Myanmar junta ups death toll to 28,458 (Extra)

Myanmar junta ups death toll to 28,458 (Extra)


Yangon – Myanmar’s ruling junta upped the official death toll from Cyclone Nargis to 28,458 Sunday, but horror stories filtering into the former capital Yangon with the homeless suggest a much higher number.

Military-controlled MRTV put the death toll at 28,458 with 33,416 missing in a broadcast Sunday night.

But anecdotal reports from survivors of the cyclone, which hit Myanmar’s cental coastal region on May 2 to 3, suggest the United Nations estimate of 100,000 dead comes closer to the truth.

‘Most of the people from my village are dead,’ said Soe Thu, 23, from the salt-making village of Ngaputaw, in the Irrawaddy delta.

Soe Thu, who recently arrived in Yangon with his father and two brothers, said he had lost his mother to Cyclone Nargis which hit his town on May 2.

His family was among the lucky.

‘There were about 12,000 houses in Ngaputaw, with a population about 50,000, most of us working at the Hnget Kyun salt production area,’ Soe Thu told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

‘Altogether over 40,000 died. Most of dead were women and children working in the salt fields,’ he said.

Like many other survivors in the Irrawaddy delta, Soe Thu claimed to have known about the approaching cyclone but claimed the government warning said it was packing winds of only 40 to 50 miles per hour.

He and the survivors fled to Yangon on Thursday after failing to receive sufficient assistance from the government.

‘They promise a lot but they give little,’ he said.

The Myanmar junta has come under a barrage of international criticism for failing to facilitate a global disaster relief programme for the country by speeding up aid deliveries and granting visas to foreign aid experts.

With the real casualty figures of the calamity still unknown, disaster experts have warned that it could increase dramatically in the coming weeks if the aid programme is not accelerated.

‘With the likelihood of 100,000 or more killed in the cyclone there are all the factors for a public health catastrophe which could multiply that death toll by up to 15 times in the coming period,’ said Oxfam’s Regional Director for East Asia, Sarah Ireland.

Wrecked Myanmar leaves India aid pilot speechless

Wrecked Myanmar leaves India aid pilot speechless

Reuters India

By Bappa Majumdar


A child plays in flood water 30 km from the centre of Yangon in this handout photograph taken May 9, 2008.

REUTERS/Joe Lowry/International of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies/Handout


NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Miles of trees stripped of their leaves, heaps of rubble, twisted electricity poles and swarms of hungry people — the first sights to greet Indian pilot Prashant Karde as he flew in aid for storm-wrecked Myanmar this week.


The scale of human misery was beyond Karde’s comprehension, even as an Indian air force pilot who has participated in many flood relief operations before.


“It was very, very sad to see people with almost no clothes battling it out to survive,” said Karde, recollecting his sortie to Yangon over miles of swamps which once were bustling villages and paddy fields.


Wing Commander Karde is among the few Indian air force pilots engaged in flying aid to Myanmar, bringing tonnes of medicines, tents and sheets on his IL-76 cargo plane. But the devastation he witnessed left him emotionally drained.


“I had heard Yangon was a very pretty city with lots of trees and rows of houses, but what I saw from above was complete devastation and ruin,” Karde told Reuters on Friday.


Rows of houses were completely razed several kilometres in and around Yangon, Myanmar’s main city. Bodies and animal carcasses were floating in the water, Karde said.


The 39-year-old pilot took the freighter down for a closer look, only to see people with very little clothing waving at the aircraft.


“Everything from uprooted trees, wooden planks and clothes were strewn all over the place,” he said. “Miles and miles were covered with water and it seemed a devastating flood had hit the country.”


The toll from Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar last week, was rising, with experts saying it could be as high as 100,000.


In spite of the huge devastation, Myanmar has refused foreign aid from many countries. On Friday, Myanmar’s foreign ministry said it will accept foreign aid, but not foreign aid workers.


India was among the first few countries to dispatch aid at short notice. So far, two naval ships and three cargo planes have carried tonnes of relief materials.






This week, Myanmar’s generals were waiting at Yangon airport when Karde landed after a four-hour flight from New Delhi.


The crew rested, but Karde went to the countryside in a jeep to see for himself what had hit Myanmar a few days earlier.


“People told me there was little food and no water. They were thanking me for coming to their aid, but I was speechless to find these men struggling, battling to survive,” he said.


After returning to the airfield, which Karde says was damaged by the cyclone in some places, he immediately radioed New Delhi to report what he had seen.


“I told them about the total destruction, the loss of life was just too much. They needed more aid and I wanted to be back here.”


A senior official said Karde’s report had helped convince them to rush in more aid.


A few hours after he flew back to New Delhi, Karde received a second phone call, asking him to prepare for another sortie.


On Friday morning, he was at Palam air base in New Delhi, overseeing the loading of relief materials for a second sortie.


“I want to spend more time with the people there and share their loss,” he said.

Tragedy of dead and survivors in Myanmar grows worse

Tragedy of dead and survivors in Myanmar grows worse

Reuters India

By Aung Hla Tun PhotoYANGON (Reuters) – Desperate survivors of Cyclone Nargis headed out of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy delta in search of food, water and medicine, but aid workers said on Sunday that thousands will die if emergency supplies don’t get through soon.


Buddhist temples and schools on the outskirts of the storm’s trail of destruction are now makeshift refugee centres.

 The U.N. humanitarian agency said in a new assessment that between 1.2 million and 1.9 million were struggling to survive in the aftermath of the storm that struck eight days ago.

“Given the gravity of the situation including the lack of food and water, some partners have reported fears for security, and violent behaviour in the most severely afflicted areas,” the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

It said “the number of deaths could range from 63,290 to 101,682, and 220,000 people are reported to be missing”. It said “acute environmental issues” posed a threat to life and health.

 In 1991 a cyclone slammed into neighbouring Bangladesh, killing 143,000 people.

 While Myanmar’s reclusive military government is accepting aid from the outside world, including the United Nations, it will not let in the foreign logistics teams.

 “Unless there is a massive and fast infusion of aid, experts and supplies into the hardest-hit areas, there’s going to be a tragedy on an unimaginable scale,” said Greg Beck of the International Rescue Committee.


 In the delta town of Labutta, where 80 percent of homes were destroyed, authorities were providing one cup of rice per family per day, a European Commission aid official told Reuters.

 In a blow to the stumbling relief effort a boat carrying some of the first aid to survivors sank, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

 The boat was believed to have hit a submerged tree in the Irrawaddy delta. The accident highlighted the enormous logistical difficulties of delivering aid, with roads washed away and much of the delta turned to swamp.

 Myanmar raised the death toll on Sunday to 28,458 dead and 33,416 missing from the storm on the night of May 2 and early on May 3. Most of the victims were killed by the 12-foot wall of sea-water that hit the delta along with the Category 4 cyclone’s 190 kph winds.

 International agency Oxfam said 1.5 million people are at risk from disease unless a tsunami-like aid effort is mobilised.

 “In the Boxing Day tsunami 250,000 people lost their lives in the first few hours, but we did not see an outbreak of disease because the host governments and the world mobilised a massive aid effort to prevent it from happening,” Oxfam’s Regional Director for East Asia Sarah Ireland said in Bangkok.

 “We have to do the same for the people of Myanmar.”

 The cyclone is one of the worst disasters since the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami that hit a dozen countries along the Indian Ocean.

 Australia responded to a U.N. appeal for $187 million in aid by dramatically increasing its contribution to $23.4 million.

 The U.N. World Food Programme said on Sunday it has begun moving aid to its field headquarters in Labutta using trucks provided by its partners in Myanmar, including the Myanmar Red Cross. The agency said its food shipments had been briefly impounded on Friday at Yangon airport.


 France is set to deliver 1,500 tonnes of rice aid aboard the warship Mistral, which would arrive in Myanmar’s waters in the middle of this week, the French foreign ministry said on Sunday.

 France wants the aid on the Mistral to be distributed either by the ship’s crew, or by the staff of NGOs already on the ground, or by U.N. teams, a foreign ministry source said.

 French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told French newspaper Le Figaro on Saturday that France would not consider entrusting aid to the Myanmar authorities.

 Despite alarm bells from the international community about feeble cycle relief effort, the junta kept its focus on a weekend referendum on a new constitution, part of a “roadmap to democracy” culminating in multi-party elections in 2010.

 The New Light of Myanmar, the junta’s main mouthpiece, said officials were “systematically and accurately” counting the ballots, but did not say when results would be released. The balloting has been delayed by two weeks in the worst-hit areas, including Yangon, the former capital.

 There is little doubt about the final result on an army-drafted constitution after propaganda campaign by the junta urging people to vote “Yes”.

U.N. says 220,000 reported missing in Myanmar cyclone

U.N. says 220,000 reported missing in Myanmar cyclone

Reuters India

Sun May 11, 2008 6:26pm


Villagers display a sign saying ‘Help Us’ in a road near Kundangon May 11, 2008. The number of people reported missing in the Myanmar cyclone was about 220,000, the United Nations humanitarian agency said on Sunday.

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The number of people reported missing in the Myanmar cyclone was about 220,000, the United Nations humanitarian agency said on Sunday, warning of environmental damage, violence and mass migration.

 It said assessments of 55 townships in the Irrawaddy delta and other disaster areas found up to 102,000 people could have been killed in Cyclone Nargis, which struck flimsy dwellings with fierce winds and waves on the night of May 2.

“Based on these assessments, the U.N. estimates that 1,215,885 to 1,919,485 million people have been affected by the cyclone, the number of deaths could range from 63,290 to 101,682, and 220,000 people are reported to be missing,” the report by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

 Myanmar state-run TV reported on Sunday night that the death toll had risen to more than 28,458 and 33,416 people were missing.

 The cyclone had “likely resulted in acute environmental issues that could pose an immediate risk to human life and health”, the U.N. report said.

 It said migration and violence were also emerging as problems in the poor southeast Asian country, where a succession of military juntas have ruled with an iron grip for 46 years.

 “Given the gravity of the situation including the lack of food and water, some partners have reported fears for security, and violent behaviour in the most severely afflicted areas,” the report said.

“Some assessments have suggested that people are coping by migrating outwards from the most affected to less affected areas in search of the basic necessities.”

The U.N. agency also said few visas have been issued for disaster relief workers to enter the country.

 The reclusive military government, while accepting aid from all over the world, has been reluctant to allow in western aid experts, many of whom have been waiting in Bangkok and other cities for days.

Myanmar toll may be 150,000

Myanmar toll may be 150,000





ONE NEWS May 11, 2008 6:17 PM


US Marines on the Thailand-Myanmar borderAid agencies now say up to 150,000 people may have died in the Myanmar cyclone and they are battling to prevent disease and starvation pushing that figure even higher.

Help for the hundreds of thousands of survivors is still only trickling into the country.

The picture of devastation is only getting worse in the cyclone-ravaged nation.

It has become a race against time to prevent disease taking hold.

A hospital in the worst affected Irrawaddy Delta is without power and its staff are overwhelmed.

“The situation is really out of control. Too many patients and very little help. But we have to organise with the higher authority for food shelter and medicines, sanitation and clean water,” says a doctor at the hospital.

The delta remains a wasteland with towns torn apart by the brutal force of Cyclone Nargis.

“No home is left in my village, all flattened. About two thirds of the villagers died. Only one third remain alive,” says a woman survivor.

The ruling junta has been obsessed with planning a constitutional referendum and has put little thought or planning into aid distribution.

Myanmar’s ruling general, Than Shwe, was out to vote despite being invisible throughout the crisis.

The result of the referendum, which critics say is a foregone conclusion, could enshrine military dominance in Myanmar for decades.

In Mae Sot on the Thailand-Myanmar border, precious little aid is moving, but that may change.

The US Marines are flying in, one team of two dozen an element of thousands who were on annual exercises off Thailand when Cyclone Nargis struck.

US Marine Commander Colonel Mark Losack says they just happened to be there when the disaster occurred.

“We feel just horrible about that and have the deepest sympathies for the people of Burma and we hope we’re going to be able to provide them with some relief supplies fairly quickly here,” Losack says.

How quickly the relief supplies are distributed is not entirely up to the Marines. Despite having the world’s mightiest military machine at their disposal, the Marines are like everyone else, waiting at the edges for word that they will be allowed to help a regime that has very little to do with foreigners.

They are assessing how well the airport could work as a forward staging post to bring and store aid and then fly it over the border.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to make a decision, should be executing maybe next week,” says Losack.

That’s if they get an invitation. But if they don’t, the death toll can only rise.

