living in 13 villages, including 2,350 children.

Reports of rampant infections, caused by infected cuts, were starting to reach aid offices in Yangon, as well as many cases of wind burns.

On Monday, in clear frustration, Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, said that he had been trying without success for four days to reach the country’s senior general, Than Swe, and had sent a second letter to him on Monday alerting him to the United Nations efforts to provide help and its need for greater access and freedom of movement.

Also on Monday, John Holmes, the undersecretary general in charge of emergency relief, said that while there had been slight progress in granting visas to relief workers, less than half of more than 100 applications had been approved.

United Nations officials said Monday that help was reaching fewer than one-third of those in need. The United Nations World Food Program said that it needed to move 375 tons of food a day to keep up with the urgent needs, but was shipping less than 20 percent of that and was close to running out of rice.

A journalist for The New York Times reported from Yangon. Seth Mydans contributed reporting from Bangkok, Warren Hoge from the United Nations, and Denise Grady from New York.

DONATION UPDATE (TORONTO CANADA)

UP TO DATE BURMESE BUDDISH ASSOSIATION OF ONTARIO HAS BEEN COLLECTED TOTALLY MORE THAN $60000 FOR THE THOUSANDS OF NARGIS CYCLONE VICTIMS IN BURMA.
SOME AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN ALREADY SENT TO NGOS INSDE BURMA ON LAST MONDAY.
THANKS FOR DONATION AND HOPEFULLY WELCOME TO MORE DONATORS.
>>>>GOD BLESS YOU<<<<<

Burmese blog despair in the Delta


Experts have warned that the aid trickling into Burma is inadequate for the scale of the disaster.
Burmese blogs and news sites have been documenting the devastation in the Delta region and efforts to bring aid to those worst affected.

မုန္တိုင္းဒဏ္ခံ ေဒသမ်ားသို႔ ႏိုင္ငံျခားသားမ်ား ခြင့္မျပဳ၊ ကင္မရာ ပိတ္ပင္

မဇၩိမသတင္းဌာန
အဂၤါေန႔၊ ေမလ 13 2008 20:17 - ျမန္မာစံေတာ္ခ်ိန္
ခ်င္းမုိင္။ ။ ျမန္မာ စစ္အစိုးရသည္ နာဂစ္ ဆိုင္ကလံုး မုန္တိုင္းဒဏ္ အဓိက ဆိုးဆိုးရြားရြား ခံခဲ့ရေသာ ဧရာ၀တီ ျမစ္၀ကြ်န္းေပၚ ေဒသသို႔ ႏိုင္ငံျခားသား အကူအညီေပးမ်ား ၀င္ေရာက္သြားလာျခင္းကို တားျမစ္လိုက္သည္။
ရန္ကုန္ႏွင့္ ဧရာ၀တီတိုင္းတြင္ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရးႏွင့္ ျပန္လည္ ထူေထာင္ေရး လုပ္ငန္းမ်ား လုပ္ေဆာင္မည့္ စီးပြားေရး လုပ္ငန္းရွင္မ်ားႏွင့္ ယမန္ေန႔က ေတြ႔ဆံုသည့္ ေဆြးေႏြးပြဲတြင္ ၀န္ၾကီးခ်ဳပ္ ဒုတိယ ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး သိန္းစိန္က မွာၾကားလိုက္ျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။
ႏိုင္ငံျခား မီဒီယာမ်ားမွ ဓာတ္ပံုဆရာမ်ားက အခြင့္ေကာင္း ယူ၍ ဓာတ္ပံု ရိုက္ကူးျခင္းေၾကာင့္ တုိင္းျပည္ပံုရိပ္ ထိခိုက္ႏိုင္သည္ဟု ဆိုကာ ၀န္ၾကီးခ်ဳပ္က တားျမစ္လုိက္ျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။
ရန္ကုန္တိုင္း စစ္ဌာနခ်ဳပ္တြင္ ျပဳလုပ္သည့့္ အစည္းအေ၀းတြင္ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရး လုပ္ငန္းမ်ားအတြက္ ခန္႔အပ္ထားျခင္း ခန္႔ရသူမ်ားကိုလည္း ကင္မရာမ်ား ကိုင္ခြင့္ျပဳလွ်င္ သတိထားသင့္သည္ဟု ေျပာၾကားသြားသည္။

