Sunday, May 11, 2008
Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said Sunday that Thailand is willing to help transport international relief supplies for Myanmar. According to Thai News Agency, Noppadon said he had informed Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej that he might travel to Yangon Tuesday to ask Myanmar authorities to provide wider access to foreign assistance for Myanmar cyclone victims, and to allow foreign experts to enter the country, on behalf of countries wishing to offer humanitarian aid to Myanmar people after the country was hit by Cyclone Nargis last weekend. As a friend of Myanmar, Thailand does not want to pressure the neighbor country much as Myanmar has made it clear that it would allow only donated necessities or cash to enter the country, said Noppadon.
However, foreign nations wishing to help Myanmar people could leave aids with the Thai government, which will help transport them, he said.
Both ambassadors of the United States and Britain to Thailand had asked the Thai government to help persuade Myanmar leaders to allow foreign aid staff into the country to deliver foreign aid supplies to cyclone-affected people, which Myanmar has rejected.
Gen Surayud Chulanont, Thailand's Privy Councilor and former prime minister, reportedly would fly to Naypyidaw, Myanmar's new capital to present the 2,000 bags of utensils and beddings offered by a foundation under the patronage of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Surayud was also expected to try convincing the Myanmar leaders open wider the door to foreign aid.
Noppadon said foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet in Singapore on May 19 and discuss ways to help Myanmar cyclone victims.
On Monday, the first planeload of relief supplies offered by the United States aboard a U.S. Air Force C-130 military transport aircraft will depart from an air base in Rayong province in central Thailand for Yangon, the former Myanmar capital, after it got the permit of Myanmar government to enter the country.
The death toll of Myanmar's cyclone disaster rose to 28,458 from 23,335, according to a brief news report of the state TV Sunday evening. Altogether 33,416 people remained missing, down from 37,019, the report said.
A deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit five divisions and states -- Yangon, Bago, Ayeyawaddy, Kayin and Mon in the last weekend, of which Ayeyawaddyand Yangon sustained the heaviest casualties and infrastructural damage.
Affected coastal towns in the southwestern Ayeyawaddy division include Haing Gyi Island, Pathein, Myaungmya, Laputta, Mawlamyinegyun, Kyaiklat, Phyarpon and Bogalay.
Myanmar declared the five divisions and states as natural-disaster-hit regions a day after the cyclone hit the country.
However, Bago, Mon and Kayin as well as some five townships of Yangon division and 19 townships of Ayeyawaddy division were withdrawn from being the natural-disaster-hit areas status on Tuesday with a claim that these areas had basically returned to normal.
A total of 40 townships in Yangon division and 7 townships in Ayeyawaddy division have still remained as the natural-disaster-hit areas status where relief and rehabilitation work are under way
The focus for the military junta was on the referendum for a Constitution that is intended to perpetuate military rule. Residents said the vote followed a campaign of coercion mixed with propaganda.The military appeared to be diverting some resources from cyclone victims to the voting, which was held in all but the hardest hit areas. A resident of Yangon, the main city, said by telephone that refugees who had sought shelter in schoolhouses had been evicted so they could be used as polling places. She said refugees had also been evicted from other buildings.
In Datgyigone, a village 35 miles north of Yangon, a precinct captain burst into laughter when asked if he thought most people would vote for the Constitution. “Everyone will vote yes,” he said. “Of course yes. Hundred percent.”
But he said that most voters had no idea what they were voting for, and that neither he nor most people he knew had actually read the proposed Constitution. “The government says vote, so we vote,” he said with a shrug. He spoke openly, but, fearing government retribution, asked that his name not be used.
Most villagers, when asked about their votes, declined to speak. A man selling batteries, combs and flip-flops from a small pushcart hurried off when he was asked about the referendum. “I cannot speak about this,” he said over his shoulder. “I’m afraid.”
There were a number of reports of “preballoting,” in which employees of enterprises or government offices were required to vote ahead of time under the eye of their supervisors.
