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Aung San Suu Kyi Birthday Protest

Awyame | 24.06.2008 21:19 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Social Struggles | London

The Burmese community and Burma Campaign UK marked Burma's democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi 63rd birthday with a protest at the Burma Embassy in London. The Prime Minister Gordon Brown later met a delegation of young women from 5 of Burma’s main ethnic nationalities, Burman, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, and Chin, demonstrating the unity of the people of Burma in their struggle against dictatorship.

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Downing Street
Downing Street

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Burma Embassy
Burma Embassy

Virginia Water Total Oil Protest
Virginia Water Total Oil Protest

Virginia Water Total Oil Protest
Virginia Water Total Oil Protest

On Thursday June 19th 2008, Burma's democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, celebrated her 63rd birthday. She spent her birthday alone, under house arrest. She is now in her 13th year of detention. She isn't allowed to see family or friends as all visitors are banned. Her phone line is cut and her post is intercepted.

Aung San Suu Kyi is now serving her third term of house arrest. She was arrested on 30 May, 2003 after the regime's militia attacked her convoy and killed up to 100 of her supporters.

The Burmese Democracy community also held a celebration for Aung San Suu Kyi in London on 21st June, that was well attended by the community and helped raise funds for the Burma Nargis Cyclone Appeal. See the appeal is supervised by the International Burmese Monks Organization (UK).

The delegation that visited Downing Street was made up of:

Zoya Phan
Zoya Phan is from the Karen ethnic group in Burma. She was forced to flee her village aged 14 when the Burmese army attacked her village. Her family fled to refugee camps on the Thailand Burma border. She is one of the leading exile activists in Europe. She is now International Coordinator of the Burma Campaign UK.

Wai Hnin Pwint Thon
Wai Hnin is 19 years old. Her father was a leader of the 1988 democracy uprising, and was imprisoned by the regime for 8 years, so she only knew him from a picture her mother showed her. Her father was jailed again following the democracy uprising last year.

Hlaing Sein
Hlaing Sein is Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. She took part in the democracy uprising in 1988, and soldiers opened fire on her home.

Nang Seng
Nang Seng is Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. She is from the Kachin ethnic group, which has faced decades of persecution by the dictatorship in Burma. Before working at the Burma Campaign UK Nang Seng worked with the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand, which is based on the Thailand Burma border, and Burma Issues, which works to smuggle out news from Burma about human rights abuses.

Moe Bu
Moe Bu is from the Karenni ethnic group. Her village was forcibly relocated when she was aged 10, and fled Burma aged 17 on a three month long trek through the jungle to Thailand. She now volunteers for the Karenni Student Development Programme.

Cheery Zahau
Cheery Zahau is Co-ordinator of the Women’s League of Chinland, which has published a report, Unsafe State, documenting the widespread and systematic use of rape and sexual violence against Chin women by the Burma Army. On 27 February 2007, Cheery, one of the authors of the report, spoke at the United Nations in New York during its 51st Session on the Commission on the Status of Women.

Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have called for immediate democratic reform in Burma, and the release of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a joint letter to Aung San Suu Kyi to mark her birthday, the two leaders praised the leader of the National League for Democracy for her exceptional courage and dedication to the Burmese people.

Read the letter:

Dear Aung San Suu Kyi,

We wish to use this opportunity, on the occasion of your birthday, to reaffirm our commitment to your lifelong struggle to achieve democracy and humanity in Burma. You have sacrificed your freedom for the freedom of others. You have shown exceptional courage and dedication to your people.

Your release from house arrest and your freedom to participate in Burma's political future remain essential. We believe the recent referendum lacks credibility as a genuine reflection of the people's will and the new constitution cannot provide a sound basis for Burma's future political development. We call on the Government of Burma to set in motion, without delay, a fully inclusive political process which involves representatives of the full range of civil opposition and ethnic groups.

We welcome your readiness to have a genuine and meaningful dialogue with the military leadership to find a way out of the current stalemate. We are convinced that this voice of humanity and reason will be heard, as people must now realize that bold initiatives and compromises are required and that the present situation is neither satisfactory nor sustainable.

