Cyclone Nargis and callous Myanmar military rulers – Let ASEAN be first to condemn

Let ASEAN be the first to condemn the Myanmar military junta for its callousness in not suspending its sham referendum to legitimize its 46-year dictatorship in the face of the Cyclone Nargis devastation.

On May 3, 2008, cyclone Nargis struck the Irrawaddy delta and wiped out entire villages as it left a path of destruction across five regions. Over seven million people were affected by the storm, with estimates of dead ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 and up to a million homeless.

ASEAN governments and leaders cannot remain silent at the irresponsible and inhumane conduct of the Myanmese military rulers which seized a shipment of United Nations food aid intended for victims of the devastating cyclone, declaring that they would accept donations of food and medicine but not the foreign aid workers.

By preventing critical and timely humanitarian aid from reaching survivors, the Myanmese military junta has put hundreds of thousands – with one estimate as high as 1.5 million people – at risk of disease and death as well as brought shame and disrepute to ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member.

  1. #1 by disapointed86 on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 4:54 pm

    The junta dont want foreigners to enter, fearing that the myamese will realise and fight their own government..pity those myanmese…i think Myanmar is worst country in ASEAN..this is what i heard from my fren…majority of myanmese still dont get electricity fully round the clock…life is so poor…i think the Cyclone is a punishment from God….May God Bless the innocent civilianz

  2. #2 by chanjoe on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 5:15 pm

    Yes we say shame on the military junta of Myanmar….but are we very much better? Can’t you see we are moving towards a police junta here?

    Malaysia is keeping quiet becuz our BN dungus want to learn from them how to be as ruthless as them and how to victimize the people they find as a thorn to them….

    Whatever it is…I believe PR can do something abt this tragedy in Myanmar….why don’t PR initiate a donation campaign to raise funds for the victims there? Whatever amount we can gather is at least something to the poor victims…

    See how we had helped in the Tsunami in Indonesia? We just experience a Political Tsunami here during the GE12 so lets put our efforts together to get a fund rolling….

    Polictics aside….lets show the humane side of PR….LKS, DSAI & Hadi can then go there together to present whatever donations in kinds or cash….


  3. #3 by donplaypuks on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 5:19 pm

    I agree the Junta must go. They are thieves and thugs who care nothing about the Burmese or their lives

    But countries like Burma have their own charm. We must not allow the West to charge in and turn it into another replica of downtown NY with shopping malls, McDonalds & Starbucks and an Economy founded on the speculative, gambling mentality of Stock Exchange and tinkering around with exchange & interest rates, to be raped by US & UK Hedge Funds.

    This is another type of Colonisation, pillaging and plundering they must avoid at all cost i.e. not to move from the frying pan into the fire. The Americanisation of Burma would be a folly greater than that of the disastrous Goof of The Generals!

  4. #4 by shortie kiasu on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 5:50 pm

    It is really sad to note that in this age of high tech, we still have a regime like the one in Myamar, ruthless and calous by the military dictators, with the aid of their military weaponry.

    No one dare to speak a word of dissent even in such catastrophe of immeasurable scale now happening in the country.

    Life of human being is no better than a cattle when we saw the footage of bloated and decompased corpses lying everywhere in their padi field. It is indeed heart-wrenching and sickening to see such horror secene.

    Those military leaders should be sent to the world criminal court of justice for judgment like those in Serbia.

  5. #5 by Captain on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 6:22 pm

    There is always an end to everything…someday. BN was decimated after 50 years. Burma was once a very properous country far more to any of its neighboure. It is so sad to day to see Myanmar people suffering so much.

    100,000 death is just to much live to pay. But this could be wrath from God to myanmar people for not livimg as as human being. It was better loosing 10 or 20 K fighting the junta to free the country from the present curse thab live wasted in a natural trajegy. When they stood aganst the junta, the world thought it was a beginning of the end but when they got no help from outside, the uprising failed.

    the junta has to go. the sooner it goes, the better. they are 3 ways to do it. First, thousands must go against the junta and risk laying their life. Second, ASEAN close it door to the Junta and force the people to uprise. The best would be US to bomb the junta HQs and other possible power centers and open an opportunity for mayanmar people to take over the country by popular uprising like it happened against Marcos.

    But I suspect US will do it because there would be no gain for them like stealing oil from Iraq. Usually people are against attacking others but could be an exception. US could gain little respect an dprove it really advocates democracy. Unfortunate US being the biggest coward will not do so.

    So ASEAN, the ball is in your court.

  6. #6 by isahbiazhar on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 7:03 pm

    As long as China and India support the military regime,Asean will be ineffective.The best we can do is to donate and see it trickles to the victim;do not forget the junta is also the victim.Only an internal rebellion can bring Democracy.We have to wait.

