Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloggers Unite For Human Rights: The Junta and The Dying People of Burma

What is happening in Burma is unconscionable! Cyclone Nargis made landfall on May 2, carving a path of destruction throughout the country, and yet here we are 13 days later, and little has been done. The Burmese people are starving, disease is now setting in, the world is trying desperately to help, and yet a corrupt government, that failed to warn its people of the impending disaster, is refusing most help. With tens of thousands dead, as many missing, and over a million displaced persons (which could result in even more deaths), the perverse Myanmar regime, continues to thwart the global community's efforts to bring desperately needed aid to the people. Why? Politics, greed and paranoia.

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.


Karen said...

Well done, as usual, my friend.

Monday through Sunday said...

Awesome! I have been feeling the same thing! I am in shock and disbelief at what is happening right now!! I am going to link this to a post I wrote earlier...well said!

danny wright said...

I can't believe this is happening. I'm personally not allowing myself to just say "well there's nothing I can do" even though there isn't. This should scare the whole world with the knowledge that evil, and man's inumanity to man didn't die with Hitler.

Troika said...

A quote from a BBC report:

"In the former capital Rangoon, itself badly damaged by the cyclone, one man summed up the frustrations of a nation. 'When we had demonstrations last year the soldiers were everywhere,' he said. 'Where are they now?'"

Incognito said...

KAREN: Thank you! Loved yours as well.

MONDAY: Thanks for the link, Miss Mel. It is unreal what is happening. That they would let their people die.

DANNY: Crazy thing, Danny, in this case it's not just one man, but a group of generals. Not sure which is worse.

TROIKA: Thanks for the quote Troika.. have been reading that a lot. Where are they now? Absconding with the best food etc for themselves. It's truly criminal.

Mike said...

good post

Incognito said...

Thanks Mike...unbelievable that all these weeks later, still not much has been done. Criminal!