We are very concerned by the humanitarian situation following Cyclone Nargis, and greatly saddened that Burma's people, already deprived of basic human freedoms and economic opportunities, have fallen victim to such a major natural disaster. We were further deeply saddened that offers of international aid were not taken up at a sufficient scale at the outset, but we are pleased that ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretary General were able to initiate a response, and that Ban Ki-Moon has given his personal support to the process. The work of the regional and international aid agencies has been encouraging, however more needs to be done to ensure aid reaches all the people in acute need and to prevent further suffering and loss of life. The UK and France have immediately committed themselves to helping the relief effort and will support the ASEAN mechanism for longer term reconstruction. The success of the international effort will rely on the actions and conditions set by the Government of Burma.

We admire your strength in reconciling the hopes of Burma's many groups and dedication to the country's national integrity. We will not forget you or your people in this struggle.

Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy

20th June Total Oil Protest at Virginia Water Wheatsheaf Total Station

After helping with the 19th June protest at the Burmese Embassy, was protesting at the Wheatsheaf Total Station at Virginia Water, Surrey GU25 4QE on 20th June. They were there due to the large amount of traffic attending Royal Ascot that passes this station, with many a stretch-limousine filling up.

Despite there not being many pedestrians, we were able to leaflet many cars passing by and leaving the station, most of whom were unaware of French Total Oil being the largest western supporter of the brutal Burma junta, funding them with 500 million dollars. Money that does not benefit the Burmese people but funds the military in a war against the Burma people.

Total and Burma

A detailed report on Total Oil's involvement in Burma, written by Burma Campaign UK, can be downloaded at

Total is in a joint venture with the dictatorship in the Yadana gas project in southern Burma. [1]

The gas project funds the junta with hundreds of millions of dollars a year and represents a major source of foreign currency for the regime to buy weapons and finance the army.

Burma has the world's worst health care [2], the most corruption [3] and the most child soldiers [4].


Wednesday June 25th

Meet at Burma Embassy for normal daily Burmese protest
12:00-1pm Wednesday June 25th
Myanmar/Burma Embassy 19A, Charles St, London W1J 5DX.
Tube: Green Park | Map:

Total London HQ, 33 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PW
1:30-3:00pm Wednesday June 25th
Tube: Oxford Circus | Map:

Southfields Total Station (near Wimbledon Tennis Tournament)
5.00pm - 7.00pm Wednesday June 25th
Protest at Southfields Total Station, 262 Wimbledon Park Road, London SW19 6NL
Tube: Southfields (District Line). Map:

Wednesday July 2nd

Meet at Burma Embassy for normal daily Burmese protest
12:00-1pm Wednesday July 2nd
Myanmar/Burma Embassy 19A, Charles St, London W1J 5DX.
Tube: Green Park | Map:

Total London HQ, 33 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PW
1:30-3:00pm Wednesday July 2nd
Tube: Oxford Circus | Map:

Southfields Total Station (near Wimbledon Tennis Tournament)
5.00pm - 7.00pm Wednesday July 2nd
Protest at Southfields Total Station, 262 Wimbledon Park Road, London SW19 6NL
Tube: Southfields (District Line). Map:

You can email TOTAL right now to tell them that you think they should leave Burma via

Burma Campaign UK on Facebook

Get Total out of Burma on Facebook ( Facebook group)


Make sure you've signed:
- Downing Street petition to ask Prime Minister to support 1990 Elections result and urge International Community not to follow junta's 2010 Election plan (new petition launched in June 2008)
- Urge immediate medical care for Min Ko Naing (Email campaign launched 29th April 2008)
- "Free Burma's Political Prisoners Now!" petition (global campaign launched 13 March 2008)
- The Burma Campaign UK e-action to TOTAL:
- The global pledge:
- Don't Forget Burma - send a photo message to the regime:


Burma Campaign UK's video channel on YouTube:

- New to Burma? Watch these videos for a brief introduction
- This is Burma Music - U2, REM, Damien Rice, KT Tunstall...
- This is Burma: News and Documentaries - including Burma's Secret War
and Inside The Crackdown

30 Days (in May 2008) for a million voices:
Millions Rallied to Free Nelson Mandela and South Africa. Now it's Burma's Turn
Hollywood Stars Team up with the Human Rights Action Center to Launch Campaign on Behalf of the People of Burma
Will Ferrell, Anjelica Huston, Jennifer Aniston, Ellen Page, Judd Apatow, Mana, Sylvester Stallone, Eric Szmanda, Sarah Silverman Part of 30-Day Call-to-Action to Free Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.

