« スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! | トップページ | スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! »

2008年5月29日 (木)


05/29/2008 --The Asahi Shimbun, May 28(IHT/Asahi: May 29,2008)

EDITORIAL: Relief aid for Myanmar


Has the military government of Myanmar (Burma) really opened its doors to humanitarian aid workers from abroad?


More than three weeks after a devastating cyclone left more than 130,000 people dead or missing, the military junta finally announced Friday it was ready to accept foreign disaster relief personnel.


An estimated 2.5 million people are believed to have been affected by the cyclone.


With the country now in the rainy season, cases of cholera have been reported, causing concerns that outbreaks of dysentery and malaria may follow.


Even though we are painfully aware of how slow disaster response has been so far, we still pray that survivors will quickly receive the help they need to prevent a secondary disaster from happening.


The United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) co-sponsored an unprecedented conference of aid-giver nations on Sunday in Yangon (Rangoon).


Prior to the conference, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon visited the disaster zones and prevailed upon Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the leader of the junta, to acknowledge the international effort. We applaud Ban's work.



China, which itself has recently experienced a devastating earthquake, reportedly urged the junta to accept international relief personnel.


A Japanese emergency disaster relief survey team has also entered Myanmar.


We hope Asian nations will play a central role in this sort of active humanitarian diplomacy.


But has the junta really shifted its priority to saving lives? Unfortunately, we do not believe this is the case.


During the conference on disaster aid, the junta declared that "the emergency relief stage" was already over, and sought assistance instead on rebuilding Myanmar's farming and fishing industries and restoring power supply services.


But we cannot possibly believe that the country no longer needs help with disaster relief.


In the affected areas, hungry children are reportedly running after and clinging on to passing vehicles to beg for food.



The United Nations estimates that relief supplies are reaching only one in four survivors.


The first thing that must be arranged is for teams of specialists from international aid organs to visit the disaster zones freely and get an accurate grasp of the extent of the cyclone damage and what sort of assistance is really needed.


But even after the conference, the junta has apparently been allowing free access only to a limited number of personnel.


As for foreign aid workers, the junta has attached the condition that their activities be "strictly humanitarian and non-political in purpose," and insists that whether to accept them be determined according to Myanmar's own priorities.


But it is the junta itself that has been putting its own political priorities ahead of everything by forcing a constitutional referendum in disregard of the plight of cyclone survivors.


Ban, the U.N. secretary-general, refrained from seeking the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during his Myanmar visit precisely because he prioritized humanitarian aid for survivors.



Humanitarian aid should be free of political strings in the first place. This rule ought to be observed by the giver and receiver alike.


alike=同様に、一様に adv)

Yet, the junta on Tuesday announced an extension of Suu Kyi's house arrest. This is truly galling, especially when the rest of the world is mobilizing toward humanitarian aid.



It is regrettable, but the only thing we can do at this stage is to put the welfare of survivors above everything and keep making demands on the junta to accept every available aid.


--The Asahi Shimbun, May 28(IHT/Asahi: May 29,2008)

朝日新聞 5月28日号 (英語版 2008年5月29日発行)


« スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! | トップページ | スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! »





« スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! | トップページ | スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう! »