Monday, June 02, 2008

Cyclone Nargis: one month on, US accuses Burma of criminal neglect

Extracted from Guardian, UK, Monday June 2 2008
By Matthew Weaver and agencies

The US has accused the Burmese military government of "criminal neglect" in its response to Cyclone Nargis, after it was claimed that aid had still failed to reach 200,000 people, a month after the disaster struck.

The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, said he would make a decision within "a matter of days" whether or not to withdraw US navy ships from the Burmese coast. They had been mobilised to coordinate aid deliveries.

"It's becoming pretty clear the regime is not going to let us help," Gates told reporters in Singapore.

Asked if the military junta was guilty of genocide in its response to the disaster, Gates said: "This is more akin, in my view, to criminal neglect."

The Burmese junta responded by insisting its response to the disaster had been "prompt".

Mr Gates and many politicians around the world have been very critical about the response to aid by the Burmese regime. The Burmese government have not been perfect but understandably been taking their time and only trusting countries that they know will not occupy them. Having American warships hovering close to their country wouldn't make any country feel secure. This brings me to my main point about Gates's comments.
Wasn't there a regime in North America (a couple of years ago) who refused any help from Cuba (who wanted to give them 1000 doctors to treat victims of the hurricane) - instead they let the people starve and rot. Help did not arrive for a long time, the President hid in his luxury home whilst people started looting and killing people for food and resources - yes, welcome to the richest country in the world. Maybe George Bush doesn't like black people? Hurricane Katrina was a very bad experience but shows that even the wealthiest countries in the world can be on their knees against mother nature. I pray that we don't have any more of these natural disasters.

Burma United States

No comments: