Cyclone Nargis

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Thousands Flee Ethnic Violence in Burma

But US praises government response to clashes

(Newser) - Some 90,000 people who have fled ethnic violence in western Burma are in need of emergency food aid, the United Nations warns. The rape and murder of a Buddhist woman last month, for which two men have been sentenced to death, set off violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims... More »

Burma Still Cleaning Up 6 Months Later

Cyclone killed more than 80,000, with more than 50,000 others listed as missing

(Newser) - Six months after Cyclone Nargis smashed into Burma's coastline, killing tens of thousands of people, aid groups say once-lagging relief efforts have picked up pace but the task of rebuilding and recovery is far from finished, the AP reports. Foreign aid staffers were initially barred from cyclone-affected areas and the... More »

Out of the Cyclone, Seeds of Change in Burma

(Newser) - In the wake of the ruling junta's efforts to waylay foreign aid following May's Cyclone Nargis, Burmese citizens—including former political prisoners—created a grass-roots relief effort to help the embattled populace. In doing so, writes George Packer in the New Yorker, they may have created the catalyst for long-awaited... More »

Burma Indicts Dissident Comedian

Leading opposition figure faces prison for aiding cyclone victims

(Newser) - A popular comedian who became one of the most prominent critics of Burma's military government has been formally charged with several political offenses. Zarganar, who had been leading a citizen effort to aid victims of Cyclone Nargis, has been indicted on five counts, including unlawful association and creating public unrest. More »

Burma Aid Delays Less Deadly Than Feared

Villagers tough it out through cyclone's aftermath

(Newser) - Delays in getting help to cyclone survivors in Burma's Irrawaddy Delta have not caused the catastrophe initially feared, according to aid workers. Hardy villagers have managed to survive on fish and coconuts, helped by aid from private Burmese citizens and monks, reports the New York Times. Expected massive outbreaks of... More »

Burmese Comedian Bust Not Funny: UN

Popular funnyman had criticized junta and led team in relief effort

(Newser) - The UN's human rights official in Burma expressed concern over the arrest of a popular Burmese comedian who’d been helping cyclone survivors, the AP reports. The comedian, known as Zarganar, was nabbed Wednesday by authorities after traveling to the hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta to donate supplies, a relative said. He... More »

Burma Arrests Activist Linked to Cyclone Aid

Dissident comedian Zarganar taken away by secret police

(Newser) - The Burmese junta has arrested a leading activist who led a private aid program for victims of last month's Cyclone Nargis. Zarganar, a top comedian in Burma who was also arrested during September's protests, was taken away by secret police last night, Reuters reports. The junta continues to block aid... More »

Blocked US Ships Will Abandon Myanmar Aid

Junta refuses aid 15 times

(Newser) - US warships laden with aid for Burmese cyclone survivors will sail out of the region tomorrow still carrying their loads, Reuters reports. Burma's military junta has refused 15 requests to allow American forces to deliver aid supplies to the disaster zone, according to the admiral in charge of the operation. More »

Monks Provide Myanmar Relief

They offer comfort to 2.4 million struggling to survive

(Newser) - In the wake of Burma’s cyclone, Buddhist monks have become the only source of comfort—both “material” and “spiritual”—for many thousands of homeless and destitute who have been abandoned by the government, the New York Times reports. “Monks are like parents to us. The... More »

Gates: Junta Aid Delays Killed Thousands

Defense Secretary slams 'deaf and dumb' Burmese rulers

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of Burmese have died because of their government's refusal to allow in foreign aid after Cyclone Nargis, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday. Gates accused the military leaders of being "deaf and dumb" to the plight of their people, Reuters reports. American ships in the region... More »

Junta Closing Cyclone Shelters

UN official denounces coerced moves

(Newser) - The Burmese junta has reportedly begun closing shelters and telling cyclone victims to return to their decimated villages, a move that drew strong condemnation from a UN official, the BBC reports. Military leaders, apparently worried that the camps will become permanent aid centers, have given victims tents and bamboo poles... More »

Burma Rips 'Chocolate Bar' Aid; US Ships Threaten to Sail

Junta rails on stingy pace of int'l donations

(Newser) - Burma's military junta ripped international cyclone relief efforts today, slamming demands for access to the disaster zone and proclaiming "The people from Irrawaddy can survive without chocolate bars donated by foreign countries," Reuters reports. The slam comes a day after a US admiral threatened to yank warships from... More »

Burma Relief Effort Belies Need

Junta props up success stories but ignores thousands out of spotlight

(Newser) - Burma's junta would have one believe it's got the situation under control in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, and even has a test-case diorama as evidence for foreign envoys, the Times of London reports. Sinkan refugee camp hosts 180 well-fed, healthy inhabitants in clean blue tents—while 10 minutes down... More »

Burma Junta: No Freedom for Opposition Leader

Aung San Suu Kyi detention extended

(Newser) - The Nobel Prize-winning leader of the Burmese opposition will spend another year under house arrest, the country's military government announced today. Hopes that international pressure, along with the national crisis in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, might lead the junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi were dashed by a... More »

Burma Agrees to Accept All Aid

Junta drops opposition to aid workers entering country

(Newser) - Burma has agreed to let international disaster relief workers into the country to help with the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Bloomberg reports. The junta's about-face came after  UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who flew in yesterday, met the nation's  reclusive military leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe. The UN hopes to ramp... More »

Visiting UN Chief Pushes Burma to Accept Aid

Junta refuses US supplies waiting nearby

(Newser) - UN chief Ban Ki-Moon witnessed cyclone damage in Burma today, on a trip to bring the devastated country a “message of hope” and push the junta to allow international aid for the millions left destitute, Reuters reports. “I'm quite confident we will be able to overcome this tragedy,... More »

World Toes Junta's Line as Burmese Die

Dictators don't want you to think about the victims, and media is helping

(Newser) - The leaders of the Burmese junta don’t want you to think about the victims of Cyclone Nargis, writes Tom Jenkins for the Guardian, and the world and the media are only too happy to oblige. The Chinese government’s heroics in Asia's other natural disaster focuses attention on victims... More »

World Bank Nixes Loan to Burmese Junta

Military government 'in arrears' on earlier debts; aid still scarce

(Newser) - As Burma looks for loans to cover an estimated for $10 billion worth of damage from Cyclone Nargis, the World Bank won't be among the lenders, the Telegraph reports. The junta has been in debt to the bank for more than a decade, and the bank is legally barred from... More »

'Disaster Fatigue' Shuts US Wallets

Burma, China donations pale compared to tsunami, Katrina charity

(Newser) - Americans’ donations to disaster relief this year fall far short of money given to victims of the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina—and it’s likely due to “disaster fatigue," say experts. With tragedies like Burma’s cyclone and China’s earthquake quickly piling up, people may feel... More »

It's Time to Talk More About Toilets

In disasters like Burma, excrement 'a weapon of mass destruction'

(Newser) - Modern squeamishness about discussing human feces can cost lives, Rose George writes in the New York Times. The recent disastrous cyclone in Burma highlights how important waste-containment (read: latrines) is to staving off disease, but if wealthy nations won't deign to discuss No. 2, it's hard for them to organize... More »

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