Get TOTAL OIL out of Burma group on Facebook:


The international lobbying to get more aid experts into Burma, has had success
with more aid and aid experts getting into Burma, but international aid still
faces many unnecessary obstacles by the junta impeding aid work. Many cyclone
survivors returning to their villages say promised aid has not materialised.

The valiant efforts by Burmese donors inside Burma to provide aid on their own
initiative continues, but some donors have used up their funds or been deterred
from their efforts by junta roadblocks, restrictions and confiscation of aid by
thuggish junta associated groups. Nevertheless some Burmese volunteer groups
are very resilient carrying on with aid shipments despite the arrest of their
leaders. See

This week the UN will start a massive anti-dengue campaign in cyclone-hit areas
where mosquitoes that carry the disease have become a major concern. Major
outbreaks of diseases have so far been avoided.

Farmers in the cyclone hit areas will need farming equipment and seed within
the next 2 months to grow a 2008 rainy season rice crop. Although there has
been damage to paddy fields, the salinity problem of seawater contaminating the
soil is not as bad as originally feared according to the U.N. Food and
Agriculture Organization, as most seawater flooding receded 12 hours after the
storm surge and heavy rains after the cyclone helped avoid contamination. The
FAO estimate about 30,000 people involved in fishing activities have died.

Overall a 133,000 people are estimated dead or missing and 2.4 million people
are at risk with many destitute. The Emergency Shelter Cluster estimates that
around 480,000 families in the affected area have lost their shelter. On 13
June the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
estimated that just 160,000 households had received some form of emergency
shelter, typically plastic sheeting material. Aid agencies still do not know
exactly how many homes were seriously damaged or totally destroyed in the
disaster but they are carrying out a detailed damage assessment, due to be
completed by 24 June.

RECENT BURMA NEWS: (see - read links for the full versions of stories)

European MPs Form New Parliamentary Caucus On Burma
19 Jun 2008
Ps from 8 European countries have come together to form a new Parliamentary
caucus on Burma. The new caucus is launched to coincide with the 63rd
birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi – the detained leader of Burma’s democracy
movement. They hope to recruit more than 200 MPs to the caucus before the
end of the year.

The caucus aims to raise awareness of Burma in Europe and pressure European
governments to do more to bring about democratic transition in Burma. The 7
key objectives are:

· To seek stronger action on Burma from European governments, the
European Union, the United Nations Security Council, and other governments
and international institutions.

· To foster contacts with our fellow MPs from Burma.

· To foster contacts with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Caucus on
Myanmar, and other Asian MPs.

· To put forward motions, questions, and initiate debates on Burma in
our Parliaments.

· To provide monthly updates on the situation in Burma for European MPs.

· To cultivate links with civil society organisations knowledgeable
about Burma.

· To act as a strong public voice for democratisation in Burma.

Glenys Kinnock, MEP for Wales in the UK, said: “Parliamentary engagement is
essential as we strive to meet our many global challenges, not least when
voices need to be raised in support of freedom and fairness. In Burma,
though the media spotlight may have faded, the people continue to face
appalling suffering and the elected and legitimate parliament and government
are ruthlessly silenced. In forming this European Parliamentary Caucus, we
stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are fighting to restore democracy
and human rights in Burma. The Caucus will be a strong and determined
collective voice calling for action.”

Myanmar cyclone toll rises to 138,000 dead, missing

YANGON (Reuters) - More than 138,000 are dead or missing from the devastating cyclone that struck Myanmar last month, the government said on Tuesday, according to an Asian diplomat.

Deputy Foreign Minister Kyaw Thu informed a meeting of government and foreign aid workers the official death toll from the May 2 disaster had risen to 84,537 from a previous figure of 77,738, the diplomat told Reuters.

The number of missing fell to 53,836 from 55,917 announced by the government in its last casualty update on May 16.

Nearly two months after Cyclone Nargis left up to 2.4 million people destitute, a joint assessment team has recently completed its work and a new appeal for foreign aid is expected in July.

Myanmar's monks regroup after killer storm

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- In helping others, Myanmar's saffron-robed Buddhist monks have helped themselves.

The monks' critical role in providing relief after Cyclone Nargis has galvanized their ranks and strengthened their political voice - just months after the junta quashed the democracy uprising spearheaded by the monks last fall.

