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Author Topic: The Myanmar disaster - toll reaches 100,000  (Read 3393 times)
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Ridah
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« on: May 07, 2008, 08:10:01 PM »

Have you guys been keeping up with what's been going on in Myanmar? Basically a cyclone they've named Nargis hit the country with winds of 150mph, right now the U.S is estimating the death toll has reached 100,000 as well as many people missing and an estimated one million people left homeless. I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this, 100,000 people killed so far is insane! What is pathetic is that altogether with the support of 24 countries they've only come up with $30 million in relief with the U.S contributing a whopping $3.25 million.

Anyhow, I've been following what's been going on since the cyclone first hit and early death estimations were MUCH lower. I hope they get the relief they need.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 08:13:14 PM by Ridah » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 08:17:08 PM »

Quote from: Ridah on May 07, 2008, 08:10:01 PM

What is pathetic is that altogether with the support of 24 countries they've only come up with $30 million in relief with the U.S contributing a whopping $3.25 million.
Kneejerk reaction.

Just as with the tsunami disaster, the very initial wave of US support is small. If you think about it, where is the money going? Hell we could airlift $50 million and drop it on the beaches, but that's not going to do any good. Organizations and infrastructure need to be in place.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 08:26:56 PM »

Burma has a very nasty government. If you recall, about 4 months ago Buddhist monks in Burma began protesting against the government and were massacred. They been really reluctant to let in any aid organizations, or really any foreigners, since then.
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kronovan
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 08:36:14 PM »

The following excerpt as taken from the Wikipedia on Burma may shed some light on the subject:

Quote
The August 2007 demonstrations were led by well-known dissidents, such as Min Ko Naing (with the nom de guerre Conqueror of Kings), Su Su Nway (now in hiding) and others. The military quickly cracked down and still has not allowed the International Red Cross to visit Min Ko Naing and others who are reportedly in Insein Prison after being severely tortured. Reports have surfaced of at least one death, of activist Win Shwe, under interrogation.

So basically you have the relief organization that typically spearheads such international efforts currently not very pleased with the Burmese military strongmen running the country. It's a shame because it possibly means that necessary and desperately needed assistance won't arrive in time. Once again the Burmese people are going to be the ones to suffer.
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morlac
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 09:22:57 PM »

I heard on the radio that the Gov there would not let ANY outside relief workers in the country. 
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Ridah
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 09:25:18 PM »

At what point does the U.N step in and say screw their government, these millions of human beings need help?
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 09:33:39 PM »

Quote from: Ridah on May 07, 2008, 09:25:18 PM

At what point does the U.N step in and say screw their government, these millions of human beings need help?

I believe the UN recently gave itself the power to give aid without first obtaining permission, but I don't think that has ever been invoked. Given how the UN operates I would only imagine they would invoke it in a situation where the government doesn't formally exist anymore to avoid potential conflict. They would also have to send armed forces along with the aid givers so it is a much more time consuming and costly operation. It is such a shame, but maybe some good will eventually come of this tragedy and bring more awareness to this horrible regime.
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 01:47:33 AM »

Quote from: Ridah on May 07, 2008, 08:10:01 PM

What is pathetic is that altogether with the support of 24 countries they've only come up with $30 million in relief with the U.S contributing a whopping $3.25 million.
Here's how one can help Relief Fund Contributions site . Donate as much as you want.
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Larraque
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 02:09:16 AM »

3.25 million in aid for Myanmar
11 million on presidential ads JUST in Pennsylvania

Country with priorities out of whack?
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Lassr
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 02:22:02 AM »

http://apnews1.iwon.com//article/20080508/D90H5ATG0.html

Quote
The Pentagon readied people and equipment for an aid mission to cyclone-stricken Myanmar, but the top U.S. diplomat in the Asian nation said its military junta was "paranoid" about accepting American help.

The U.S. military was putting people and airplanes into position Wednesday in nearby Thailand. But Myanmar's government had not accepted the U.S. offer to send aid, U.S. defense and diplomatic officials said.

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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2008, 05:34:35 AM »

Quote from: DragonFyre on May 08, 2008, 02:09:16 AM

3.25 million in aid for Myanmar
11 million on presidential ads JUST in Pennsylvania

Country with priorities out of whack?
Seriously, do you people who say this crap ever think critically?

The United States government gave around $1 BILLION dollars in financial aid for the tsunami disaster. It took a few days to get going with that aid as well. But it came, and it was huge. In this situation, there's no relief infrastructure set up yet, not to mention the crappy government in Myanmar is in the way.

