Editorial: Stopping the helpers
Vail CO, Colorado
One of the painful ironies of life is that humans generally come together only in the face of disaster. Something about seeing our brothers and sisters in distress will usually trigger charity even from the hard-hearted.
That’s what makes the situation in Myanmar ” which used to be Burma ” beyond appalling. That country near India, whose people are shackled with both crushing poverty and a repressive governing military junta, was hit recently by a powerful cyclone that destroyed villages, caused massive floods and left untold thousands either dead or alive without food or shelter.
The civilized world responded to this natural disaster as it usually does, with offers of aid large and small.
But in a move that transcends barbarism, the generals running Myanmar have refused to let aid workers into the country. The news reports trickling out of the country indicate that some of the generals ” who are pushing a “vote” on a new national constitution to solidify their power ” have staged elaborate ceremonies to give boxes of relief supplies to a few people, but only after they’ve put their names on the boxes.
Other reports indicate that the choicest morsels of relief aid are going to the military and various cronies, while food already starting to rot in Myanmar’s tropical climate is being sent to those in need.
It makes North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il look like Mother Theresa.
But even in the wake of this “government’s” malicious disregard for the lives of untold numbers of its own people, the offers of aid still come in. We hope the people who want to help are allowed to do their jobs. To help the helpers yourself, just Google “Myanmar help” and you’ll see ways to contact many different aid organizations at work in Myanmar and, now, China. There, a devastating earthquake has that country’s normally repressive government opening its doors to outside aid. Myanmar’s leaders would do well to follow their example.
Vail Daily Editorial Board
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