The monks have channeled aid materials into stricken regions and turned monasteries into soup kitchens and refugee camps since the May 2-3 storm.

Their outreach to survivors - many of whom received little or no government help - highlighted the monks' power and the possibility they could clash again with Myanmar's ruling forces.

U.N. Condemns Ongoing Human Rights Violation In Myanmar

June 19, 2008 6:50 a.m. EST

Siddique Islam - AHN South Asia Correspondent

New York, NY (AHN) - The United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday condemned "ongoing systematic violations of human rights" in Myanmar.

The U.N. body also called on the government to stop making politically motivated arrests and to release all political prisoners immediately.

In a resolution adopted without a vote, the council also called on the Myanmar government to fully implement commitments it made to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that it would grant relief workers "immediate, full and unhindered access" to people in need in the wake of last month's catastrophic Cyclone Nargis, a U.N. press statement said.

It called on the government to refrain from sending victims of the disaster back to areas where they would not have access to emergency relief, and to ensure that any returns are voluntary, safe and carried out with dignity.

The resolution, introduced before the Geneva-based Council by the European Union, also condemned the recruitment of child soldiers by both government forces and non-state armed groups and urged "an absolute an immediate stop of this appalling activity."

WHO reaches out to the worst affected people in Myanmar

Yangon, 23 June, 2008: The World Health Organization has opened three field offices in Labutta, Bogale and Myaungmya. These field offices will coordinate with the township health officials, hospitals and health agencies to provide a more location-specific response. According to UN estimates, 260000 people were affected in Bogale, and 190 000 in Labutta.;_ylt=ArWmKVmgnf3MUzFx42n_0uWtubgA

Suu Kyi in good health after cyclone: party official

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was in good health when her personal doctor visited her after last month's deadly cyclone, a senior official with her party told AFP on Friday.

Her doctor is one of the only people the military junta allows to see the Nobel Peace Prize winner inside her lakeside home, where she has been under house arrest for most of the last 18 years.

"Her doctor was allowed to visit her last month after the cyclone. It was his first visit in four months," the party official said.

"As far as I know, her health condition is fine," he added.

Part of the roof of her house in the main city Yangon was damaged when Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar seven weeks ago, killing more than 133,000 people and leaving 2.4 million in need of humanitarian aid.

Despite the devastation, Myanmar's junta last month extended Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest by another year, brushing off complaints from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party that her detention is illegal.

Fourteen people were arrested Thursday after a small protest held to mark her 63rd birthday, where her supporters shouted for her freedom on the sidewalk outside NLD's headquarters.

Aung San Suu Kyi led her party to a landslide victory in 1990 elections, but has never been allowed to govern.

UN issues urgent plea for funding to keep Myanmar helicopters flying critical aid missions

YANGON, Myanmar June 20, 2008 : The United Nations warned Friday that it will be forced to ground helicopters that have been ferrying critical aid to Myanmar's cyclone survivors unless the international community urgently provides more funding.

The U.N.'s World Food Program said it was facing a "critical shortage of funds" for its logistical operation in the country, including its 10 helicopters that have so far delivered lifesaving materials to 60 locations in the devastated Irrawaddy delta.

The use of helicopters, trucks and boats will "grind to a halt by the end of this month unless we get additional funding now," Chris Kaye, WFP's country director in Myanmar, said in a statement.

The U.N. estimates that 2.4 million people were affected by Cyclone Nargis and has warned that more than 1 million still need help.

The WFP issued an appeal for US$50 million to fund its logistical operation, of which the helicopters are the most expensive to run, but has so far received pledges and funding to cover just 60 percent, the statement said.

Myanmar's junta faced worldwide criticism after the May 2-3 storm for failing to speed aid to cyclone survivors and initially barring foreign aid workers from the hardest-hit Irrawaddy delta.

Two weeks after the cyclone hit, the reclusive regime authorized the U.N. to use 10 helicopters inside the country.

The helicopters, which were chartered from South Africa, Uganda and elsewhere, provided a crucial boost to aid workers who had been unable to reach hundreds of remote villages in the Irrawaddy delta.

"Of those several hundred villages, we have now reached 60," said WFP spokesman Paul Risley. "We still have many more villages to reach."

Monks fill aid gap for storm orphans

Jun. 22 - Children who lost their parents when Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar rely on monasteries for food and shelter.

