Monday, May 12, 2008
In Myanmar, food aid only at the junta's behest
Wealthy Burmese who want to donate rice or other assistance have in several cases been told that everything must be channeled through the military. This angers local government officials like Tin Win who are trying to rebuild the lives of villagers. He twitched with rage as he described the rice the military gave him. "They gave us four bags," Tin Win said. "The rice is rotten - even the pigs and dogs wouldn't eat it."
The UN high commissioner for refugees delivered good rice to the local military leaders last week, but they kept it for themselves, Tin Win said, and distributed the water-logged, musty rice. "I'm very angry," he said, adding an expletive to describe the military.
For the ruling generals, who have been in power for over four decades in Myanmar, the driving motivation of handing out assistance is to show that they are in control and the benevolent providers for the nation, analysts say.
Everyone, do what you think you have to to help these people. Here's a link to the Red Cross's efforts. But I'm afraid it's not helping. I haven't found out how to help out the victims of the China Earthquake, but obviously that's a lot less people who need help.Sigh.