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Video Burma cyclone disaster: UN says 102,000 dead - Page 4
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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Burma expresses gratitude for Thailand's assistance

    (BangkokPost.com) – Lt Gen Meng Chuay, commander of the Burmese military’s special task force has offered his sincere gratitude for His Majesty the King’s concern for the people of Burma who are dealing with the aftermath of cyclone Nargis.

    He also thanked the Thai government for being the first to lend a helping hand following the disaster. Thailand has provided financial assistance as well as humanitarian relief to those affected by the cyclone. Burma has come up with a list of items it needs to help the victims including canvas shelters, satellite phones, light bulbs, lamps and ready to eat food.

    For those wanting to make donations please contact the Royal Thai Army on 02-572 1500 or 02-5721588. The 24-hour hotlines will be open everyday.

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Burma shuns foreign aid workers



    The cyclone devastated parts of Burma's main city, Rangoon

    Enlarge Image

    Burma's military junta says the country is not ready to accept foreign aid workers, amid mounting criticism of its response to the devastating cyclone.

    The foreign ministry said Burma was happy to accept aid, but insisted it would control the distribution itself.
    The statement follows pressure from the United Nations to speed up the issuing of visas to foreign relief experts.

    The World Food Programme's Paul Risley said the delays were "unprecedented in modern humanitarian relief efforts".
    Dozens of aid experts are reported to be waiting for visas in neighbouring Thailand - but the Burmese embassy there has now closed for a public holiday until next Tuesday.

    It's more than frustrating - it's a tragedy Eric John US ambassador to Thailand.

    Burma: How you can help
    Eyewitness: Terrible disruption
    In pictures: Burma five days on
    Amateur footage of damage to Labutta

    The UN says that up to 1.5 million people may have been affected by Cyclone Nargis, which devastated the Irrawaddy Delta region on Saturday.
    Burmese state media say 22,980 people were killed, but there are fears the figure could rise to 100,000.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have no food, water or shelter. International aid agencies on the ground say they have reached only 10% of those that need help.
    In a statement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the junta to prioritise the aid effort over tomorrow's nationwide referendum on a widely-criticised new constitution.

    It would be "prudent to focus instead on mobilising all available resources and capacity for the emergency response efforts", he said.
    Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej was due to fly to Burma on Sunday to urge its leaders to allow foreign aid workers in.
    But following the junta's statement, the Thai leader said there was "no point" in his visit.

    'Not ready'
    In a foreign ministry statement carried by The New Light of Myanmar daily, Burma's government said it would welcome cash and emergency aid.
    But it said it had turned back a relief flight from Qatar which had an aid team and a media crew on board.

    "Currently Myanmar [Burma] has prioritised receiving emergency relief provisions and is making strenuous efforts to transport those provisions without delay by its own labours to the affected areas," it said. "As such, Myanmar is not ready to receive search and rescue teams as well as media teams from foreign countries."

    Although reports suggest troops have begun to distribute significantly more aid, experts agree that the military regime lacks the resources to co-ordinate an effective relief effort.
    On Thursday, the UN's humanitarian chief, John Holmes, told reporters that Burma's response to the disaster was "nothing like as much as is needed".
    It has accepted limited help - some countries which have good relations with Burma have flown in aid.

    Four flights carrying supplies from the UN's World Food Programme arrived in Rangoon on Thursday, as did an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) flight. Reports on Thursday had suggested the US had been granted permission to fly in supplies using military planes - but officials later said no agreement had been reached.

    "We are in a long line of nations who are ready, willing and able to help, but also, of course, in a long line of nations the Burmese don't trust," US ambassador Eric John said in Bangkok.
    "It's more than frustrating. It's a tragedy," he said.
    The BBC's Paul Danahar, in southern Burma, says that the devastation caused by the storm is apparent everywhere.
    Most of those killed were living in small communities among the patchwork of rivers and streams that make up the western part of the delta.
    It was via these inlets that the tidal surge washed its way inland, swallowing up entire villages, two or three hundred people at a time, our correspondent says.

    Abridged from BBC News.

  3. #33
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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    BACKGROUNDER

    Dictators' priority

    By Christiane Oelrich, dpa

    While bloated corpses still litter Irrawaddy delta fields, the controlled media promote the referendum. While a million Burmese in deep shock fight for their survival, government ministers give speeches on the "flourishing discipline democracy."

    Mae Sot - The ruling military junta of Burma has imposed a vacation ban for all officials - but not so every last person can be available to assist survivors of the recent cyclone that devastated the country.

    Instead, the officials have to remain available to organise Saturday's referendum on the new constitution, with which the generals intend to cement their power.

    "This clearly shows their priorities," said Bo Kyi who, as a political prisoner, spent more than seven years in a military-run torture camp before he fled across the border into Thailand.

    "They won't allow their ploy to be spoiled even by tens of thousands of dead," he added.

    According to the government, nearly 23,000 people were killed and as many as 42,000 are missing since Cyclone Nargis smashed into central Burma on May 2 and 3.

    While bloated corpses still litter fields across the Irrawaddy river delta, the regime-controlled media continue to busily promote the referendum.

    And while a million people in deep shock fight for their survival, government newspapers inform about upcoming election speeches by different ministers under the concept of a "flourishing discipline democracy."

    If adopted, the new constitution will secure the military a staggering 25 per cent of parliamentary seats as well as key ministerial positions in the government.

    Some opponents already have made acquaintance with the proclaimed "flourishing discipline."

    Inhabitants of Rangoon (Rangoon), the country's main port city and former capital, who dared to publicly wear "Vote No!" T-shirts prior to the cyclone were arrested.

    Members of the oppositional National League for Democracy (NLD) were beaten in the streets.

    "The junta wants to merely legitimise their regime with the constitution. They want a licence to kill," asserted Bo Kyi, who founded a non-governmental organisation, the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP), to help incarcerated dissidents and their families.

    He is convinced that the country's voters will reject the constitution, especially at a time when the regime has forsaken the people in their hour of greatest need.

    On Thursday, hundreds of thousands were still awaiting help while international emergency relief volunteers were stuck in neighbouring countries because they couldn't obtain entry visas.

    "We have received nothing so far," said Soe Win, a resident of Kawhmu township some 35 kilometres south of Rangoon.

    His sister and 7-year-old nephew were killed by a falling tree that was uprooted by the cyclone.

    "Everybody here is deeply upset and we all certainly will vote 'no'," he said.

    Meanwhile, those familiar with the regime's workings don't harbour any illusions about the referendum result that the ruling generals =

    are likely to announce.

    "The junta just cannot be trusted. They will never give up their sabotage [of democracy]," said NLD member Win Hlaing, 45, who in 1990 won a parliamentary seat during the country's last national election, which saw a landslide victory for the NLD.

    The junta ignored the outcome and put opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, where she remains till this day.

    Win Hlaing himself also spent 10 years in prison before last year fleeing to Mae Sot, a little town on the Thailand side of the border.

    Since then, the junta has trained the country to give frightened obedience.

    Similar to the Stasi agents of former East Germany, the regime's henchmen have infiltrated everywhere and nothing goes unnoticed by them.

    Associations, companies and even individual families are required to regularly delegate participants to official parades which tens of thousands of spectators are expected to cheer.

    It is anticipated that regime supporters of the United Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) will be deployed during the referendum to "assist" voters in their decision-making.

    ULDA allegedly has 24 million active members, about half of the country's total population.

    The regime reared its ugly head most recently in September last year when it ordered troops to open fire on tens of thousands of peaceful protesters and monks in Rangoon.

    Official figures put the death toll at 31 people, but human rights activists believe that dozens more lost their lives.

    The opposition is convinced that a new public uprising is only around the corner.

    "Our next phase of struggle will begin after the referendum," said Win Hlaing. He claimed that the NLD maintains secret observers throughout the country to expose election fraud.

    "The people are angry with the military. They only need one little spark to explode again," he added.

    If that happens, said Bo Kyi, it would have to be the hour of the international community to get involved.

    "The United Nations will have to support the will of (Burmese) people, not the will of the junta," he explained.

    He rejected the idea of avoiding a confrontation in order to not jeopardise a dialogue with the paranoid generals.

    "You may play the violin to a buffalo, but it won't listen," he said, citing a local proverb.

    Bangkok Post

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Parachute drops possible

    Compiled by BangkokPost.com from Agency reports

    Day Seven: Relief agencies say the Burmese military junta wants cash and supplies, but will not allow cyclone relief teams into the battered country. The US is considering parachuting emergency aid to what the UN says are 1.5 million "severely affected" survivors.

    Diplomatic efforts are underway to convince the military junta to allow in the aid. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke by telephone with China's foreign minister urging him to pressure Burma, spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Thursday.

    The United Nations estimated at least 1.5 million people in Burma have been "severely affected," UN humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes said. Holmes told reporters he was "disappointed" with the lack of progress being made in getting UN aid in.

    In Washington, US aid officials on Thursday implored the military junta to allow them access to the country in order to help victims of a cyclone over the weekend that has left tens of thousands of people dead.

    While Ky Luu, director of the US Agency for International Development's (USAID) foreign disaster assistance office, did not rule out the possibility of air drops of supplies, he said that approach carried so many problems related to infrastructure and cooperation from the government on the ground that it was unlikely.

    "Yes, we're looking at it, but the immediate needs are for open access for the current existing operational partners and for the regime in order to open up to provide for additional relief workers to get on the ground," Luu said.

    US military officials stressed that airlifts would only be a possibility if the Burmese government gave its okay.

    "It's sovereign airspace and you'd need their permission to fly in that airspace. And it's all tied to sovereignty, which we respect, whether it's on the ground or in the air," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told reporters. "And right now we just don't have any way to get into that airspace with their permission."

    The US military has several ships within days of Burma that could deliver aid, Defence Secretary Robert Gates said.

    "We are fully prepared to help and to help right away. And it would be a tragedy if these assets - if people didn't take advantage of them," Gates said.

    As those impacted by the storm suffer from the destruction of their homes and lack of access to clean water and food, the Burmese government needs to speed access for international assistance, US officials said.

    "We need a decision made soon. I mean, you know, we're approaching almost a week here, when the cyclone hit the impacted areas, and we need to get commodities in as quickly as possible and establish in- country a logistics in order to move commodities out," Luu said.

    "So it's a full court diplomatic press to try to get a different response than we've had thus far out of the Burmese regime," he said. (dpa)

    Bangkok Post

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Burma not ready to receive Samak on Sunday


    The Burmese government will not be available to receive Thai Prime Minister Samak Sudaravej on Sunday, an aide of the Thai prime minister.

    Samak earlier Friday said he would fly to Rangoon on Sunday to talk to the Burmese junta to allow in international countries to deliver humanitarian assistance to Burmese storm victims.

    But the Burmese government informed the Thai prime minister that it would be preoccupied with visiting victims of Cyclone Nargis and would not be available to talk to Samak, the aide of the Thai prime minister said.

    The Nation

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Going, going... not!

    BangkokPost.com


    Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej called off plans for a flying weekend visit to Burma, concluding late on Friday that not even he can talk the military junta into accepting international aid for its suffering cyclone victims.

    Mr Samak had said earlier on Friday that he would fly to Burma, talk to the junta members, and use his personal influence to open the doors to civilian aid workers.

    Hours later, after talking on the telephone with his counterpart Thein Sein, he said the trip would be a waste of time.

    Thien Sein told Mr Samak he was welcome to travel to Burma on Sunday, but the regime was adamant that no foreign aid workers will enter Burma, now or ever.

    "So there is no point of me going there," he said.

    Prime Minister's Office Minister Vichienchote Sukchotirat said Mr Samak was not giving up. Two Thai envoys inside Burma will try to impress on Burmese officials the necessity of getting expert aid to an estimated one million suffering Burmese villagers.

    If there is any sign the Burmese will negotiate the issue, he will immediately go to Burma, said the Thai premier.

    Mr Samak has cultivated warm relations with Burma's military rulers, even in the face of strong domestic criticism. After an official visit in March, he described the military dictators as "good Buddhists," despite the September crackdown on dissent in which they killed at least 31 people.

