Myanmar Death Toll Rises to 22,000; Thousands Missing

A tropical storm surged through the Bay of Bengal and slammed into Myanmar. The death toll exceeds 20,000 and tens of thousands more are missing. The small impoverished nation is ruled by a military junta, and severe damage from flooding, power outages and food shortages will only increase the misery of Myanmar’s people. The international community is torn between wanting to extend assistance to suffering people and lambasting the government for negligence, particularly the failure to issue timely warning about the cyclone’s path, explain Rattaphol Onsanit and Ed Johnson for Singapore, Thailand and other nations hurriedly prepare assistance packages. The military junta had planned for a May 10 referendum on a new constitution to consolidate power – but power over those who are increasingly poor and oppressed can become a dangerous task. Communications on politics and economics will certainly accompany any external assistance – and the military regime could face new challenges to its control. – YaleGlobal

Myanmar Death Toll Rises to 22,000; Thousands Missing

Rattaphol Onsanit
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

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