Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tragedy in Burma

Early reports suggest there could be 50,000 deaths from the cyclone that hit Burma this past weekend, making it the worst natural disaster since the tsunami in 2004. No doubt the scale and scope of this tragedy has been made worse by the military dictatorship. According to the Times of London:
Burma's junta refused foreign aid after the 2004 tsunami, in which between 60 and 600 of its citizens are reported to have died, but this time the sheer scale of the slowly emerging disaster seems to have forced it to change its mind. "We will welcome help . . . from other countries because our people are in difficulty," said Nyah Win, the Burmese Foreign Minister, in a rare television appearance....

Today private frustration was growing among aid organisations, however, that although the junta has publicly invited assistance, bureaucracy is impeding the granting of visas to allow foreign workers into the country. As delays drag on, living conditions for the victims is getting worse.

Let's hope this topic gets coverage in the mainstream media (especially with the Democratic primaries today). The American people are extremely kind-hearted and generous, and no doubt they will be willing to provide assistance once informed of what appears to be a disaster of epic proportions.



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