    US Ambassador to Thailand Eric John met with Mr Samak Thursday in a bid to seek Thai help in airlifting $3.25 million of emergency aid to Rangoon. Thailand even offered to use its own aircraft to fly in the aid, but the generals said "No."

    All countries and aid agencies have met with red tape and delays from the regime in their effort to provide relief to the victims of Cyclone Nargis, which crashed into central Burma last weekend. It left about 23,000 people dead, 42,000 missing and more than a million homeless and in need of food, water and medicine.

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Burma impounds UN aid deliveries



    Aid from a number of Asian countries has been arriving in Burma


    The World Food Programme has halted aid shipments to Burma after the contents of its first delivery were impounded on arrival in the military-ruled country.

    The UN body says the Burmese government seized aid material flown in to help victims of Cyclone Nargis, which has killed tens of thousands.
    The WFP said it had no choice but to halt aid until the matter was resolved.

    International aid agencies on the ground say they have reached only 10% of those that need help. Despite this, Burma's foreign ministry issued a statement on Friday saying it was not ready to allow foreign aid workers to enter the country.

    Abridged from BBC News

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Burmese anger over junta's 'inadequacy'
    By a BBC reporter in southern Burma




    Thousands of people in the area have received no aid


    You do not have to travel too far out of Rangoon to smell the stench of death.

    Rotting animals lie bloated in the paddy fields, but there are human corpses here too, lying under the wreckage of trees and buildings flattened by last Saturday's storm.
    In those areas closest to the capital there are also signs that a little aid is getting through: a few Burmese army vehicles could be seen distributing food on Friday.
    Locals said the military had arrived a day earlier to help clear the bodies away.
    We saw a lone helicopter in the sky overhead, but the aid is meagre, sporadic and completely inadequate for the scale of this disaster.

    Desperation
    Thousands of people in this area have received nothing. On one stretch of road dozens of families sat next to makeshift shelters.


    Many people have fled to safety, abandoning all their belongings


    One man told how he had escaped to higher ground with his family as the waters started to rise. He had survived, but lost all his belongings.
    He had little to start with, now he has lost everything. No clothes left but the ones on his back, no food other than the rice he could carry that night, scooped up into the bowl of his hat.
    He had had something to eat on Friday, and would maybe again tomorrow. Next week depends on the Burmese government.
    All across this area families were desperately trying to dry out their sacks of rice drenched by the flood, even spreading the grains across the road to catch the Sun's rays.
    If not enough rice is salvaged, even the better off here will struggle without help.
    Already this storm promises long-term misery for a country that goes hungry, even without a cyclone.

    'Frustration turning to anger'
    In the town of Kungyangon, things did seem a little better.


    There are fears that diseases may be spreading in the storm-hit areas


    The military had arrived and the Red Cross hospital was open again.
    But a few miles away there was nothing to mitigate this calamity.
    "Children dead! Old men dead! Old woman dead! No food!" one man shouted. But no assistance had arrived at all.
    There was no doubt who he blamed, saying "the government" was "no good". He then made a sign of a gun, as if to shoot the people in the government responsible.
    In a country as repressive as Burma, that is an extraordinary act of defiance against the generals presiding over this disaster.
    It is a sign of the frustration felt here, and across much of southern Burma at how inadequate the relief operation has been.
    It is frustration that is turning to anger - even though the majority are unaware that just over an hour's flight away - in Bangkok - food, medicine, shelter and expertise lie waiting on the region's airfields, ready to arrive, but prevented from coming by Burma's leaders.

    BBC News

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    Vote trumps storm for Burma leaders
    By Jonathan Head
    South East Asia correspondent, BBC News



    There is very little chance of Than Shwe losing the referendum

    Perhaps the most baffling aspect of Burma's response to Cyclone Nargis is its insistence that the referendum on a new constitution will go ahead as scheduled on 10 May, except in areas immediately affected by the disaster.