The referendum, the product of a 14-year stop-and-start convention, is intended to lead to a multiparty election and a nominally civilian government. But it allots 25 percent of parliamentary seats to the military, gives the military control of important ministries and allows the military to seize control in a time of emergency. It would also bar Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, an opposition leader whose party won a general election in 1990, from public office. She has been under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years.
No police presence was obvious in Datgyigone or at an additional dozen polling stations during the day. The polls closed at 4 p.m., as a torrential rainstorm lashed the area.
No preliminary results had been announced by late Sunday morning, but state-run media said the voting had proceeded without incident. The front page of government newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar, on Sunday had photographs of Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the leader of the junta, voting with his wife, Daw Kyaing Kyaing.
Thousands of soldiers were on the roads and in towns near the village, using axes, machetes and two-handled cross-cut saws to clear trees from towns and roads.
Small groups of residents in Yangon banded together to distribute aid, but one said the authorities were sometimes confiscating their supplies. The Yangon resident said some victims had taken shelter in Buddhist monasteries, which had been a target of the government during the violent suppression of protests, led by monks, in September.
The United States was preparing to send in its first aircraft with relief supplies on Monday.
The International Committee of the Red Cross sent its first aid flight to Myanmar on Saturday, loaded with pumps, generators, water treatment material and medical equipment.
But these deliveries were tiny in the face of such widespread destruction. Relief officials warned of an epidemic of cholera and said there was generally a 10-day window after a disaster before the death rate rose steeply.
Health officials are concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dysentery, which can be spread by dirty water and contaminated food. Severe diarrhea can be rapidly fatal, especially in children, and clean water and rehydrating solutions need to be given quickly to save lives.
DHAKA, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Effective warning system can reduce casualties and property losses in Bangladesh, which is vulnerable to natural disasters like flood, cyclone and tidal surge, officials said here Sunday. Golam Kibria, an official of the Food and Disaster Management Ministry, said inadequate emergency programs might be one of the reasons of the huge casualties in Myanmar caused by tropical cyclone Nargis on May 3.
"Luckily Bangladesh escaped the wrath of Nargis as it changed its course at the last moment," he said.
Kibria said although Nargis did not finally strike Bangladesh, the local administrations were told to keep alert and to make preparation for evacuation.
Bangladesh was severely struck by Cyclone Sidr on Nov. 15 last year causing huge damage to life and property. Official figures showed 3,363 were dead and 871 missing after the cyclone hit the country's southwestern coastal belt with a wind speed of 240kph.
Kibria said the casualties could have been much higher if the cyclone preparedness programs and the cyclone warning systems were not in place.
Bangladesh, located in the Ganges Delta, experienced tragic loss of life, crops and property in 1970 and 1991 when being attacked by devastating cyclones.
After 1970, the country started building cyclone shelters in coastal belt and improving the weather signaling system. After 1991 cyclone and tidal surge that left 138,000 people dead, the Bangladeshi government with the help of donors strengthened the cyclone preparedness program.
Fazlul Wahab, director of Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP), said around 42,000 volunteers are mobilized across the country's coastal belt in this program. They are equipped with mega phones and communication system so that they can inform the coastal people about any cyclone and organize evacuation within 12 hours before any cyclone hit the country.
Food and Disaster Ministry officials said presently that there were 2033 cyclone shelters in the coastal belt. After the cyclone Sidr, the government has planned to build 2000 more cyclone shelters by 2015 with the help of donors.
Besides, 507 primary school buildings in the coastal districts are now being upgraded to cyclone shelters,
Wahab said Bangladesh has also signed meteorological data exchange agreements with many countries in Asia-Pacific region forgetting information in advance.
papa....papa....... the firefighter at the door.
Can I open for them?
shhhhhhh......... just say nothing wrong in the house.
If you open the door they will see the
smoke in my lab.I could get the
ticket I have to pay at the court.
I'll beat you if you open okkkkkkkk.
eeeeeeeeeeeeee.. I listen to who?also smoke is full
of the house.I can not breath,I can not breath.
I start coming crazy ,,,,,,
PA......PA............I am scare,,i am scare.....