Spanish Pundit (II)

mayo 29, 2008

Burmese villagers had little, and lost it all – International Herald Tribune

Burmese villagers had little, and lost it all – International Herald Tribune:
“(…) for those who live in the isolated, outlying hamlets of the delta, putting their lives back together after Nargis has been a sad affair – and a struggle that international aid workers have largely been unable to help ease. The Myanmar government, critics say, is distrustful of outsiders and does not want the villagers to meet foreigners. Meanwhile, the ruling junta is unable or unwilling to provide adequate help on its own.
‘I don’t expect anything from the government. I never have and I don’t now,’ Then Khin said. ‘I heard on the radio about foreign help on its way, but I haven’t seen any in the past 20 days. It’s the same as before, nothing changed.’
The only government help Then Khin has received was a small packet of rice, which she won by the luck of the draw. The village authorities came only once, with some rice, blankets and other relief from the central government. The supplies were distributed by lottery because there was so little. The rice packet was not enough for even one meal for the 20 surviving family members who now crowd her hut.
The village of That Kyar lies near the mouth of the delta’s Pyapon River, downstream from Pyapon, a major delta trading town about 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, southwest of the principal city of Yangon.
A motorboat that left Pyapon carrying several visitors to That Kyar reached the village after more than two hours on the river, navigating around capsized ships and broken jetties.
Upon reaching a point in the river where the sea air finally smelled of salt and where gulls could be seen, the boat moved into a tributary and chugged upstream for another 40 minutes. Once a picturesque hamlet lined with coconut trees, That Kyar is now little more than a heap of rotting debris.

 

Unlike the cyclone victims who live near roads and receive help from private donors bringing supplies from the bigger cities, villages like That Kyar have been left to fend for themselves.

 

 

Three weeks after the cyclone came and went, the United Nations said that aid had reached less than one-fourth of the two million survivors in the hardest hit areas of the delta.
In what many observers hope will be a breakthrough, Myanmar’s generals finally told the United Nations last week that they would allow workers of all nationalities to go into the devastated areas to assess the damage. So far, virtually all foreign aid workers have been banned from the delta.
And it remained unclear how much access relief workers and aid agencies will have to those areas.

 

Many people there did not even know that Saturday was the day they were supposed to vote on a new Constitution, a document designed to prolong the junta’s grip on power.”

 

 

You can read more about Burmese situation after Nargis in 1972. Most of Enzo’s post is in English so there will be no problem, via Wind Rose Hotel.
And in this context UN continues to proof itself very useful, so it’s going to send 250.000 condoms because Burmese people needs to continue its contraception’s policy. They are not worried about lack of food, lack of clean water, lack of housing… no, they are worried about condoms. And there will also send contraception pills in special airplanes to Burma. Right. Good to see the priorities.
In related news, several National League for Democracy (NLD)’s members have been arrested some hours before fighter for freedom and Nobel Prize winner Aung Suu Kyi’s sentence has been extended.
Don’t know what happens but the link does not go well (at least for me). That’s why I have included the capture of the Irrawady’s daily mailing.
Burma Campaign UK has already sent a message to Facebook denouncing the extension of the arrest of Suu Kyi:

Yesterday, the regime extended Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention again. No formal announcement was made, but reports say the detention is for at least another six months. She has now spent over 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest. Her current period of house arrest began in 2003. The regime is once again breaking its own laws by extending her detention for a total of more than five years. The State Protection Law 1975, under which she is held, only allows the regime to detain her for a maximum of five years. Around 20 members of the National League for Democracy were also arrested yesterday as they marched to her home to call for her release. 

The detention is for at least“… Welcome to the security of the citizens under the Burmese law… Not only the law is not fulfilled by the Government (the maximum is five years of detention period and Suu Kyi has been detained for 12 years), but she is going to be detained for at least, so for the time the Burmese junta wants.

Oh, that legality under dictatorships…
******
La situación en Birmania empeora día a día sobre todo porque la ayuda internacional no llega a los damnificados. Sobre todo, la ayuda no llega a los pequeños pueblos del delta, a los que la Junta Birmana no quiere en especial que vayan los cooperantes internacionales. Es cierto que la Junta militar ha permitido que entren a evaluar los daños causados por el ciclón, pero lo cierto es que no se ha señalado la extensión de dicho permiso.
La situación en muchos sitios es desesperada, pero la ONU parece estar interesada sólo en una cuestión: los anticonceptivos. Muchas personas están sin comida, sin agua potable y sin vivienda, pero lo que va a mandar la ONU son un cuarto de millón de condones y unas 78.000 píldoras anticonceptivas. Esta decisión, que la ONU sustenta en que no quiere que los birmanos interrumpan su política anticonceptiva, es cuando menos curiosa si pensamos en la cantidad de gente que ha muerto (en especial niños) como consecuencia del ciclón.
El domingo pasado, además, se votaba la nueva Constitución con la que no cambiará nada, si no que la Junta aún aumentará más su poder. De hecho, una de las primeras decisiones ha sido la de detener al menos a 15 miembros del principal partido opositor, la Liga Nacional por la Democracia (NLD) y extender el arresto domiciliario de Aung Sang Suu Kyi, su líder, Premio Nobel de la Paz. Esta extensión del arresto incumple la ley birmana que no permite un arresto superior a cinco años (Suu Kyi lleva 12 de los últimos 18 años arrestada en su domicilio) y encima se le arresta durante al menos otros seis meses, permitiendo así tenerla arrestada el tiempo que la Junta quiera.
Eso sí, el resto del mundo callados, no vaya a ser que la gente en general se den cuenta del calvario birmano. El ser humano, en su máximo esplendor…

Burma after the Nargis

Burmese villagers had little, and lost it all – International Herald Tribune
“(…) for those who live in the isolated, outlying hamlets of the delta, putting their lives back together after Nargis has been a sad affair – and a struggle that international aid workers have largely been unable to help ease. The Myanmar government, critics say, is distrustful of outsiders and does not want the villagers to meet foreigners. Meanwhile, the ruling junta is unable or unwilling to provide adequate help on its own.
‘I don’t expect anything from the government. I never have and I don’t now,’ Then Khin said. ‘I heard on the radio about foreign help on its way, but I haven’t seen any in the past 20 days. It’s the same as before, nothing changed.’
The only government help Then Khin has received was a small packet of rice, which she won by the luck of the draw. The village authorities came only once, with some rice, blankets and other relief from the central government. The supplies were distributed by lottery because there was so little. The rice packet was not enough for even one meal for the 20 surviving family members who now crowd her hut.
The village of That Kyar lies near the mouth of the delta’s Pyapon River, downstream from Pyapon, a major delta trading town about 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, southwest of the principal city of Yangon.
A motorboat that left Pyapon carrying several visitors to That Kyar reached the village after more than two hours on the river, navigating around capsized ships and broken jetties.
Upon reaching a point in the river where the sea air finally smelled of salt and where gulls could be seen, the boat moved into a tributary and chugged upstream for another 40 minutes. Once a picturesque hamlet lined with coconut trees, That Kyar is now little more than a heap of rotting debris.

Unlike the cyclone victims who live near roads and receive help from private donors bringing supplies from the bigger cities, villages like That Kyar have been left to fend for themselves.

Three weeks after the cyclone came and went, the United Nations said that aid had reached less than one-fourth of the two million survivors in the hardest hit areas of the delta.
In what many observers hope will be a breakthrough, Myanmar’s generals finally told the United Nations last week that they would allow workers of all nationalities to go into the devastated areas to assess the damage. So far, virtually all foreign aid workers have been banned from the delta.
And it remained unclear how much access relief workers and aid agencies will have to those areas.

Many people there did not even know that Saturday was the day they were supposed to vote on a new Constitution, a document designed to prolong the junta’s grip on power.”

