It’s been a disaster to rival the scale domestically of the tsunami. There are up to 100,000 dead in Burma, following Cyclone Nargis, maybe more. Yet the Burmese junta has decided to impound UN food aid and ban foreign aid workers.
Despite the disaster, the junta said it was pressing ahead with a vote on a new constitution designed to maintain its grip on power. All but the worst affected regions will be balloted tomorrow.
In a television message, citizens were urged to do their patriotic duty and vote. The message did not mention the suffering caused by the cyclone.
The question that the world has to answer is what to do about this? Do we allow the generals to attempt to reinforce their grip on power as their people are dying in their thousands, or do we, as the French are advocating at the UN, bypass the Burmese government and distribute by air anyway? I’m not sure anyone in the blogosphere has answers to these difficult questions and I don’t want to waste time starting a debate.
We all did it for the tsunami, and must do it again.
If you have any questions about the DEC, or anything about this cyclone and its terrible aftermath just ask. But give anything you can. The agencies partnered with the DEC know what they’re doing and aren’t affiliated with national governments in any way. They just need money and the freedom to get on with what they’re good at.