Science, Tech & Environment

UN secretary general visits Burma

We stopped at a neat and tiny camp which was pristine and orderly and not with many people in it. then we went to an efficient and organized aid distribution center, and Ban looked uncomfortable a bit. So that was the picture we got from our tour today. (It sounds like it was well staged?) Yes, of course because Ban was here and he wants to impress on them the idea that they need to accept more international aid and the government is resistant to that. (And yet the numbers we're hearing is that 2.5 million do need help. What kind of interactions did Mr. Ban have with ordinary people at these camps?) He spoke with people in some camps we visited. He met a woman and her baby. But Mr. Ban also met the Burmese Prime Minister today and he told him that relief operations are coming to an end and they're going to transition to reconstruction, whereas Mr. Ban is trying to speed up relief. (What kind of approach can Ban take with the General?) There will be some pressure generated just by Ban's visit. (Will the UN Security Council insist that Burma open its doors or face an intervention?) That's been suggested by France. But there was some backing from other European countries, other countries were very strongly opposed, citing national sovereignty. It's not clear what the next steps are.

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