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 8:57 pm

    Rambo!!!! Now!!!!

  8. #8 by novice101 on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 9:18 pm

    All that we can do is to donate to the NGOs who have send volunteers there. Do what we can, in whatever ways we can.

  9. #9 by peace on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 9:54 pm

    If you think this is bad, wait till you see North Korea…

  10. #10 by peace on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 10:03 pm

    Oh yah… to add something constructive, yes, the Pakatan Rakyat should indeed to something to relief the victims.

    Condemning is one thing, helping each other out in time of crisis will really prove that Pakatan Rakyat is serious about moving this nation forward.

  11. #11 by cemerlang on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 10:07 pm

    There must be something in Burma that the military men wants to control her with an iron fist. They put the people’s elected leader in house arrest. Now they would not allow outsiders to come in to help. They are hiding something and they do not want people to know. This poverty stricken country is now filled with more problems. It is just too bad the Burmeses have to flee. The leaders in some of these problematic countries are really power crazy. I hope your donations will reach the people who need it and not into some pockets of some influential person there.

  12. #12 by alancheah on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 10:32 pm

    Truely unbelievable that there is such a government
    on Earth! God Bless You all, Myanmar Rakyat!

  13. #13 by kingkenny on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 11:33 pm

    Dear disapointed86,

    how can it be a punishment from G-d, when the typhoon actually kill citizens?

    If it is a punishment from G-d, it should have killed half of the regime if not wipe them out. Or maybe kill all the top leaders, than only will it be considered a punishment from G-d.

    Anyway, I really felt for them. I just hope they have a choice and strength to fight after this typhoon.

    This is what happens when you have greedy, corrupted and uneducated minds in people.

    Greed + Low education = Illogical human beings (animals are better)

  14. #14 by MISHUGINA on Saturday, 10 May 2008 - 11:40 pm

    In an utopian world, a superpower like the US would invade Myammar and topple the bloody govt there. In real life, US invades a sovereign nation under pretext of dismantling terrorism while the truth is they’re after their oil wells.

  15. #15 by peace on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 12:09 am

    People, take a few minutes to read this:

    Myanmar: A Tragedy For Asia And The World

    It’s indeed a shame if ASEAN is not doing anything about this…

  16. #16 by slashed on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 12:32 am

    Mishugina, in a utopian world, there would be no need to fight. :P :)

  17. #17 by dawsheng on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 2:28 am

    “By preventing critical and timely humanitarian aid from reaching survivors, the Myanmese military junta has put hundreds of thousands – with one estimate as high as 1.5 million people – at risk of disease and death as well as brought shame and disrepute to ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member.”

    I mean Malaysia is a member, that kinda shame too. We are lucky that the cyclone didn’t hit us.

  18. #18 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 3:02 am

    We never expect that robbers would condemn the evil acts of fellow robbers.

  19. #19 by chiakchua on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 5:35 am

    One can never expect the junta could be so merciless and inhumane. May the Lord save them!

  20. #20 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 9:22 am

    This human tragedy is shame on ASEAN where we would let these monster trade lives for power and wealth. For god sake, the junta are selling rice while their people are fed rotting food!!!

    There is no legitimacy in such govt. This is no different than Darfur perhaps worst because its about a small group of selfish military men..

  21. #21 by cheng on soo on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 9:45 am

    The junta can be toppled, if their citizens (including the ordinary police, soldiers) go against them. How can ordinary police & soldiers go against orders of their superiors??
    a) . when the police & soldier are facing hardship, frustrated, eg , they lost their love ones in cyclone, get salaries too low for anything or delay salary payments for months. etc, while their superiors are enjoying very luxury life.
    b). Hv effective leaders (who oppose junta), to lead the police, soldiers, & the other citizens.
    But the junta is very clever, it will look after the soldiers & police first!

  22. #22 by UzMiNoOnist on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 9:52 am

    Malaysia under the previous PM is responsible to convince the rest of ASEAN members to bring on board Myanmar. It is done for many selfish reasons that mostly remained unknown to the general public but I was told, when I was there, that Maxis invested heavily in its telecommunication business.
    It is at that time, Malaysia also want to proof a point i.e. ASEAN’s principle of non-interference on domestic affairs.
    Additionally, I think this is done with malice as the Malaysia government at that time is repressive at best and do not see anything wrong for bring another government that practices the most unfair and dirty politics under the disguise of democratic principles.
    In conclusion, seeing how the junta behaved now, I think the government of Malaysia has contributed a lot, not for the betterment of the people of Myanmar but the junta’s ruthlessness towards it own people.

  23. #23 by UzMiNoOnist on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 10:00 am

    On final analysis, I do not think ASEAN can do anything to improve the behavior of the current cruel Myanmar regime.