You can read more about Burmese situation after Nargis in 1972. Most of Enzo’s post is in English so there will be no problem, via Wind Rose Hotel.
And in this context UN continues to proof itself very useful, so it’s going to send 250.000 condoms because Burmese people needs to continue its contraception’s policy. They are not worried about lack of food, lack of clean water, lack of housing… no, they are worried about condoms. And there will also send contraception pills in special airplanes to Burma. Right. Good to see the priorities.
In related news, several National League for Democracy (NLD)’s members have been arrested some hours before fighter for freedom and Nobel Prize winner Aung Suu Kyi’s sentence has been extended.
Don’t know what happens but the link does not go well (at least for me). That’s why I have included the capture of the Irrawady’s daily mailing.
Burma Campaign UK has already sent a message to Facebook denouncing the extension of the arrest of Suu Kyi:

Yesterday, the regime extended Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention again. No formal announcement was made, but reports say the detention is for at least another six months. She has now spent over 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest. Her current period of house arrest began in 2003. The regime is once again breaking its own laws by extending her detention for a total of more than five years. The State Protection Law 1975, under which she is held, only allows the regime to detain her for a maximum of five years. Around 20 members of the National League for Democracy were also arrested yesterday as they marched to her home to call for her release.

The detention is for at least“… Welcome to the security of the citizens under the Burmese law… Not only the law is not fulfilled by the Government (the maximum is five years of detention period and Suu Kyi has been detained for 12 years), but she is going to be detained for at least, so for the time the Burmese junta wants. 

Oh, that legality under dictatorships…
******
La situación en Birmania empeora día a día sobre todo porque la ayuda internacional no llega a los damnificados. Sobre todo, la ayuda no llega a los pequeños pueblos del delta, a los que la Junta Birmana no quiere en especial que vayan los cooperantes internacionales. Es cierto que la Junta militar ha permitido que entren a evaluar los daños causados por el ciclón, pero lo cierto es que no se ha señalado la extensión de dicho permiso.
La situación en muchos sitios es desesperada, pero la ONU parece estar interesada sólo en una cuestión: los anticonceptivos. Muchas personas están sin comida, sin agua potable y sin vivienda, pero lo que va a mandar la ONU son un cuarto de millón de condones y unas 78.000 píldoras anticonceptivas. Esta decisión, que la ONU sustenta en que no quiere que los birmanos interrumpan su política anticonceptiva, es cuando menos curiosa si pensamos en la cantidad de gente que ha muerto (en especial niños) como consecuencia del ciclón.
El domingo pasado, además, se votaba la nueva Constitución con la que no cambiará nada, si no que la Junta aún aumentará más su poder. De hecho, una de las primeras decisiones ha sido la de detener al menos a 15 miembros del principal partido opositor, la Liga Nacional por la Democracia (NLD) y extender el arresto domiciliario de Aung Sang Suu Kyi, su líder, Premio Nobel de la Paz. Esta extensión del arresto incumple la ley birmana que no permite un arresto superior a cinco años (Suu Kyi lleva 12 de los últimos 18 años arrestada en su domicilio) y encima se le arresta durante al menos otros seis meses, permitiendo así tenerla arrestada el tiempo que la Junta quiera.
Eso sí, el resto del mundo callados, no vaya a ser que la gente en general se den cuenta del calvario birmano. El ser humano, en su máximo esplendor…

mayo 28, 2008

Parents of quake victims to be allowed 2nd children – International Herald Tribune

Filed under: aborto,China,desastres naturales,environment — Nora @ 12:11 pm

Parents of quake victims to be allowed 2nd children – International Herald Tribune

“As the death toll in southwest China rose to more than 65,000, a provincial planning commission issued what it called a clarification Monday of the country’s one-child policy, saying that a family whose child dies young can obtain a certificate to have another child.

The clarification came from the Chengdu Population and Family Planning Committee in Sichuan Province, The Associated Press reported.

As many as 10,000 of those killed in the May 12 earthquake were children, adding to the tragedy in a country where most families are allowed to have only one.

Many children lost their lives in the scores of schools that collapsed, which has created a simmering controversy for the government, as grieving parents say their children might have lived had the schools been better constructed.”

So what will happen with the parents who aren’t able now to have a new child? What about those who are widows or widowers and had only that dead child?

Marvellous consecuences of the policy of “only one child“, by the Chinese government, in a desperate attempt to reduce the population… alongside with forced abortions of unmarried mothers, with a rare presence in Western MSM.
To know more about Chinese forced abortions policy, read this article:

Stephen Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), is one of the few North American academics that can legitimately boast the label of international spy. The one-time Stanford university doctorate candidate and internationally acclaimed population researcher has for years been on a blacklist of international spies by the Chinese government. His crime is his vocal criticism of China’s murderous, anti-human rights forced-abortion, forced-sterilization policy.

