Sunday, May 18, 2008

30,000 Burmese Children May Starve; UN Envoy Pleads Junta

30,000 children may starve in the crisis following Cyclone Nargis as Myanmar's Junta continues to create roadblocks to foreign aid and relief.

Save the Children said that under-fives living in the Irrawaddy delta were already "acutely malnourished" when the cyclone hit on May 2 and it believed some children in the stricken areas of Burma may now be dying from lack of food.

The foreign office minister Lord Malloch-Brown today criticised the "man-made bottlenecks" that were causing the crisis and preventing help from getting to the cyclone victims.

The delta is also a major rice producer for the region, a place previously undernourished and poor, yet so very important to the Burmese economy and food supply. Flood rains pelted the area the other day, worsening conditions, and many may only have a couple of days to live if conditions and aid proliferation do not improve. Things have gotten so bad the some are considering forced delivery of aid as conditions lay grounds for charges of crimes against humanity:

Yesterday, Gordon Brown said forced airdrops of aid were being considered, but noted that charities warned they could be "counter-productive".

"We rule nothing out and the reason we rule nothing out is that we want to get the aid directly to the people," he told the BBC's World Service.


The French ambassador to the UN, Jean-Maurice Ripert, warned that the junta's refusal to allow delivery of the supplies "could lead to a true crime against humanity".

All of this as a UN envoy traveled to Myanmar today to monitor current humanitarian conditions and plead for the Junta to allow foreign aid in, as the death toll climbs to 78,000. The Junta claim that they have all the aid that is needed.
The junta says it has completed relief operations and now will turn to reconstruction. It has barred foreign aid experts, including the U.N.'s international staff, from traveling to the worst-hit Irrawaddy delta.
Meanwhile, the Junta explained their reasoning for barring foreign aid and officials from entering the country:

On Sunday, the regime accused foreign news organizations of falsely reporting that the government was refusing or hindering international relief aid.

"Some foreign news agencies broadcast false information and thus some international and regional organizations are assuming that the government has been rejecting and preventing aid for storm victims," a government statement said. "Those who have been to Myanmar understand the actual fact."

And yet you wont let them in! Ok, you won't allow foreign media in because they falsely report, and yet you also say that only those that travel there can know the truth...? I smell Bullshit. Whats the real reason?
The military junta's xenophobia stems from the fear that allowing foreign aid workers to mingle with ordinary people will embolden them to rebel against 46 years of authoritarian rule.
And yet letting them starve to death is really going to embolden their support of the Junta?

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