• After the Quake, Fingers Point at Beijing Paid Member

    An estimated 10,000 children died in the earthquake in Sichuan province in China, and aftershocks are still echoing through the region. In one school with 900 children near the epicenter, only 13 students emerged alive. Parents have become angry at the shoddy construction used in China's school and in the government's reaction in general. And now rivers that have been dammed by debris from the quake and turned into growing lakes threaten many more people. The Burmese government and their media is softening their stance toward allowing aid donors into affected areas. More »
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    Adelle Lutz from Burma 2 Paid Member

    Mae Sot is a bustling border town a 7- hour bus ride out of Bangkok. As Dharamsala is to the Tibetans in India, so likewise is Mae Sot the center, or even hotbed, of Burmese-in-exile in Thailand. Besides massive refugee camps, there are many migrant workers plus legal and illegal Burmese everywhere. There may be more Burmese than Thai here. It certainly feels that way.  Many of the heads of the democracy movement are based in Mae Sot as well as ethnic rebel leaders. Today, the air is abuzz with thoughts and hopes that Aung Sang Suu Kyi could be released from house arrest. More »
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    Adelle Lutz Reports from Burma Paid Member

    I came to Thailand to volunteer in the Cyclone Nargis relief work. In the few days that I have been in Bangkok, the numbers of Burmese at risk in the aftermath of the disaster has more than doubled. The day before yesterday, UN stats were at 1.2 million. Yesterday noon, 2.5 million at the high end and by dinnertime Johns Hopkins (The Center for Refugee and Disaster Response & The Center for Public Health and Human Rights) was reporting 3.2 million in jeopardy. At press briefings we are reminded that new information keeps coming out and to bear in mind that "the situation is fluid". How macabre and cruel. Yes, fluid is the defining word. More »
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    Aid Stolen in Burma Paid Member

    It's a growing problem: The Burmese military continues to steal international aid packages sent to aid victims of cyclone Nargis. An estimated 1.5 million Burmese face -- (UPDATE: 2.5 million) -- disease and starvation and little aid is reaching them. And the death toll continues to rise in China. A Buddhist man woman who converted to Islam in Malaysia can go back to being Buddhist, the courts say. More »
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    Has Nargis caused more death than the 2004 tsunami? Paid Member

    Terrible images from the cyclone from the site of a music school in Rangoon: The post-cyclone situation here is worse than even our previously pessimistic estimates. The total worldwide deaths from the 2004 tsunami reached 220,000 and the total homeless population was 1.5 million. Unofficial but credible estimates here on the ground say that the total numbers of dead and of homeless from the cyclone now exceed those 2004 worldwide tsunami figures. Information trickling in from the villages in the Delta area indicates it is normal for a community to have lost 50-60% of its population by now. James Fallows of the Atlantic calls the junta evil. And as usual, Danny Fisher has the best Burma coverage out there. More »
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    "Nowhere Near the Scale Required" Paid Member

    There's been a lot of back and forth over aid to Burma, but the first U.S. plane has just landed. A number of other flights arrived over the weekend and some supplies reached Burma by land. But many foreign experts are still waiting for visas to enter the country and on Sunday, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) said that the amount of aid getting to victims was "nowhere near the scale required". The US military says about 11,000 servicemen and four ships are in the region for a military exercise and could be harnessed to help. The junta insists that foreign aid is acceptable but foreign aid workers are not. The BBC has an interactive map of the torch's route in China -- You can click on a city to read more about it. The torch is due to be in Lhasa June 20th and 21st. More »