Those wishing to make a contribution to the cyclone relief effort can do so through various aid agencies. For details CLICK HERE   

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How and where to make a contribution for Myanmar Cyclone disaster victims (in English)

How and where to make a contribution for

Myanmar Cyclone disaster victims (in English)

Let's Support Victims



MERCY Malaysia will be deploying a two-member relief team to Yangon tonight (8th May). A second team will be deployed on Friday. If you wish to support our efforts to bring emergency humanitarian aid to the survivors of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

  • MERCY Malaysia is on standby to deploy a team to Myanmar to help survivors of Cyclone Nargis.
  • MERCY Malaysia has allocated an initial RM150,000 for aid response in Myanmar.
  • MERCY Malaysia issued a public appeal via its website for funds.
    Account’s name: MERCY Humanitarian Fund
    Account no. : 5621 – 7950 – 4126

    ABA Swift Code: MBB EMY KLA
    Address: MAYBANK BERHAD, 20G-28G, Jalan Wawasan 4/5, Bandar Baru Ampang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.


    RHB Bank
    Account’s name: MERCY Malaysia
    Account no : 2-12273-0000-9257

    Donations to “The Star Myanmar Relief Fund

    contribution into the donation box at The Starlobby in PETALING JAYA. 

    Some came in person to Menara Star .


    Cheques can be forwarded to_

    Mohammed Zamberi Othman,

    Ketua Akauntan, (Chief Accountant)

    Kementerian Luar Negeri, (MOF/Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

    No. 1 Jalan Wisma Putra, 62602 Putrajaya.



    Ko Thant Zin Htwe (Bagan net computer centre Ph. 006-012 3612 731

    Ko Thant Zaw oo (Myo Kyawt Myaing) Ph. 006-017 3898 606


    Ko Min Than Win +65 9027 7370

    Ko Win Zaw +65 9451 5247

    12017 SW TUALATIN RD APT#732
    TUALATIN OREGON 97062Bank Information
    Name: Maung Maung
    Bank Name:Washington Mutual
    Routing Number:325070760
    Account Number: 1883616048



    Inside Myanmar

    Ko Tin Maung Than  0950 13159၊ 0951 07704

    Mufti U Myint Thein  200156


    UNICEF (UN) -> Donation Link

    International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) -> Donation Link

    World Food Programme (UN) -> Donation Link

    World Vision Organization -> Donation Link

    Save The Children Foundation (US) -> Donation Link

    CARE Organization -> Donation Link

    Adventist Development and Relife Agency -> Donation Link

    OCHA (office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN) -> Donation Link

    International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies -> Donation Link

    AVAAZ Organization-> Donation Link


    ·         Dr. Soe Htet
    69 Glendale Road
    Springvale VIC 3171
    Melbourne, Australia
    Mobile: +61 424 836 727

    ·         Sayardaw U San Naw Bar Tha
    Bank Name: Barclays
    Account Holder Name: Mr A Candobhasa
    Sortcode: 20-80-71
    AccountNo: 9000 2836
    Contact Info: 0787 7297 205,

    ·          Burmese Student Organisation UK
    Bank Name: HSBC
    Account Holder Name: Burmese Student Organisation UK
    Sortcode: 40-01-13
    AccountNo: 4154 6694
    Ref: CDA-[your mobile number]
    Last Day: 10th May, 2008
    Contact Info: Ko Win T – 0785 2175 467,
    Ko Chan N – 0780 4725 077
    More info:

    • Miss Tharaphi Than
      Bank Name: Barclays
      Account Holder Name: Miss M T Than
      Sortcode: 20-89-15
      AccountNo: 6055 2232
      OR please send a check to
      Miss Tharaphi Than
      SEAsia Department
      SOAS, University of London
      London WC1H 0XG
      Last Day: She is going to Burma for providing First Aid Support in next three or four days
    • Unity To Victory (U2V) Organization
    • ·         Ko Kyaw Naing Win (

      ·         မၾကည္စင္ရႊင္ (AIT Student)
      Mobile: + (66) (8) 4376 3287

      ·         မ်ဳိးဟန္ထြန္း (ခ) ကိုတိုး
      Mobile: + (66) (8) 9994 2042

      ·         Community Development & Civic Empowerment Program
      Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
      Tel: (053) 226697; Fax: (053) 226698; Email:, Web:

      Bank: Krung Thai Bank
      Branch: Chiang Mai University
      Account Name: CDCE: Nargis Disaster Relief Fund
      Account Number: 456-0-04544-5
      Swift Code: KRTHTHBK
      Branch Phone Number: 053-223191

    • If you would like to donate and help our people,
      Please contactBank name – Kyoto bank
      Branch- Hayakumanben ( 百万遍)
      Bank account – 146-4061545
      Name . ミャンマーサイクロン被害者募金口
                SAW OHNMAR HAN

      Osaka group

      Ma Tin Nyo Nyo thaung – 090-6247-7854

      Kyoto and Shiga group

      Ma Yin Su Win … 090-9980-3540
      Ma Saw Ohnmar Han ..080-6116-2666
      Ma Seint Seint Aye …080-380-43257
      U Aung Khin… 090-8231-3711

      Niigata Group

      Ma Mie Mie Htwe – 080-3191-1927

      Nagoya Group

      Ko Kyaw Kyaw Naing ..090-2946-2832

      Sendai Group

      Aung Ko Thet – 080-5568-6448

      Please contact this email.

      EMail address. ..





    RIT-Alumni Singapore, jointly with Myanmar Club and BBT, will organize a prayer service and donation drive for our people who have suffered from Cyclone Nargis.

    Venue – Burmese Buddhist Temple (BBT)
    Time – 11th May (Sunday) 9:30 am
    Please forward this massage to reach the whole Myanmar community in Singapore.
    “Give a helping hand, Save our people’s lives”
    Please see the following link for more information.




    Heartbreaking photos of Cyclone Nargis

    Tragic photo of Cyclone Victims of Burma, Mother cried for the children

    by Sit Mone

    WHY? WHY? WHY? THE Image may be subject to copyright?




    This blogger is very upset after seeing the enlarged photos of dead bodies of three children tied together, because their parents were afraid that they might be swept away by the high tide during (12 feet, wind speed 190 mile/hr)the onslaught of Cyclone Nargis.

    This blogger does not want readers to see the dead victims of Nargis Cyclone. Most of them were decomposed and some were very young children. The purpose of this link with due respect to the dead, and their loved ones, is for all the readers, to pray for the deads as well as those are still alive but struggling for survival.

    Another important reason for this post is Military Junta of Burma has declined to accept the International Aids and emergency disaster helps that could save, several thousand lives for their own selfish paranoid delusion. So please help Burmese people . linletkyalsin is a very outstanding blogger and activist from Singapore and you can find the group accepting donation and update of donation in her blog.

    Help Cyclone Nagis Victims of Burma!


    Baby, Myanmar cyclone

    Labutta, Myanmar cyclone

    Myanmar cyclone,  Labutta,  Irrawaddy

    Cyclone in Myanmar


    Burma referendum begins while aid trickles in

    Burma referendum begins while aid trickles in

  • Saturday May 10 2008
  • Article history
  • An unidentified man votes in Burma's controversial referendum on a new military-drafted constitution

    An unidentified man votes in Burma’s controversial referendum

     on a new military-drafted constitution at a polling station at

    Hlaeuk township near Rangoon.

    Photograph: AP


    Voting on a controversial constitution began in Burma today while aid for people left starving and homeless by the cyclone was still only trickling through.

    Burma’s military government pushed ahead with the vote but postponed polling in the areas hardest hit by last week’s cyclone, including the largest city, Rangoon.

    UN aid flights resumed this morning, with three planes flying, as well as delivery by trucks. On Friday the organisation had halted aid flights after an initial delivery of high-energy biscuits and relief equipment was seized by the Burmese regime.

    Today one International Red Cross plane also landed, carrying 35 tonnes of equipment intended to provide prisoners in Burma’s labour camps with clean drinking water. It also carried medical supplies for treating 10,000 people. In addition, a plane with 18 tonnes of aid from the Thai royal family has arrived in Burma.

    On arrival of the aid, Burma’s military government were seen taking charge of its distribution, removing it from boxes that had been plastered with names of top generals in an apparent effort to turn the relief effort for last week’s cyclone into a propaganda exercise.

    Burma’s state-run TV broadcast images of senior generals – including the junta leader, General Than Shwe – handing out aid packages to survivors at elaborate ceremonies.

    However, foreign disaster experts were still being barred from entry to the country. Aid agencies have accused Burma’s leaders of delaying crucial relief work needed to help the survivors of Cyclone Nargis, which struck last Saturday and is thought to have killed some 100,000 people. One million of Burma’s 51 million population are estimated to be homeless.

