Monday, 2 June 2008

Enough is enough and Burmese help their own


Asean must isolate the Burmese junta or be accused of complicity in the hell that Than Shwe and his junta have unleashed in Burma.

Buddhist monks beaten; a government minister directing the head of the meteorology department not to issue a public warning after India gave them a 48-hour advance warning of impending disaster; Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest extended by a year _ all heinous atrocities.

The junta gives priority to a bogus referendum to perpetuate their bloody regime instead of aiding cyclone victims, and still lash out at international donors for not giving enough. The money they want runs into billions of dollars for which there will be no accountability and it will find its way into the junta's Swiss bank accounts, used for bathing their wives and daughters with diamonds, as Than Shwe so shamelessly demonstrated at his daughter's wedding.

Than Shwe and his minions must be brought to trial for their crimes against humanity in an international court before they take refuge in China in the unlikely event of a mass uprising. They have long forgotten how to be human beings.

Samut Sakhon



I have just returned from a two-week trip to Rangoon. It is my observation that much of the Cyclone Nargis relief is being provided by ordinary residences of Rangoon.

Every morning, as the sun rises over the sleepy town of Rangoon, small convoys of cars and small trucks loaded with food, water, clothes and shelter leave the city for destinations in the Irrawaddy delta, where needy refugees eagerly wait.

Some of the aid is distributed close to Rangoon and some as far away as Laputta.

These cars and trucks are not associated with any government, the United Nations or NGOs, but are owned and operated by private citizens in Rangoon who finance these operations from their own pockets.

Business people, shop owners, etc, have formed groups of people to aid victims of the cyclone. It seems like on every block there is at least one group of semi-organised ordinary people giving aid to refugees. Many of these groups started one or two days after the cyclone hit, long before international relief was allowed into the country.

We will probably never know how many lives these heroes of Rangoon have saved. But the number is probably considerable.

It was very uplifting and inspiring for me to see ordinary people so motivated and unselfish in such a crisis situation.


Bangkok Post

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