Thursday, May 08, 2008

They don't want the

Update: UN Halts aid to Myanmar after junta seizes supplies!

I say, turn the ships around, bring home the money, the food and supplies! Sure...they want the money, supplies and food, but they don't want any medical, no media, nada. Course, we all know what happens when corrupt nations are in control of the food and supplies that are sent in to help the people right? Like Saddam, the corrupt leaders horde the goods and use them to further oppress their people...its how they stay in "control"!

U.N.: Myanmar's Refusal to Grant Visas is 'Unprecedented'
Friday, May 09, 2008

YANGON, Myanmar — The U.N. blasted Myanmar's military government Friday, saying its refusal to let in foreign aid workers was "unprecedented" in the history of humanitarian work, while survivors of a devastating cyclone waited for food, shelter and medicine.

Myanmar's junta said Friday it was grateful to the international community for its assistance, which has included 11 chartered planes loaded with aid supplies. But the best way to help was to just send in material rather than personnel, the junta said in a statement.

It said one relief flight was sent back after landing in Yangon on Thursday because it carried a search and rescue team and media who had not received permission to enter the country. It did not give details, but said the plane had flown in from Qatar, which apparently referred to a U.N. flight.

Click here to view photos.

More than 62,000 people are known to have died or are missing from Cyclone Nargis that hit the country's Irrawaddy delta on Saturday. Shari Villarosa, who heads the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, said the number of dead could eventually exceed 100,000 because of illnesses.

The isolationist regime of this Southeast Asian nation has refused to grant visas to foreign aid workers who could assess the extent of the disaster and manage the logistics.

Paul Risley, a spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program, said the organization has submitted 10 visa applications around the world, including six in Bangkok, Thailand, but that none has been approved.

Even if the government changes its mind, there is no hope of getting any visas in Bangkok until Monday because of a Thai holiday Friday that has shut the Myanmar Embassy, Risley said.

"The frustration caused by what appears to be a paperwork delay is unprecedented in modern humanitarian relief efforts," said Risley, who is based in Bangkok. "It's astonishing."

"We strongly urge the government of Myanmar to process these visa applications as quickly as possible, including work over the weekend," he said.

But there was no sign the junta was relenting.

"Currently Myanmar has prioritized receiving emergency relief provisions and making strenuous effort delivering it with its own labor to the affected areas," said the junta statement, carried in the state-owned New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

• China Urges Myanmar to Work With International Community On Disaster Aid

The announcement came as critical aid and experts to go with it were poised in neighboring Thailand and elsewhere to rush into one of the world's poorest nations.

"Believe me, the government will not allow outsiders to go into the devastated area. The government only cares about its own stability. They don't care about the plight of the people," said Yangon food shop owner Joseph Kyaw, one of many residents angry at the regime for doing little to help them recover from the storm's destruction.

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