Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Urgent help for Burma

Hi friends,
I received this urgent email from my good mate Ash in Bangkok today, I urge you all to read, click on the link, pray, forward on, donate if you can,
ta Barro

Hi stephen,

Could I ask for your urgent prayers and action for Burma today? On Saturday May 10, I met with Burmese friends here in Bangkok to get the latest news on the Cyclone Nargis disaster and to ask how UNOH could best help with the relief effort. Dr San Aung, Maung Maung and Zin Linn are part of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB). Led by elected Burmese MPs from the National League for Democracy (NLD), this is the peak body of Burmese leaders working for democracy.

But, what can we do? After listening to these Burmese leaders, I believe we can best support the relief effort by supporting NCGUB.

UNOH is setting up a UNOH Burma Cyclone Appeal so that Australians can donate on-line to help the relief effort through NCGUB/NLD Burmese workers on the ground.

For further details, go here


At Tuesday, May 13, 2008 7:21:00 PM, Anonymous Ash Barker said...

Thanks for this Barro. Really appreciate your support. Please keep praying and doing all you can.

Below is some of the latest news from inside Burma.

Situation in Burma, May 12, 2008, Referendum and Cyclone
Generals Making Fortune by Stealing Aid for the Cyclone Victims, while Death Toll Rising over 100,000

As people began to get access to the delta, the worst-hit areas, and the survivors came out from debris and reached out to nearby Towns in search for food, water, medicine and their lives, number of death toll can be expected well over 100,000. UN agencies also estimated that over 200,000 are still missing and these numbers, partial if not all, will be added to the list of death in a next few days. About 14 millions people in Rangoon and Irrawaddy are affected by the Cyclone and at least more than two millions are in desperate need of help. Meanwhile, generals and their cronies are making fortune from the relief aid provided by the international community and well-wishers for the victims.

(1) It is reported that at least 50 people died in Kyun Chaung Village and over 300 died in Seik Gyi Village, in Kungyangon Township in Rangoon. In Dadaye Township in Irrawaddy, two Villages with nearly 10,000 populations, Chaung Gyi and Nagaung Chaung, were totally destroyed and all residents were killed by the storm. There are only 8 survivors in Mayan Shin Village, which had over 6,000 populations.

(2) Security forces station at check-points at the entrance of the disaster areas and inspect all entries. Citizens must show their ID cards and foreigner must show their passports. Among the foreigners, only staff members of UN and WFP are allowed to go in and others are not. In Kungyangon, a group of Japanese Monks, who offered to remove the dead bodies from the river, were not allowed to do so. They were asked to wait for one week by the military.

(3) Plenty of relief materials, provided by UN and INGOs for the cyclone victims, are being sold at some markets in Rangoon. Some shop owners said that they bought them from soldiers and they are now reselling. As instructed by the military junta, some business companies are also distributing relief assistance, but they are not trained to make relief effort and their way of delivery is not professional. In some cases, a truck with Htoo Companies Logo arrived at the waiting victims and threw the food packages to the crowd from the car, without setting foot on the ground. Many packages were damaged.

(4) The junta's generals are taking charge to control the humanitarian assistance work in disaster areas and nobody can do relief works without their permission. Many relief packages were confiscated and volunteers were extorted by the authorities in many places. The junta's Energy minister Major General Lun Thi is taking charge of Kungyangon and Rangoon Mayor Aung Thein Lin is handling Dala Township.

(5) Meanwhile, the junta's press scrutiny board is instructing journalists to cover the story of soldiers helping the victims, generals visiting disaster areas and distributing aid to the victims, and asking the people to vote for the constitution, etc. The price of rice, the most important staples in Burma, is skyrocketing, as people are not allowed to move rice from one area to another, except for foreign export.

(6) In Bogale, the authorities put all relief aid, donated by the UN and INGOs, at the warehouses and sold them to the businessmen. The businessmen are now selling these items in the market at Strand Street and China Town and the victims are to buy from them. It is reported that at least 10,743 people were killed by the storm in 36 Villages alone in Bogale.

(7) In Labbuta Township, 15 Villages, namely Hlaing Bone, Ka Zaung, Pyar Leik, Pat Gyan, Min Se, Yae Dwin Gone, Ya Sin Ngu, Khar Gyin Gone, Put Lone Daing, Yaw Kya, Danyin Phyu, Mondaing Gyi, Thabaw Kyun, Kyat Pyay, Lay Gwa, were totally disappeared from the map under the storm. Number of death in these villages is estimated to be about 50,000. These villages were relatively wealthy and crowded as their major business of fishing was very good.

(8) Some damages in some satellite Townships in Rangoon Division are reported by sources as follows.
1. In South Dagon Township, about 30,000 homes were destroyed and about 35,000 people are homeless.
2. In North Dagon Township, about 30,000 homes were destroyed and about 20,000 people are homeless.
3. In Dagon Seikkan Township, about 10,000 homes were destroyed and about 15,000 people are homeless.
4. In Dagon East Township, about 10,000 homes were destroyed and about 25,000 people are homeless.
In these Townships alone, about 100,000 people are in desperate need of emergency assistance. They haven't received anything from authorities, and they are receiving some relief aid from NLD members, social activists and volunteers, who collected fund from their own pockets, rich persons and oversea Burmese, and providing aid to the victims on the ground.

(9) Many victims are now taking shelters at Monasteries, Primary Schools and Dhama Rone (Public gathering place for religious functions). Now they are forced to leave from these sanctuaries by the authorities, as the junta want to use these places as polling booths for the referendum, scheduled on May 22, 2008.

(10) In Mawlamyanggyun Township (also known as Mawgyun) in Irrawaddy, 7 villages, namely Kyat Shar, Shauk Chaung, Ma Bay, Kyar Hone, Kyun Chaung, Nat Hmu, and Kyone Lamu, were also totally disappeared. Total populations in these villages were 42,926 and they all are assumed to be death. Another 16 villages, namely Poe Tee Lut, None Kyun, Theye Chaung, Thongwa Chun, Myatthar Ywarma, Myatthar Ywarwa, Zee Byu, Meikthalin Gone, Kyechan Kyun Lamu, Boe Thar Aye, Kye Chan Wa, Pyarmut Shaw Chaung, Nwar Kyaung Su, Nyaung Lan, Kyechan Chaung Pyar, and Mezali, were also destroyed most parts of them. Causalities are not known yet.

(11) There were 26 refugee camps in Mawlamyanggyun Township, and all of them are local authority offices, schools, factories and Monasteries. Beginning from May 9, authorities and USDA members, led by soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 38, forced the victims to go back to their villages. The authorities plan to use these places as poling booths in the referendum on May 24, 2008. The victims temporarily stayed at these refugee camps with the food assisted by the well-wishers and they haven't received aid from the authorities. Now, they are forced to return to their damaged villages to live among the debris and dead bodies.


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