    For one reason, Myanmar was brought in for selfish reasons and the ASEAN countries have their [email protected] in the junta’s hand.

    Secondly, there is this country, China. ASEAN effectively do not have any political and economic will over Myanmar as compared to China. As you know, China track record on human right is a big big question mark.

    Anyway, have we read anywhere that China contributed any disaster recovery aid?

  24. #24 by Tickler on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 11:09 am

    …China has decided to offer 1 million U.S. dollars worth of aid, including relief materials worth 500,000 U.S. dollars, to help Myanmar with its disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts.

    Aid is scheduled to begin arriving in Yangon, Myanmar city, on Wednesday, according to a statement on the website of the Ministry of Commerce. The initial materials include tents, bedding and biscuits.

  25. #25 by Samuel Goh Kim Eng on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 11:20 am

    For the pure sake of humanity
    Let all politics be put aside
    Pray that there’s still sanity
    With milk of human kindness inside

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 110508
    Sun. 11th May 2008.

  26. #26 by k1980 on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 12:09 pm

    Non-petroleum producers such as Swaziland and Seychelles have cheaper oil prices than Malaysia?!
    1. Venezuela 12 cents
    2. Iran 40 cents
    3. Saudi Arabia 45 cents
    4. Libya 50 cents
    5. Swaziland 54 cents
    6. Qatar 73 cents
    7. Bahrain 81 cents
    8. Egypt 89 cents
    9. Kuwait 90 cents
    10. Seychelles 98 cents
    38. Malaysia $2.40
    45. United States $3.45

  27. #27 by Godfather on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 12:13 pm

    The military junta in Yangon is not unsophisticated. They don’t keep their US Dollars and Euros uñder their beds. They bank with some rather big financial institutions, and it would be easy to go after them where it hurts the most – the freezing of their ill-gotten wealth. But guess who and where these crooks and criminals bank with ? Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Bangkok. All supporters of the corrupt regime in Yangon.

    Shame on you, China, Singapore and Thailand. The oppressed people of Burma will remember you.

  28. #28 by ch on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 12:44 pm

    Dear All,

    While it is inhumane of the Junta regime for accepting donation for food, medicine and fund but not foreign aid workers, one must realize that this regime has so much evils to hide from the outside world. The Junta regime could not afford to let foreign workers running around in its ground while picking up vital intelligence which could be used against them in future. They are aware that CIA intelligence could infiltrate into its territory in the disguise of foreign workers. The Junta regime has iron-curtained its country from the outside world many years now and could not just simply let the curtain be melting down. Shunning themselves away from the outside world does not result the government an extra grain to spare its citizens but self-intersts of a few important generals rise above everything else.

    The issue of Myanmar’s recalcitrance will dominate the next Asean Conference and will for many more conferences as long as this regime is in power. The generals are just too strong-willed and determined to ensure the survival of themselves. By doing so, sacrificing lives would be just another pawn in their long term survival goal unless, of course, United Nation sanction a move to liberate Myanmar. Anything short of that, Myanmar will continue to be iron-curtained.

  29. #29 by PSM on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 2:31 pm

    ASEAN has shown it is a Toothless Tiger. Actually it’s more like a “Testicular Challended” Tiger!
    They are not going to condem the Myanmar Lilitary Junta.

  30. #30 by aiD_kamikuP on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 2:32 pm

    Call it co-incidence, call it cruel irony but here it is….
    Disaster struck and sadly thousands lost their lives and up to 100,000 people were made homeless. All due to Cyclone Nargis. Where did this happen? In Myanmar.
    Remember, this is the country many BN politicians liked to compare Malaysia to! Hey, in Malaysia we too have a near disaster situation of tampered judiciary, rampant corruption, high crime rate, inhuman detention/arrest of individuals without charging them and marginalisation of certain citizens. We had a ‘tsunami’ too. And guess what? We have a C4-Cyclone (I mean C for cyclone) aka crook named almost like Nargis too.
    So to all the ignoramus MPs, past or present, who had loved such parity, eat your heart out.

  31. #31 by collin1202 on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 5:53 pm

    YB Lim, I am a Singaporean. Asean should set up more pressure on this damned junta rulers to accept international aids readily and not dragging their feet. Evidently, they see the importance of guarding/protecting their own self interests more than providing any urgent helps to the own country men. What’s the point of having Asean and not able to get one of its members to stay the course? So far, we have yet to hear the SEC GEN of ASEAN making a firm statement to these junta rulers who have been mismanaging their country.

  32. #32 by cheng on soo on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 6:01 pm

    k1980 Says:

    Today at 12: 09.00 (5 hours ago)
    Non-petroleum producers such as Swaziland and Seychelles have cheaper oil prices than Malaysia?!

    Egypt, a non oil producer, also cheaper,
    but also Norway, an oil producer, more expensive, but they hv very high income!

