Myanmar, formally known as Burma was a country in trouble already, the ruling military junta had created an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. Most of the world knows very little about this county. Indeed were it not for a BNN journalist that lives in Myanmar, I would know little.

It is now a week since the deadly cyclone devastated the country, and in particular its capital Yangon. There are an estimated 1.5 million victims who are in serious need of food and medical aid. Yet the Junta is still blocking international aid.

One of the most disturbing stories comes from the New York Times that graphically describes

In one of the hardest hit areas, the southern reaches of the Irrawaddy delta, bodies floated down rivers and washed up on riverbanks. They were mostly ignored by stunned survivors who have quickly grown used to seeing the dead floating past them.

How much longer is the world going to sit back and let this once proud country self destruct?

Maybe the most bizarre twist in this story is that the Junta rather than trying to aid the victims instead ran a referendum to cement their stranglehold on the country. This makes no sense, every resource at their command should be used to help the victims, not to hold an election! I am sure I am not alone in expressing outrage and incredulity. To put it in street slang “Where the hell are these peoples heads at?”

Simon Barrett

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