After the tsunami aid, no one should be quick to criticize US resolve in providing aid to countries in need.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2008, 05:43:36 AM »

It's interesting how slowly the story has developed.  I guess that's because of the Myanmar govt's unwillingness to open up.
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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2008, 06:36:28 AM »

Financial aid is not always the answer. Most of those won't reach the victims. Myanmar is kinda like Indonesia in that the government are very corrupt. So instead of giving them financial aid to buy stuff to help them, it is a lot better to send personnels like doctors, nurses, etc. And if there is a rebuilding needed later, then the donors need to keep close watch on that.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2008, 08:17:54 AM »

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on May 08, 2008, 06:36:28 AM

Financial aid is not always the answer. Most of those won't reach the victims. Myanmar is kinda like Indonesia in that the government are very corrupt. So instead of giving them financial aid to buy stuff to help them, it is a lot better to send personnels like doctors, nurses, etc. And if there is a rebuilding needed later, then the donors need to keep close watch on that.


Except, as was pointed out earlier, they aren't letting aid workers from the UN or most other organizations in.  The military regime has created a closed society and are afraid that any foreigners might upset their political control. 

Very sad.

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Lassr
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2008, 01:41:34 PM »

Myanmar finally let the UN in and then military seizes the food so all aid flights suspended.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/09/myanmar/index.html
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2008, 01:55:50 PM »

Shocking. "The ruling junta is suspicious of any U.S. military presence it sees as potentially aimed at unseating the government, a prospect the Bush Administration has repeatedly denied."

Once this crisis is over, maybe we ought to put unseating this government on our to-do list.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2008, 02:37:54 PM »

oh well, I guess we should just put the funds we pledged towards helping our own people with rising food and gas costs  icon_twisted
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morlac
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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2008, 03:13:57 PM »

Quote from: DragonFyre on May 08, 2008, 02:09:16 AM

3.25 million in aid for Myanmar
11 million on presidential ads JUST in Pennsylvania

Country with priorities out of whack?

If we sent a billion dollars how much do you think would actually go to help those in need?  We have tried to send supplies, relief workers, doctors, etc etc.  They don't want our help.

Also, how much did you send?
Really?
How much did you spend going out to dinner last week?
How much did you spend on cable and the internet?


How much you spend on gaming last year?
...

You cheap bastard, your priorities our whacked...



This is soo stupid.  The US gives more money in aid than anyone else.  Stop Trolling.

http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-doners-of-foreigner-aid-map.html

Wit hour huge debt maybe we should just stop giving at all.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 03:18:47 PM by morlac » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2008, 06:30:09 PM »

Quote from: morlac on May 09, 2008, 03:13:57 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on May 08, 2008, 02:09:16 AM

3.25 million in aid for Myanmar
11 million on presidential ads JUST in Pennsylvania

Country with priorities out of whack?

If we sent a billion dollars how much do you think would actually go to help those in need?  We have tried to send supplies, relief workers, doctors, etc etc.  They don't want our help.

Also, how much did you send?
Really?
How much did you spend going out to dinner last week?
How much did you spend on cable and the internet?


How much you spend on gaming last year?
...

You cheap bastard, your priorities our whacked...



This is soo stupid.  The US gives more money in aid than anyone else.  Stop Trolling.

http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-doners-of-foreigner-aid-map.html

Wit hour huge debt maybe we should just stop giving at all.

i'm gonna point all those questions back at your...and ask who the troll is?  whats your beef?

you should realize most political things here turn into nonsense, so go preach somewhere else.

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You cheap bastard, your priorities our whacked...
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kronovan
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2008, 08:26:26 PM »

Quote from: Lassr on May 09, 2008, 01:41:34 PM

Myanmar finally let the UN in and then military seizes the food so all aid flights suspended.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/09/myanmar/index.html

Yeah this is very disconcerting that the military junta is doing this. Almost as disconcerting is the complete lack of response and leadearship from the Association of South East Asian Nations. It took until today, 6 days after the disaster, for them to release an official statement and write the Myanmar government telling them to let their food effort in!

http://www.asean.org/21514.htm

I mean WTF that not even 1 ASEAN country has staff on site yet to help expedite the UN food effort! If Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, etc. want their beloved organization to have fully accorded rights at the UN then they really ought to put their money where their mouth is. Maybe the UN should consider revoking their recently awarded observer status if they can't make a better and more compasionate effort.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2008, 08:38:28 PM »

Kronovan, in their defense, Burma has been a nightmare for the last year or so since the Buddhist monks started protesting and getting massacred. They probably said something then and saw how useless it was.
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2008, 08:55:43 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on May 09, 2008, 08:38:28 PM

Kronovan, in their defense, Burma has been a nightmare for the last year or so since the Buddhist monks started protesting and getting massacred. They probably said something then and saw how useless it was.

You do realize though that ASEAN are the primary opponents of issuing sanctions against the Myanmar junta...right? As well, the ineffectiveness of the International community during the Budhist monk suppression didn't stop the Australian PM from leveling criticism days ago. He did that despite his country being officially aligned with ASEAN through trade agreements. As far as I'm concerned If Australia can do that then heads of ASEAN member nations could be doing and saying much than they are. Chock me up as a global citizen who's far less than impressed with ASEAN's bold posturing but consistent failures to deliver.
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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2008, 09:43:27 PM »

Blaming ASEAN or the US for the failure to provide aid when the government of Myanmar won't even allow the UN in is pointless. 
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2008, 10:09:47 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on May 09, 2008, 09:43:27 PM

Blaming ASEAN or the US for the failure to provide aid when the government of Myanmar won't even allow the UN in is pointless. 