    Even at the height of the disaster the state broadcaster has devoted much of its airtime to cheerful entertainment programmes urging people to vote in favour of the new charter.
    The military is reported to have commandeered large numbers of vehicles for use during the referendum, and in towns unaffected by the cyclone, like Mandalay, trucks have been driving continuously through the streets, blaring out the government's pro-referendum message.
    Residents contacted by the BBC have expressed their disgust that this is happening when so many are in such distress in the Irrawaddy delta.
    It is a measure of the ruling military council's determination that it is ploughing on even in the face of the worst natural disaster in Burma's recorded history.

    Unchallenged power
    There are reports from within the military that senior general Than Shwe personally over-rode requests from his officers to divert army resources to help the cyclone victims, in a country with nearly 500,000 soldiers, and where more than 40 % of the government budget goes to the military.

    Those few activists brave enough to campaign for a no vote have been jailed or beaten up by pro-government thugs


    He was more concerned about maintaining security for the referendum.
    Why this extraordinary intransigence, this refusal to respond to pleas for greater co-operation with the international community?
    Reading the minds of the top generals, who decide pretty much everything in Burma, is pure guesswork. We know they are superstitious men, of limited education, and minimal exposure to the outside world.
    They have lived entirely inside an army that wields unchallenged power over civilians, and which sees itself as endlessly fighting enemies bent on destroying the unity of the country.
    These are the same soldiers who decided to seal Burma off from the world 46 years ago, and who retain deep suspicion of all foreigners.



    Tens of thousands of people are homeless and vulnerable to disease


    But they also crave legitimacy. Ever since the bloody upheavals of 1988 Burma has been living without a constitution, its military rulers technically illegitimate.
    They made a huge miscalculation holding the 1990 election, which was resoundingly won by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.
    After annulling the results, they set about preparing a far more carefully-controlled process to legitimise their rule. The constitution, which is the subject of this referendum, is the end result of that process.
    It began back in 1993, with the formation of an assembly meant to draw up guidelines for the new constitution. That was suspended after delegates from the NLD walked out in 1996, complaining the assembly was being manipulated by the military.
    It did not re-convene until 2004. By then the delegates were mostly hand-picked, and locked in an isolated complex to carry out their deliberations.
    The constitution they produced was, unsurprisingly, condemned by the government's many critics.
    It enshrined the military's dominant role in politics, immunising the men in green from prosecution, giving them a quarter of the seats in parliament, and guaranteeing that the president would be a military man.



    Burma's leaders are reluctant to allow foreign aid teams into the country


    Few Burmese have been able to read it. The charter only went on sale a month before the referendum, at a price most Burmese cannot afford.
    Criticising the referendum is a crime punishable by three years in jail. Those few activists brave enough to campaign for a no vote have been jailed or beaten up by pro-government thugs.
    Civil servants have been pushed to vote ahead of the referendum, and put under enormous pressure to vote yes.
    There are no independent monitors, and the final tally will only be announced in the military's citadel Nay Pyi Daw, giving ample opportunity to manipulate the result.
    So there is very little chance Than Shwe can lose this referendum, even if large numbers of Burmese use it to express their anger against the government. It has been widely dismissed as a sham outside Burma.
    But it seems to matter a great deal to the generals, opening the way to what they call a "discipline-flourishing democracy".
    There must also be some Burmese who think, however objectionable and undemocratic the new charter may be, it may at least dilute the misrule of the military.
    At the age of 75, Than Shwe is in poor health, and said to be worried about what will happen to his cronies and family after he's gone. He may hope that the formalisation of the armed forces' dominant role in the constitution will protect them.
    Isolated as he is in Nay Pyi Taw, his self-styled "Abode of Kings" capital, he may simply not have grasped the scale of disaster, and the certain inability of his soldiers to deal with it.
    In the rigidly hierarchical army, even generals who do grasp this may not dare to confront him with the truth.
    In his mind the referendum probably looms larger than the fate of one or two million survivors eking out a desperate existence in the Irrawaddy delta.

    BBC News

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    Re: Burma cyclone disaster: 23,000 dead 41,000 missing.

