Horror stories abound. The little aid that is being allowed into the country is being confiscated by the military, more than likely for their own use. The food that is being distributed is usually rotten, and most are not receiving anything at all. People are being forced to leave the monasteries, where they have sought refuge and received help, even though they have no place to go. Foreign aid food, rather than being given to the people free of charge, is being sold at commercial prices, as are zinc sheets for roofing. Supplies are being given in return for "yes" votes in the national referendum. Child traffickers are targeting children in the refugee camps.
The useless U.N. keeps begging, but getting no results, because countries like China refuse to meddle in what they believe to be internal domestic affairs.
This week, Beijing blocked a proposal to have the U.N. humanitarian chief brief the Security Council on Myanmar, saying governments should not politicize the issue.
I wouldn't expect any other response from China. They don't want other countries meddling in their affairs, considering their blemished record on human rights, so why would they deign to interfere with Burma?
So, we sit in the comfort of our living rooms, watching a group of people die before our very eyes; the result of a sick government's gross negligence. A people whose rights were violated prior to the tropical cyclone, and whose lives are being threatened now. We sit silent and mute, doing nothing, perhaps reaching for our checkbooks knowing full well that what we donate will probably wind up filling the coffers of the military generals rather than aiding those in need.
And there are many who feel the same way as the Chinese government. But I ask you this:
If your neighbour was abusing his wife and children, would you call the police or allow the abuse to continue because you refuse to meddle in their domestic affairs?
Failure to act, on a global level, has led to much unnecessary death in the past few centuries. WWII, Darfur, Rwanda. And the sad and pathetic thing about Burma is that much of the death was and is avoidable. What harm is there in allowing the world to help your country? Any reasonable nation would have welcomed the help, and Burma would be well on its way to recovery. But, government officials are far too preoccupied with profiting from this disaster than helping their citizens. In fact, there is another storm on its way, and the populace has not been warned, yet. More devastation and more inaction.
We are all brothers and sisters. We are each other's caretakers.
Why don't we act as if!
Burmese Bloggers with out Borders.