UNICEF says at least 2, 000 children have been orphaned or separated from their families by the huge storm that struck in May.

Plague of rats devastates Burma villages

After the fury of Cyclone Nargis, a new disaster looms in Burma: packs of rats that swarm through the hills once every 50 years have consumed everything in their path, reducing thousands of poor farmers to the verge of starvation.

Burma's latest human disaster is unfolding almost unseen by the outside world in the jungle-covered mountains of Chin State, far to the north of the Irrawaddy Delta where 134,000 people died last month.

The plague of rats happens twice a century when bamboo forests produce flowers and seeds, then wither and die for five years in a phenomenom locally known as mautam or bamboo death. Villagers believe the bamboo seeds are a kind of aphrodisiac for the rodents, whose numbers explode until all the seeds have been eaten. Then they turn on villagers' rice stocks, stripping ripening corn and paddy in the fields and even digging up seeds at night after farmers plant them.

The regime's generals will permit no food aid or humanitarian workers into affected areas of the strategically important region in a repeat of their callous refusal last month to permit emergency aid sitting in foreign ships off Burma's coast to be distributed to cyclone survivors.

Exiled Chin leaders say that villagers who are too weak to flee over the border with India have already begun to die. They fear that thousands more now face a lingering death in the deep bamboo forests where most of the state's million-strong population of Christian tribal people live far from roads or towns.

The Chin, one of Burma's many minority ethnic groups, are under the brutal rule of occupying soldiers from the Burma Army who terrorise civilians and sporadically fight Chin guerrillas. The soldiers have made the food shortage worse by stealing rice and forcing villagers to work as conscripted labourers. Cheery Zahau, 27, from the Women's League of Chinland, met William Hague and Gordon Brown in London this week to ask for British help.

She said: "The reports that are trickling out to India are heartbreaking. They tell of dehydrated children dying of diarrhoea and the poorest and weakest being left behind as stronger villagers start to escape over the border to where there is food. We don't really know what is happening deep inside Chin State where there are no telephones or roads. We fear that thousands will die if no help is made available."

Villagers roast rats they catch on sticks, but that food source rapidly disappears when the rodents have eaten everything in the village and move on.

In Mizoram State in India and the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, similar rat plagues in the last few months have also stripped fields bare after the flowering of the Melocanna Baccifera bamboo. Unlike Burma those governments have put work and food programmes in place to aid villagers.

Benny Manser, 24, a photographer from Aylesbury, slipped across the international border from Mizoram State last month to visit affected villages.

He said: "We saw stick-thin children and old women who hardly had the strength left to dig up roots to eat. Villagers were telling of vast packs of rats, thousands strong, which would turn up overnight out of the bamboo thickets and eat everything in sight."

Survivors Try to Come to Terms with Their Loss

Monasteries in Burma have long been revered as a place of refuge and healing and last month's devastating cyclone—which left more than 130,000 people dead or missing when it slammed into the country's Irrawaddy Delta—was no exception.

"Villagers ran to the monastery. They had nowhere to go," Sayadaw U Ti Lawka, head monk of the Maha Thein Kyaung monastery in the village of Taung Kaung in Kawhmu Township, told IRIN.

At the height of the cyclone, villagers and monks alike sought refuge behind the monastery's ancient stone walls, staying two days before returning to their homes.

"The government hasn't been back in this village after delivering some sacks of rice for the monastery. Now we rely greatly on private donors for our daily sustenance," he said.

The Thugs are Back in Action

After a welcome absence from the public scene in the past few months, the ugly thugs of Burma’s two pro-government militia movements, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and its sister group, Swan Ah Shin (“Masters of Force”), are back on the streets.

They turned out in force on Thursday for a birthday party—pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was 63. They were in no mood to celebrate, however. Their aim was to break up any display of popular support for a courageous woman caged by the regime in her own home.

The thugs attacked a rally by Suu Kyi’s supporters outside the Rangoon office of her National League for Democracy, detaining more than a dozen.

Although it’s not clear whether the unprovoked and brutal attack was launched on government orders, the regime’s hand can be seen behind most of the criminal activities of the USDA and Swan Ah Shin.