အေမရိကန္ေလယာဥ္ ၂ စီးကို ေနာက္ထပ္ ခြင့္ျပဳ

လႊင့္တင္ခ်ိန္။ ။ ေမလ ၁၃ ရက္ ၂၀၀၈ ခုႏွစ္ ၁၈း၀၀ - ျမန္မာစံေတာ္ခ်ိန္

ခ်င္းမိုင္။ ။ အေမရိကန္ႏိုင္ငံမွ ေပးပုိ႔ေသာ မုန္တိုင္းဒဏ္ခံ ဒုကၡသည္မ်ားအတြက္ အကူအညီမ်ားကို စီ ၁၃၀ အမ်ဳိးအစား စစ္ေလယာဥ္ႏွစ္စီးျဖင့္ ယေန႔တြင္ ထပ္မံေပးပို႔လိုက္သည္။
ထိုင္းႏိုင္ငံေတာင္ပိုင္း အူတာေပါင္ေလဆိပ္မွ စုစုေပါင္း ေပါင္ ၂၄၀၀၀ အေလးခ်ိန္ရွိ ေစာင္မ်ား၊ ျခင္ေထာင္မ်ားႏွင့္ ေသာက္သံုးေရမ်ား တင္ေဆာင္ ထားေသာ ေလယာဥ္ႏွစ္စင္းသည္ အဂၤါေန႔ နံနက္ ၉း၄၅ နာရီႏွင့္ ၁၂း၄၅ နာရီတို႔တြင္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ ရန္ကုန္ျမိဳ့သို႔ အသီးသီး ထြက္ခြာသြားခဲ့ၾကသည္။
ေလယာဥ္ေပၚတြင္ ေလယာဥ္၀န္ထမ္းမ်ားသာ လိုက္ပါသြားျပီး အျခားမည္သူမ်ွ လိုက္ပါသြားျခင္း မရွိဟု တြဲဖက္စစ္ဆင္ေရး ျပန္ၾကားေရးဌာန အရာရွိ ဒုဗိုလ္မႉးၾကီး ဂ်က္ဖ္ဘလူးက မဇၩိမသို႔ ေျပာသည္။
" မနက္ျဖန္အတြက္ အတည္ျပဳခ်က္ မရေသးဘူး။ ျမန္မာအစိုးရအေနနဲ႔ ေနာက္ထပ္အကူအညီေတြ အနာဂတ္မွာ လက္ခံလိမ့္မယ္လို႔ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ေမ်ွာ္လင့္ပါတယ္" ဟု သူက ေျပာသည္။
လႊင့္တင္ခ်ိန္။ ။ ေမလ ၁၂ ရက္ ၂၀၀၈ ခုႏွစ္ ၂၂း၃၀ - ျမန္မာစံေတာ္ခ်ိန္
ခ်င္းမိုင္။ ။ အေမရိကန္ႏိုင္ငံမွ ေနာက္ထပ္ C-130 ေလယာဥ္ ၂ စီးကို ထပ္မံ ၀င္ခြင့္ျပဳရန္ ျမန္မာ စစ္အစိုးရမွ မီးစိမ္း ျပလိုက္ေၾကာင္း အေမရိကန္ ေထာက္ပံ့ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရးအဖြဲ႔ USAID မွ မစၥ ဟင္နရီတာဖိုး က တနၤလာေန႔က ေျပာၾကားသြားသည္။
အေထာက္အပံ့ ပစၥည္းမ်ား တင္ေဆာင္ထားေသာ C-130 ေလယာဥ္ ၂ စီးကိုသာ ၀င္ခြင့္ေပးၿပီး၊ အေမရိကန္ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရး အဖြဲ႔မ်ားအတြက္ ျပည္၀င္ခြင့္ ဗီဇာမွာေတာ့ မရေသးပါဟု သူက ေျပာသည္။

Google Earth Outreach Collects Layers Of Cyclone Nargis Effects


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And while Google has spend the past few days offering its users quick access to two financial drop-boxes established for a duo of international relief organizations, UNICEF and Direct Relief International (to which Mountain View has pledges a $1m donation, presumably to be made through it's philanthropic arm, Google.org), the company has gathered a collection of Google Earth layers through its Outreach program to help any and all interested to observe visual data of the region in the aftermath of the disaster.