Monday, May 19, 2008

Burma and China

Over two weeks after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, the situation remains grim.
This disgraceful situation has been made worse by the regime's desire to take care of the relief effort by themselves, despite having having done a woefully inadequate job thus far. Aid continues to pile up in Rangoon without the adequate logistical capacity to deliver it to those most in need. Further problems are looming for the survivors. This week predicted heavy rains may spoil some aid that has been stockpiled and left undelivered in Rangoon airport. Other natural threats are those of disease from mosquitoes such as malaria and dengue fever along with other threats from contaminated waters sources. Footage released shows the banks of the Irrawaddy lined with corpses that will certainly contaminate what is for many people, the only available water supply.

To compound the natural threats, there are still reports arriving from inside of aid appropriation. Although the UN has set up an investigation into the matter, it seems powerless to actually put a stop to the practice. Villagers have reported having to buy gasoline and drinking water at vastly inflated prices from township authorities.
There has got to be a special circle of hell for folks such as those in Burma's junta.

China meanwhile is entering a three day period of mournin, for the victims of last week's earthquake, now described as being of magnitude 8.0. The Guardian news-blog has links to various Chinese bloggers who describe scenes from different parts of the country.

Asia News on how Christians are responding to the disasters: in China, and in Burma.

::UPDATE:: Jen Ambrose in China (Shenzhen?) shares her own experience of the moments of silence at her blog (and in the comments below).


Ambrose said...

I was at Jusco this afternoon, grocery shopping. I had forgotten about the moments of silence. I guess they announced it over the loudspeakers, in mandarin of course, and I missed the announcement. I thought they were talking about some J-card special in some aisle (yeah, Mandarin lessons are really paying off). Anyway, once I walked a ways and saw all these shoppers stopped in their tracks and silent, I remembered about the moments of silence, so I stopped shopping. Myles, my 4-year-old, asked what was going on, and I told him it was time to pray for the people in Sichuan. He immediately dropped to his knees and started, in Mandarin, "Yin Fu, ji Zhi, ji Sheng Shen zhi ming. A Men"

Gashwin said...

Thanks for sharing that. [Hmm. How come you aren't on my blogroll? Must recitry!]

Ambrose said...

Thanks, Gashwin. yup, still in Shenzhen. Can't quite convince my husband that there are more interesting places to be an expat than here.