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Aid Stolen in Burma May 14, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Burma.
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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. Previously it was extremely difficult bordering on illegal to convert from Islam to another religion.

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Has Nargis caused more death than the 2004 tsunami? May 12, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Burma.
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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. Read his blog and you won’t miss a beat.

“Nowhere Near the Scale Required” May 12, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Burma, Tibet.
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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.