Science, Tech & Environment

BBC reporter in Burma

In Rangoon, there is some sign of organized clean up by the government armed forces. But as you head west into the region worst hit by the cyclone, there isn't any sign of a concerted aid effort, certainly not one that would meet the needs of the million-plus people in that region. We know there are huge communities of people in this region cut off and the Burmese government doesn't have enough boats or helicopters. (Will the Burmese government allow in helicopters or boats from the international community?) There are offers and aid is building up at airports. But in Rangoon there was nothing resembling transport or aid planes. The UN is frustrated that it can't get a big enough team in to even assess the disaster. The government is stopping journalists and aid workers from coming in. (Is the frustration shared by the people of Burma or are they too devastated?) There is frustration and unless things improve dramatically and quickly, that frustration could turn into political action. It may be why the government has closed all Buddhist temples for now, because the temples could become sites for organized dissent.

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