Burma's repressive government has an uneasy relationship with the outside world and with aid agencies, so it's telling that Burmese authorities asked for UN emergency relief. The US Embassy in Burma is standing by as well and is also offering the assistance of its own disaster response team, although Burma doesn't seem interested. This reporter describes the cyclone as such: people were stunned. In the hardest hit region, nearly all 3,000 residents of one town are reportedly missing. Critics are complaining that Burmese authorities gave inadequate warning of the oncoming cyclone. The cyclone struck just days before a constitutional referendum was supposed to pass cementing the military government's grip on power and the military rulers are now planning on delaying the vote. This analyst says the cyclone will have little to none impact on obtaining that goal ultimately.

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