  33. #33 by cemerlang on Sunday, 11 May 2008 - 11:25 pm

    I think the people working in the weather bureau got the spelling for this cyclone all wrong.

  34. #34 by cchivy on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 1:31 am

    I agree with Sheriff – Where’s Rambo when we need him…! :P

    Jokes aside, I believe there’s not much Malaysians or ASEAN can do to remove the junta. It’s their rakyat who are in power to topple. But even that’s quite hard looking at how junta beating up monks and killing innocent demonstrators on many previous occasions. It will be a never-ending cycle. Support junta or die. Many a times, solutions involve death. Pity.

  35. #35 by Jamesy on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 2:40 am

    It seems that global warming is a very serious threat to the survival of the entire human race than terrorism. Everyone should do their part to protect the environment and a simple act such as stop littering or start recycling can really make a difference.

    I hope the Myanmar military junta realized this, and not some Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy threats.

    The junta should be thankful that the cyclone did not choose to wipe them out entirely from the face of this planet!

  36. #36 by bernadette on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 6:19 am

    pray for myanmar victims

  37. #37 by megaman on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 10:07 am

    Please forgive me for being brutally honest here …

    The cyclone Nargis disaster is an inevitable one for Myanmar. When the common folk is surviving on a day to day basis. It doesn’t take much more than a hiccup from Mother Nature to push most over the cliff. And now we have one hell of a Category 5 cyclone plus global warming and other problems.

    No external parties or country can change the fate of the Myanmese except themselves. We cannot intrude into a sovereign country’s politics and government no matter how badly it was governed unless it presented a clear and present threat to our own national security.

    Therefore, only the people themselves can change their future. They need to overthrow the military junta on their own before other countries can help and contribute to rebuilding Myanmar. As long as the people continue to tolerate the military junta, there will be no hope. Not for Aung San Su Kyii and definitely not for democracy.

  38. #38 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 12:40 pm

    Myanmar had Nargis and we have Najis!!! ring a bell???

  39. #39 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 12:50 pm

    Only the righteous Asean govn. have the moral standing to reprimand the Myanmar junta!!! Since there’s no such people around here, Myanmar will have another Nargis soon!!!
    We may question why the people of Myanmar dont stand up to go against the junta, but it is easier to say than done!!! just look at our country, it takes ages before people realised partially that those in power were making tons of money from Rakyat in the name of helping the Bumiputras!!! they may be giving them peanuts, but they are having big fat cows themselves for generations!!!

  40. #40 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 12:55 pm


    go by your arguments, Saddham Hussein is still running Iraq!!!

  41. #41 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 2:07 pm

    In order to quicken the process of over throwing the junta in Myanmar, Asean should politely ask her to quick Asean, so that the Rakyat there will over throw the junta faster than letting the natural disasters to force the Raktat there to react. It is painful, but instead of 10 million people dying of disasters slowly, it is more worth while that only 1 million die of going against the junta!!! Who wants to be the Hero first??

  42. #42 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 2:19 pm

    The Myanmar junta is not afraid of any aid workers going into Myanmar because of spying or any other things, they are afraid that these aid workers will find out that the aids are not delivered to the victims of Nargis, instead, all the aids will go to the warehouses of the junta and they will sell them in the international market or to Thailand at world price!!! Do we still remember why S’pore insisted to deliver the aids to Indonesia directly and distribute them by themselves in the last disaster in Indonesia??? sooner or later, other countries will do the same to us when there’s any disaster in Malaysia as no one trust us anymore due to our system & govn. !!!

  43. #43 by i_love_malaysia on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 2:24 pm

    This is another good e.g. of Myanmar junta trying their best to “Fatt Sayen Choy” i.e. making money out of disaster!!!

  44. #44 by lextcs on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 5:49 pm

    YB Kit, instead of shouting for more justices why not incite your fellow readers to help in kind or cash and you yourself spearhead the aid work there. That would truly be a making of a great HERO!

  45. #45 by lextcs on Monday, 12 May 2008 - 5:53 pm

    Or perhaps the comfort the air conditioning halls of the parlimen is just too tempting to resist? Or perhaps showing off your grandmaster skills to the freshie MPS gives you those adrenine rushes?

  46. #46 by Tim Sng on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 - 3:02 pm

    ASEAN is not doing enough!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!!!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!!!!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!!!!!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!!!!!!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!!!!!!!
    ASEAN is not doing enough !!!!!!!!!
    Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea is not doing enough to force Myanmar to change………

  47. #47 by cheng on soo on Wednesday, 14 May 2008 - 5:41 pm

    Seriously, what can ASEAN do effectively?
    Verbal Condemn?? Kick it out of ASEAN?? any effect or not?
    Trade sanction ?? can? Effective?

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