I'm not blaming ASEAN for the lack of the the distribution of food, that resposibility clearly lies with the Myanmar junta. I am however criticising them for their lack of effort in leveraging more diplomatic pressure. At a time when the UN Food effort clearly needs a diplomat/ facilitator/champion to convince the junta to allow food to be distributed, ASEAN is no where to be seen or heard. It seems quite obvious to me that the junta would be more willing to listen to an ASEAN official, or the head of an ASEAN member nation, than the president of the US, or any other Western nation for that matter. I'm not even necessarily saying an ASEAN official would have succeeded just that for the sake of the people of Myanmar they should have have at least tried.
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2008, 05:21:10 PM »

This is not going well at all

Quote
YANGON, Myanmar - A Red Cross boat carrying rice and drinking water for cyclone victims sank Sunday, while the death toll jumped to more than 28,000 and aid groups warned of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The boat was carrying supplies for more than 1,000 people and was the first Red Cross shipment to the disaster area, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said. All four relief workers on board were safe, it said.

(...)

The country's main airport in Yangon is also incapable of handling more than five flights a day, when it should be taking in at least one every hour, said PLAN, a London-based children's aid group.

"Logistically, the situation looks bleak," it said in a statement. "In short, they have one congested airport, ill equipped to deal with the influx of cargo, no port, restricted fuel and no trucks."

Add an obstructionist government, and the slow-motion catastrophe continues.
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2008, 04:09:47 AM »

For those that expect ASEAN to do something about it, it won't happen. ASEAN is pretty much a joke. Members of ASEAN are not exactly friendly to each other. From time to time, Malaysia and Singapore are mad with each other about things. Same with Malaysia and Indonesia. There are also some border disputes between the members.
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2008, 06:32:06 AM »

Wonder how long its going to take before the United Nations agrees that the military Junta's response to this issue has been enough to justify going in without the Burmese governments permission - effectively saying the shit job their doing means they've given up all claims to sovereignty - and use the R2P concept.

Plus - if China wants to score a media coup they'll help with any of those efforts or look to lead efforts to do so.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 06:53:47 AM by CSL » Logged
Jag
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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2008, 01:37:07 PM »

Quote from: CSL on May 13, 2008, 06:32:06 AM

Wonder how long its going to take before the United Nations agrees that the military Junta's response to this issue has been enough to justify going in without the Burmese governments permission - effectively saying the shit job their doing means they've given up all claims to sovereignty - and use the R2P concept.

Plus - if China wants to score a media coup they'll help with any of those efforts or look to lead efforts to do so.

I agree that the cause for unilateral action is strong in Burma and they get to get rid of a dictatorship at the same time.

IIRC China and Russia both opposed forced aid. What a shock.
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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2008, 02:12:08 PM »

If the US were a perfect state, or there were some other perfect state that would go in to Burma using force to bring aid to those who need it and then leave when the job were done, I'd be all for it, but as it stands, the US cannot be trusted in these kind of situations. I think Naomi Klein has some harsh words about such disasters and their relief.
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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2008, 03:30:52 PM »

Quote from: CSL on May 13, 2008, 06:32:06 AM


Plus - if China wants to score a media coup they'll help with any of those efforts or look to lead efforts to do so.

China's got its own problems now. 12,000 dead and still counting.

Quote
The quake was China's deadliest since 1976, when 240,000 people were killed in the city of Tangshan, near Beijing in 1976.

After that one occurred, the Communists tried to deny/downplay casualty reports. So that's progress, I suppose.
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« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2008, 04:28:41 PM »

fixed map link: ... you have ftp://http:// ... remove "ftp://"

I am glad that Canada made that list. We have 1/10 the population of the US and have donated 2bil. (2003-04) to the US's 12.9bil. Not bad.
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« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2008, 04:57:14 PM »

And now the junta is misappropriating what liitle aid they've allowed through:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080513/ap_on_re_as/myanmar

It's time to take this regime out and get the aid in there by any means necessary.
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« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2008, 05:38:01 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on May 13, 2008, 02:12:08 PM

If the US were a perfect state, or there were some other perfect state that would go in to Burma using force to bring aid to those who need it and then leave when the job were done, I'd be all for it, but as it stands, the US cannot be trusted in these kind of situations. I think Naomi Klein has some harsh words about such disasters and their relief.

The Myanmar/Burma government has quite a history of snubbing the British Commonwealth, so you might as well add Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as countries that shouldn't send their armies in. Then there's France who colonized 3 nations in the region as late as the mid 50's, so count them out too. Well guess there's always Germany and Japan!?  paranoid
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 05:57:29 PM by kronovan » Logged
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