In a report to the UN Human Rights Council last December, the former UN special rapporteur on Burma, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, said the “violent actions” of the USDA and Swan Ah Shin are taken “with government acquiescence or approval.” The report accused the regime of complicity in the groups’ abuses and of negligence in failing to prevent them and punish those responsible.

Suu Kyi’s current term of house arrest began after members of the group ambushed a convoy of her supporters in May 2003, killing many of them. The groups were also active in helping to suppress the popular demonstrations last August and September.

“The USDA and Swan Ah Shin have played an increasingly important role in suppressing civilian dissent”, Donald M Seekins, Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at Meio University in Japan, wrote in a report. He accused the two movements of involvement in the attacks on Suu Kyi and her supporters in May 2003 and the suppression of last year’s demonstrations.

The regime often attempts to define the USDA and Swan Ah Shin as two distinctly separate groups.

“After the September demonstrations, the authorities often explained during meetings with businesspeople that the two groups are not same, saying the USDA is a civic organization and Swan Ah Shin are people who have the responsibility to prevent unrest,” said a Rangoon businessman who has ties to the USDA.

He said Swan Ah Shin was answerable to both local authorities and the USDA, relying on them for financing.

The two groups recruit their members from different social strata. While USDA members tend to be civil servants, teachers, students and businesspeople, Swan Ah Shin attracts a criminal class of membership.

Members of Swan Ah Shin were paid between 2,000 kyat and 3,000 kyat (US $1.5 and $2.3) to help break up last year’s demonstrations.

Members of both groups receive basic military training and instruction in crowd control from the army and police.

When demonstrations and popular protests arise, thugs from the two movements are rapidly on the scene. But, like the Burmese army, they were conspicuous by their absence when a real crisis, Cyclone Nargis, hit the country.

"Last time [in August and September, 2007], they came here, just like ants, from where I don't know," a Rangoon resident told Reuters in early May. "Now I can't see any."

Myanmar Red Cross distributes monsoon shelter kits

The Myanmar Red Cross, supported by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, is intensifying distributions of relief to cyclone-hit areas, particularly monsoon shelter kits, as the rainy season brings increased risk of disease.

Although humanitarian access to the region has improved, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is taking a strategic approach by recruiting people for an intense training programme in Yangon in basic relief management.

Once trained and deployed to the affected delta, each team of two will recruit and train two more people and together manage the relief operation in their area. The intention is to improve the ability of the Myanmar Red Cross to respond to disasters in its own right.

Junta continues to restrict aid workers from helping cyclone victims

Even six weeks after Cyclone Nargis devastated parts of Burma, basic relief materials still have not reached the affected areas. Neither has basic assessment of needs been made. But the Burmese military regime continues to restrict aid workers from going in to help the victims.

Private donors in Rangoon (Yangon), former capital of the country are still finding it difficult to assess the needs of the cyclone victims given the restriction by the authorities. Even donors who have bought relief material and are ready to move to affected areas cannot go, a private donor in Rangoon said.

“Though we wanted to go to the devastated Irrawaddy River Delta, but getting permission from the authorities was difficult and we couldn't wait for the permission so we just went to help the cyclone victims in the Rangoon area,” said a private donor

Many people and organizations have been helping cyclone victims in Bogalay but they did not see much relief work being done by the regime authorities, said a volunteer aid worker who recently came back from Bogalay.

“What I saw was there is still need for basic assessment of the requirement of cyclone victims. Because of the support of private donors and Christian organizations the victims could have daily food,” said a volunteer aid worker.

Meanwhile, herds of cattle have been seized for despatch to Cyclone Nargis-hit Irrawaddy River Delta and collection of rice continues ostensibly in the name of the Nargis fund by the Burmese authorities in Kachin State.

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - In a June 11 story about Myanmar’s cyclone leaving pregnant women in need of medical care, The Associated Press misstated the number. William A. Ryan, a spokesman for the U.N. Population Fund, said there are as many as 35,000 such women, not just 10,000. The same error was in a June 11 story from Yangon, Myanmar.


[1] Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s democracy leader, has said that “Total is the biggest supporter of the military regime in Burma.” For more information about Total Oil's investment in Burma see the Burma Campaign UK website:

[2] The World Health Organization's ranking
of the world's health systems:

[3] Burma joins Somalia in 179th place as the most corrupt countries in the world according to Transparency International 2007 index rankings:

- e-mail: totaloutofburma [at] gmail (dot) com
- Homepage:


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