Accessibility links

Burmese Media Softens Stance Toward Cyclone Donors


Burmese state media have softened their stance toward aid workers, saying donors can go to any area affected by Cyclone Nargis.

The New Light of Myanmar newspaper reports that private donors are free to deliver supplies to cyclone victims in the Irrawaddy Delta, where authorities have previously tried to stop volunteers from entering.

The government's insistence on handling cyclone recovery efforts on its own has slowed the delivery of much-needed aid to millions of Burmese.

But relief experts say access has improved since U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Burma last week and got commitments that unconditional foreign aid is welcome.

A French navy ship docked Wednesday at Thailand's Phuket island to unload tons of supplies for cyclone victims in neighboring Burma.

The cyclone that tore across Burma's Irrawaddy Delta May third has left more than 134-thousand people dead or missing, and devastated the country's agricultural belt.

The United Nations says most aid has been distributed around Rangoon, and that nearly one-and-a-half-million people in the Irrawaddy Delta have not received any international support.

The international community expressed regret Tuesday over Burma's decision to extend the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The 62-year-old Nobel laureate has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest.

The U.S. State Department called Aung San Suu Kyi's continued detention a sad statement about political freedom in Burma. But it promised the issue would not affect U.S. aid for cyclone victims in Burma.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG