Military Junta Ignores Pleas from Relief Missions
Filed Under: World | Posted: 05/08/2008 at 8:56AM
Comments | Region: Myanmar
Myanmar’s military junta has made it clear that its government only wanted to allow the relief goods to come in, but not the reflief workers, especially those coming from the United States.
Obviously, the military generals have yet to trust the true intentions of the U.S. humanitarian mission to lend relief assistance to the thousands of victims of the recent cyclone that hit Myanmar.
However, it is gratifying to hear that Myanmar has allowed the entry of the United Nations relief mission to distribute food and other supplies to the cyclone victims.
But a more worrisome scenario is yet to come. Right now, thousands of floating corpses have yet to be fished out from the water and brought to the funeral homes, wire reports said. And foreign diplomats estimated the death toll could rise to more than 100,000. This is contrary to what the generals were saying that the death toll to be less than this figure reported.
When dead bodies are left to rot on the ground and elsewhere, there is a strong possibility that contamination and other health problems may occur thus affecting the lives of the remaining population in nearby areas.
For some, it was a crazy idea from the generals to tell the monks not to open their monasteries to the homeless. But the monks seemed to have defied the order knowing how the victims need shelter to recuperate from the cyclone devastation. Without help from the government, they could only hope that relief goods from the international communities could continue to trickle in.
In the meantime, other foreign relief missions, most of them stranded at the borders of Thailand, are still awaiting the go-signal from the government to enter Myanmar. And they could not go until the military regime issues them the much-needed visas to enter the country. From the way things looked, it seems the generals are still planning strategies on how to make full use of the billions-worth of relief goods flowing to Myanmar.
With less and less food available now to the people, it would not be remote from possibility that some of these relief goods would be diverted to feed Myanmar’s military in order to secure their sincerity to the generals. But what is surprising is that these soldiers are nowhere in sight to help the cyclone victims. A far cry from the recent crackdown of street protestors, where the soldiers were sent to beat and manhandle those who have joined the protest rallies.