    US aid takes off

    BangkokPost.com, dpa


    Day Eight of the Cyclone disaster: The Burmese military junta reversed itself early on Saturday and said the United States can deliver one planeload of emergency aid, and maybe more - as the United Nations estimated the death toll could reach more than 100,000, partly because the regime has denied most aid and all relief workers for a week. Donors around the world have donated enough aid to last for three months - if Burma allows it to be distributed.

    It was exactly one week ago today (Saturday, Thailand time) that Cyclone Nargis slammed into the Irrawaddy delta and Rangoon, the country's biggest city, leaving tens of thousands dead and thousands of others without adequate food or water supplies.

    Now, at last, the junta given permision to a US military aircraft to deliver emergency aid, the White House said.

    One C-130 cargo plane has been granted access to fly from Thailand to deliver supplies on Monday, said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the National Security Council.

    "We hope this is the beginning of major US assistance to the Burmese people," Johndroe told reporters at President George W Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

    The ruling junta has not approved visas for a group of US aid workers seeking to enter the country to assess the situation and determine what aid is needed and the approval is only for one flight, Johndroe said.

    "But one flight is much better than no flights. And we're going to keep on working to provide as much assistance as possible in the coming days, weeks and months. Because they're going to need our help for a long time," he said.

    Asked what had prompted the Burmese government to overcome its reluctance to foreign aid, Johndroe said there had been ongoing discussions with the country's rulers and though he could point to no specific thing, he said "clearly the junta has determined that the magnitude of this disaster requires additional assistance, and so we're pleased to be able to offer that."

    In New York, United Nations experts early on Saturday Thailand time estimated the death toll could reach more than 100,000. That is a dramatic increase in the estimate of the devastation in the 55 townships in Burma's low-lying delta region delivered by Cyclone Nargis.

    The UN dropped its reliance on the military government's casualty figures for the first time this week, saying that Nargis could be the worst cyclone to hit Asia since 1991, when 138,000 were killed in Bangladesh.

    "Based on assessment of 18 agencies and their assessment in 55 townships, we estimate currently that the number of severely affected population lies between 1.2 and 1.9 million," said John Holmes, the UN undersecretary general for emergency relief efforts.

    An estimated 13 million people of Burma's population of 53 million live in areas hit by the cyclone.

    "The number of deaths has been climbing daily and could be anywhere between 63,000 and 100,000 or possibly even higher than that," Holmes told government envoys assembled to pledge help to Burma.

    By contrast, Burmese UN Ambassador Kyaw Tint Swe, who attended the pledging conference, said there were 22,997 dead as of Thursday, 1,403 injured and 42,119 missing people. He gave the number of affected people at "hundreds of thousands," a much lower figure than what Holmes cited.

    "We are most thankful to the international community, our friends near and far for the solidarity and generosity," Kyaw said. "We urgently need medical supplies, food, clothing, electric generators and material for emergency shelter as well as financial assistance. Therefore today's flash appeal is both timely and welcome."

    Kyaw said Burma had received so far two shiploads and 11 aircraft loaded with relief supplies.

    "I hope today's appeal will be met with concrete expression of solidarity and generosity by the international community," he said.

    Holmes said he received pledges of 77 million dollars out of the total of 187 million dollars that asked for to fund international relief efforts. Yet the military government has yet to authorise the unhindered delivery of relief goods to the victims threatened by famine, diseases and floodings.

    He said the 77-million-dollar pledge did not include money or in-kinds directly given to the government from organisations or governments. The top donors so far have been Japan, Britain and the United States.

    The amount sought should cover three months of most essential needs, including plastic sheeting, water purification, materials, water receptacles, cooking sets, mosquito nets, emergency health kits and food, the UN said in a comprehensive study of the emergency relief needs that was put together by UN agencies and organisations involved in the relief efforts.

    Diplomatic efforts to pressure the military junta to allow in more aid are continuing. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday talked with the Chinese and Indian foreign ministers, urging them to "use whatever leverage they have with that top decision-making layer in the Burmese regime to get them to reverse the course that they have been on," and allow in further international assistance, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday.

    The US would work with non-governmental organisations on the ground to determine what supplies were most urgently needed in determining what would be carried on the flight, he said.

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