[Reader-list] Burma cyclone & China

S. Jabbar sonia.jabbar at gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 15:42:50 IST 2008

Requests For Aid to Burma ŒJunk Mail¹ Says China
30 May 2008

Supporters of the Burma Campaign UK who have written to the Chinese Embassy
in London calling on China to support moves for the Security Council to
authorise aid to cyclone victims are being told that their requests are
Œjunk mail¹.

More than 2,000 people have emailed the embassy in London. The email sends
condolences following the Sichuan earthquake, notes the stark contrast
between the responses of the Chinese and Burmese authorities, and asks China
to stop blocking efforts at the United Nations Security Council to authorise
aid deliveries under the doctrine of ŒResponsibility to Protect¹. China has
blocked the Security Council even discussing the current crisis in Burma.

³The Chinese government thinks calls to saves the lives of cyclone victims
are junk mail,² said Mark Farmaner. ³Once again they are protecting the
dictatorship in Burma, and this time they are helping them kill thousands of
people by denying them aid. To dismiss these requests as junk mail is not
exactly a sophisticated response to a serious issue.²

Despite Than Shwe, the dictator of Burma, telling UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-Moon that aid workers would be allowed into the country, access to the
delta region is still restricted. The Burma Campaign UK has received reports
from aid agencies in the UK that they have still had visas refused by the
embassy in London, and sources in Burma report that some Burmese people
trying to deliver aid are also being turned back. The regime is also
refusing to allow in foreign military with the helicopters and boats needed
to deliver aid, further delaying aid reaching those in need.

³China has blood on its hands by stopping international action to deliver
aid² said Mark Farmaner. ³Thousands will have died because aid didn¹t reach
them. How can they say calling for lives to be saved is junk mail?²

For more information contact Mark Farmaner on 020 7324 4710.

Text of email sent by Burma Campaign UK supporters:
ŒWe send you our deepest condolences for the recent terrible loss of life in
China following the devastating earthquake. This tragedy follows the recent
devastation and tragic loss of life caused by Cyclone Nargis in neighbouring
Burma. However, the response to the two natural disasters could not be more
different. Your government responded without delay, dispatching 50,000
troops to help, and Premier Wen Jiabao immediately flying to the disaster
area. In contrast, the Burmese regime has not only failed to deliver aid to
the people in desperate need, it has blocked international efforts to help
deliver aid and the expertise needed in such a crisis. I am concerned that
China is not doing all it can to help the victims of Cyclone Nargis. Over
1.5 million people are at risk from disease, starvation and famine because
of Cyclone Nargis, yet Burma¹s Generals refuse to let the world help. Every
delay is unacceptable; if aid does not reach those in need urgently, the
death toll could rise by thousands every day. Your government has the power
to make the generals listen. By blocking UN Security Council action your
government is condemning thousands of innocent Burmese people to death.
China has a responsibility to the world, and the Burmese people, to
immediately back the world¹s efforts to help the people of Burma.¹

Text of response from Chinese Embassy in London:
ŒThere are over 68,000 died in this earthquake and 21,000 more still
missing. Millions of people are at risk from disease, starvation and famine
due to Sichuan earthquake.Our task is daunting. Do you think it is
appropriate to ask us to dictate other government? pls stop sending this
kind of junk mail.¹

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