The Tempinis diaries

May 6, 2008

The Suffering People of Burma

Filed under: history — Tags: , — toru @ 2:24 pm

As if the Burmese people have not suffered enough. Hopefully, aid will get there soon.
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Burma Reels as Storm Toll Rises

Uprooted trees bring down power lines after cyclone Nargis hit Rangoon, Burma on May 4

Uprooted trees bring down power lines after cyclone Nargis hit Rangoon, Burma on May 4
Democratic Voice of Burma / EPA

The people of Burma take omens seriously. For centuries, the paths of planets and vagaries of weather have been scrutinized by astrologers, who divine a relationship between celestial irregularities and earthly mayhem. So when a tropical cyclone tore across the country May 2-3, killing more than 22,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more homeless in the Irrawaddy delta and the commercial capital of Rangoon, Burmese couldn’t help but note the curious timing: On May 10, the country’s thuggish ruling junta was set to hold a constitutional referendum, the first step toward what the military has called a “discipline-flourishing democracy.” Critics dismissed the plebiscite — which has been postponed because of the natural disaster — as nothing more than a political ruse to legitimize the military’s grip on power, noting that the proposed constitution reserves a hefty chunk of parliamentary seats for the army and bars top opposition leaders from holding office. Then the heavens opened and the winds lashed. The gods, it appeared, weren’t happy with where Burma’s leaders were taking their country

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