08 May 2008

In the eye of the cyclone stands immobile the junta

Two kinds of shocking news are coming out of Burma: the scale of the disaster in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, and the slowness and resistance of the military regime to outside help. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

It is appropriate, I believe, to just invade for real, to deliver the aid. It's unlikely the the Burmese would be able to repel it with their army given the circumstances. Might as well take over the capital and install democracy while we're at it. Hate to say it, but an American-style invasion to force out heartless dictators is what we need sometimes.

Anonymous said...

how would singapore do in a similar situation? given the performance of the guys at Whitley Detention Centre, you have to wonder

some guys are just not equipped to handle anything outside theirs standing orders

Anonymous said...

I am just shocked about our incredibly uncredible press once more. The last few hours (10-12 pm on 8th May), the main www page of the 154th had no mention of Burma on it! Meanwhile, any international www has all main news stories on Burma, mostly very critical of the junta. Typical "Western" press some may say... I love to paste some screenshots here but cant, its just unbelievable. As if the European press reports from a different world compared to ST.

Western countries, UN, USA all offer trmeendous help. China offers help. etc.

What does Asean do? Exercizing their policy of non-interference?

What do the Singapore leaders say? So far I have not noticed anything official.

I am just baffled.... I know well how difficult the relations are, politically, strategically, economically, but come on this is a humanitarian crisis! And, roughly in the magnitude of the tsunami.

Looking at economics, Singapore is one of the most important investors and trade partner of Burma, very close to their political leadership, but when catastrphy strikes we give 200,000 dollars and keep otherwise silent, really? I just cant get it.

I find your article really neutral and mild this time...


Anonymous said...

What would Singapore do in a similar situation?

Let me guess -

Singapore Govt approach would be a targetted help. All the people would have to row their boats and queue up to see their MPs.

Only those who earn less than $1500 will be entitled to aid.

Meantime, you need to row your boat to CPF and deposit a minimum of $100 to get a pack of rice.

NTUC will also help. Please pair $9 per month to be a fairprice member first. You will get vouchers which entitle you to a 5% discount for every one hundred dollar you spent. Yes yes, we need to prevent a crutch mentality from slipping in. We cannot simply spend the GIC reserves on the people.

With inflation now and the kind of help we are giving to the poorest 20 percent of Singaporeans(easier entry of China menial workers who washes untensil for $1000 per month, 14 hour work day, 2 days off per month) we all know very well how PAP govt will help!!

Anonymous said...

As the myanmar government is so distrusting of the West perhaps for good reasons, China has the military, manpower resources to mount the rescue efforts single handedly. It also has the necessary experience in past disasters to bring the situation quickly to normal.

This is a good opportunity for China to play a leadership and major role in the neighbourhood and show Asean its sincerity as a friend in need.

Overtures by the West are politically motivated.

Anonymous said...

>This is a good opportunity for China to play a leadership and major role in the neighbourhood

really? maybe you would like to present information on what it has done to help so far?

or maybe china is a bit too busy with olympic torch on everest, etc?


Anonymous said...

China is the first few country to donate and they donated US$1 mil.

And it is ready to send in military assistance when requested.

Anonymous said...

>China is the first few country to donate and they donated US$1 mil.

oh, double the amount of Singapore Red Cross

May 07, 2008 22:17 PM

Singapore Red Cross To Launch Donation Drive For Myanmar

SINGAPORE, May 7 (Bernama) -- The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) will launch a donation drive here soon to raise S$500,000 for the cyclone victims in Myanmar

>And it is ready to send in military assistance when requested.

so is the USA; maybe China and USA want to work together and share the burden

Anonymous said...

dont expect many visas to be issued till the referendum in myanmar is over. the junta fears that the influx of foreign presence, albeit for good reasons, will endanger their rigging of the polls. its sad that politics is playing out this way when the people of a country are suffering.

Myo Myint Maung said...

There will be a candlelit vigil in front of the Burmese embassy in Singapore (on St. Martin Drive, near Tanglin Mall) at 7 PM on 17 May 2008 (Saturday) in order to mourn the death of over 100,000 Burmese cyclone victims. People of all religions, all races and all nationalities are welcome to join. (Source: Moemaka Media)

Anonymous said...

Much of the information mainly negative about the regime are in my view biased and inaccurate, perhaps intentional to incite further hatred against the regime - by repeating and adopting a mainly western mainstream media view and repeating it in your blog take away much credibilities not only on this subject but on others such as the olympic torch/tibet issues where again, Singaporean shown their western liberal leaning due to our education system.

It is not difficult to conclude as you do about the Myanmar regime who everyone loves to hate. I am alarm that I have yet to see any single viewpoint that is refuting any of the many negative actions or non action by the regime on their handling of the situation. Are you sure all the reports which you used to cast your judgement are accurate or fair?

The actual situation in the delta is probably not as desperate as you have describe - so sitting here comfortably in Singapore, it is hard for us to establish the true situation and commenting henceforth at best adds to the misunderstanding of the world as we see it. North Korea is another example, our FM George Yeo visit and comment may give some insight and alert us to be more careful accepting the popular view - the more popular a blog such as Yawning bread, the more responsibility it will have to be careful in commenting especially as bloggers want to be a credible alternative media as what I and perhaps many other would wish rather than just promote our own agenda and interest.

KiWeTO said...


We can bitch, we can moan, we can continue to make them pariahs, but if they choose NOT to accept our help, should we still be nosy neighbours and pester incessantly and complain to the other neighbours?

Double standards and misguided do-gooders. Either do an Iraq, or move on. They don't want capitalistic help.