(…) Mosher, who is fluent in a common Chinese dialect, related how while living in a Chinese village he had witnessed women, some his personal friends, who became pregnant with an “illegal” second child and who were subsequently forced to have an abortion. Those mothers who refused were arrested and jailed and underwent daily propaganda, or brain-washing sessions, until they agreed to abort their child. Those who remained in prison until they went into labour “were taken to the abortion clinic crying, by force, and they were given a poison shot.”

That “marvellous Chinese legality“… is not humanitarian at all. But nearly no one denounces it. And now, we can see its effects.

****
Podría titular el post como “las maravillas de la política de un solo hijo”, pero me parece demasiado cruel ser sarcástica cuando se ha producido una catástrofe de estas características. 10.000 niños muertos por el terremoto, sus padres sólo podían tener un hijo, por la política china que intenta controlar la población. Así que ahora, y como algo especial, esas 10.000 familias podrán tener otro hijo. ¿Y qué pasará con aquellos que no puedan tenerlos ya? ¿O con aquellos padres viudos o viudas que sólo tuvieran ese hijo?

mayo 9, 2008

La Junta birmana secuestra la ayuda internacional para las víctimas del ciclón

Filed under: Birmania,desastres naturales,dictadura,dictatorship,UN — Nora @ 12:17 pm

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Burma impounds UN aid deliveries

“The World Food Programme has halted aid shipments to Burma after the contents of its first delivery were impounded on arrival in the military-ruled country.
The UN body says the Burmese government seized aid material flown in to help victims of Cyclone Nargis, which has killed tens of thousands.
The WFP said it had no choice but to halt aid until the matter was resolved.
Burma’s ruling generals have faced mounting criticism over their handling of the crisis.
The UN fears more than 1.5 million people have been affected by the cyclone, with tens of thousands made homeless and vulnerable to disease.
Burmese state media say 22,980 people were killed, but there are fears the figure could rise to 100,000.
Hundreds of thousands of people have no food, water or shelter. International aid agencies on the ground say they have reached only 10% of those that need help.
Despite this, Burma’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Friday saying it was not ready to allow foreign aid workers to enter the country.
The junta said it was happy to accept aid, but insisted it would control the distribution itself.”

El Programa Mundial de Alimentos ha suspendido los cargamentos de ayuda humanitaria a Birmana despué de que los contenidos de su primer envío fueron secuestrados según llegaron al país regido por los militares.

El organismo de la ONU dice que el gobierno secuestró el material de ayuda que se había mandado para ayudar a las víctimas del Ciclón Nargis, que ha matado a cientos de miles.
El Programa Mundial de Alimentos dijo que no tenía más opciones que parar toda ayuda hasta que la cuestión se hubiera resuelto.
Los generales gobernantes de Birmania se han encontrado con una crítica generalizada y creciente sobre su forma de encarar la crisis. 
La ONU teme que más de un millón y medio de personas han quedado afectadas por el ciclón, que además ha causado que decenas de miles se queden sin casa y pudiendo ser vulnerables a las enfermedades.
Los medios estatales birmanos dicen que 22.980 personas murieron, pero que se teme que puedan ser hasta 100.000.
Cientos de miles de personas no tienen comida, agua o cobijo. Las agencias internacionales de ayuda allí dicen que sólo han llegado al 10% de los que necesitan ayuda.
A pesar de todo ello, el ministro de exteriores de Birmania realizó una declaración el viernes en la que decía que no estaba listo para permitir que los trabajadores de ayuda humanitaria entraran en el país.
La junta dijo que estaba contenta de recibir ayuda, pero insistió en que controlaría la distribución por sí misma.
Como ya escribí aquí, la página web Tropical Storm Risk había anunciado la llegado del Ciclón pero no se hizo nada. Claro que teniendo en cuenta lo que ha hecho la Junta birmana tampoco creo que pudieran haber hecho mucho.
(+) Uno de cada cinco niños sufre de diarrea en las áreas afectadas por el ciclón.
Outbreaks of cholera and malaria are also being reported in the delta region, where the cyclone created all the conditions for epidemics.

“Most of the area is covered by dirty water,” said Osamu Kunii. “There are a lot of dead bodies and the people there have very poor access—sometimes no access—to clean drinking water or food.”

One Rangoon source said: “It is very difficult to bury the dead because everywhere is flooded. We needed expert relief workers.”

“Tanto el cólera como la malaria están empezando a aparecer en la región del delta, donde el ciclón ha creado todas las condiciones para una epidemia.

“La mayoría del área está cubierta de agua sucia”, dice Osamu Kunii. “Hay muchos cuerpos de muertos y la gente tiene poco acceso -en algunos casos ningún acceso- a agua limpia para beber o a comida”.
Una fuente desde Rangún dice: “Es muy difícil enterrar a los muertos porque todo está afectado por la inundación. Necesitamos trabajadores de asistencia experimentadas”.

Bodies lie next to a river at the village town of Laputta which was hit by Cyclone Nargis in Irrawaddy Division May 9. Burma will accept foreign aid but not foreign aid workers, the foreign ministry said on Friday, after a disaster rescue team from Qatar that arrived in Rangoon on an aid flight was turned back. (Photo: Reuters)

mayo 6, 2008

Birmania: el número de muertos por el ciclón Nargis puede ser superior a 22.000 (+) (+)

Filed under: Birmania,desastres naturales,dictadura,dictatorship — Nora @ 1:27 pm
Ya dije ayer que el ciclón Nargis había pasado por el delta birmano y que las primeras estimaciones situaban el número de muertos en 4000. Según publica  la BBC hoy, el número podría alcanzar los 22.000:

The death toll from Burma’s devastating cyclone has now risen to more than 22,000, state media say. Thousands more people are missing after Cyclone Nargis hit the country on Saturday, state radio said. The announcement came as international aid agencies pushed to launch a massive operation in the worst-affected areas of the country. Hundreds of thousands of people are said to be without clean water and shelter, with some areas still cut off.State media reported on Tuesday that 22,464 people had been confirmed dead. Earlier, Burmese officials said that up to 15,000 people had died

La cifra de muertos por el devastador ciclón de Birmania ha crecido ahora a más de 22.000, según los medios estatales.
Miles más están desaparecidos después de que el ciclón Nargis azotara el país el pasado sábado, según dijo la radio estatal.
El anuncio se realizó mientras las agencias de ayuda internacional van a lanzar una operación masiva en las áreas más afectadas del país.
Cientos de miles de personas están sin agua limpia ni refugio, con algunas áreas cortadas.
Los medios estatales informaron el martes que se ha confirmado la muerte de 22.464 personas.

No tengo palabras. Pero mucho me temo que la ayuda humanitaria va a ser distribuida por la Junta Militar como quiera ésta y no según las necesidades de los afectados. Y ya se sabe: si eres disidente, quedas excluido. 
(+) La ayuda humanitaria de la ONU todavía no ha llegado al país. La de Tailandia e India sí ha llegado ya. El resto de la ayuda humanitaria necesita simplemente canales de distribución para que llegue a sus destinatarios.
A pesar de eso, Birmania celebrará el referéndum sobre su constitución el sábado que viene, excepto en las 47 ciudades que han sido devastadas por el huracán.
(+) A través del blog italiano Asia et dintorni de Enzo, llego a la siguiente información:

Il ciclone era stato annunciato giorni prima che si abbattesse sul territorio birmano: il 29 aprile scorso un bollettino pubblicato sul sito Tropical Storm Risk avvisava che, in base a rilevazioni della marina e dell’aviazione statunitensi, una tempesta tropicale di forte intensità si sarebbe abbattuta sul Myanmar nelle prime ore della mattina del 3 maggio successivo. Nessuno che abbia interpellato le autorità birmane su quali misure avessero intenzione di adottare; nessuno che si sia preoccupato semplicemente di lanciare l’allarme. 

El ciclón había sido anunciado con anterioridad: el 29 de abril en un boletín publicado en el sitio Tropical Storm Risk, la marina y la aviación estadounidense avisaban de que una tormenta tropical se abatiría sobre Birmania en las primeras horas de la mañana del 3 de mayo. Nadie interpeló a las autoridades birmans sobre cuáles debían ser las medidas a adoptar. Nadie se preocupó de lanzar una alarma.
For a translation of the alarm given by Tropical Storm Risk site, on April 29th, about the possibilities of a tropical storm on May 3rd, you can click here.

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