    Speaking at a press conference in London yesterday, Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision Australia, said he thought things might improve after today’s vote.

    He said the Burmese government suspected aid personnel of actually being foreign observers reporting on today’s constitution referendum and he said he hoped such suspicion would relax after the vote.

    The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal by British aid agencies and charities has raised £4m in two days. The DEC said it “could do more” were it not for opposition from the Burmese government.

    Yesterday, at a press conference, the prime minister, Gordon Brown, echoed aid agencies’ fears, saying it was “unacceptable” that restrictions had been placed on aid and that the Burmese government “must take responsibility” for the situation in the country.

    Speaking in Atlanta, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said his staff were negotiating with officials in Burma to break the deadlock, but that Burmese leaders had “regrettably” not yet made direct contact with him.

    At the London press conference, Costello described the affected area as containing 19 million people, of whom around two-thirds were children. He raised the possibility that the scale of damage wrought by Cyclone Nargis in Burma could exceed the impact of the tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

    “The size of this is simply extraordinary and, in terms of its impact, much greater than the tsunami impact in Sri Lanka or Indonesia.”

    If passed, the constitution on which the Burmese are being asked to vote today would hand more power over to the military junta that has ruled Burma since 1962 and that last held elections in 1990.

    State TV broadcast a video showing two women singing a pop-style song with the lyrics: “Let’s go vote … with sincere thoughts for happy days”.

    The referendum seeks public approval of a new military-backed constitution, which the generals say will be followed in 2010 by general elections.

    However the proposed constitution guarantees 25% of parliamentary seats to the military and allows the president to hand over all power to the military in a state of emergency. It would also bar the Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained leader of the country’s pro-democracy movement, from public office.

    The military have refused to honour the results of the 1990 general election won by her National League for Democracy party.

    Protest against referendum in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia


    Burmese groups protest referendum outside embassy

    Malaysiakini news

    More than 500 Burmese refugees and students demonstrated outside their embassy in the Malaysian capital, calling for a referendum in the reclusive nation to be scrapped.

    burmese referendum protest 100508 memorandumBurma’s ruling generals went ahead today with the ballot for a new constitution despite the major devastation wrought by Cyclone Nargis last weekend, which killed tens of thousands and left 1.5 million people desperately needing aid.

    “We don’t want to vote for the artificial referendum,” protest organiser and ethnic Chin Richard Burton told reporters.

    “The junta should postpone the referendum because of all the suffering the Burmese people are facing from the cyclone,” he added.

    A refugee in Malaysia for the last four years, Burton said most people were not allowed to vote freely in the country formerly known as Burma.

    “We are being forced to vote for the referendum at the point of a gun so there is no choice for the Burmese people. We must vote ‘No’ for the referendum.”

    Memorandum submitted

    Wearing t-shirts with the word ‘NO’ emblazoned in white, demonstrators chanted pro-democracy slogans as leaders submitted a memorandum to Burmese embassy officials.

    Over 300 policemen, some armed with tear gas launchers, allowed representatives to address the crowd.

    burmese referendum protest 100508 chantingA large number of Burma’s various ethnic groups turned up for the protest with many Karen, Shan, Chin and Mons dressed in traditional outfits.

    Some brought their children and the group staged a minute’s silence in memory of the cyclone’s victims before dispersing.

    In the worst cyclone-hit townships including Burma’s most populous city Rangoon, the vote has been postponed, but the referendum went ahead today in the remaining townships.

    The junta says the vote will lead to general elections in 2010.

    The last ballot in Burma was won by the opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi nearly two decades ago but they were never permitted to take power – and the military has continued its tight hold on the country.


    – AFP 


    2,000 protest against referendum

     NST online>> Local News


      Myanmar protesters gathering in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday where they handed over two memoranda to embassy officials.

    Myanmar protesters gathering in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur

     yesterday where they handed over two memoranda to embassy officials.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Some 2,000 Myanmar workers gathered in front of the Myanmar Embassy and handed over two memoranda protesting the referendum on the country’s new constitution.

    The two-hour peaceful rally, which began at 9.30am, saw the Myanmars arriving in two batches from Jalan Ampang before they were stopped by members of the Federal Reserve Unit.
    Police had since early morning cordoned off several roads leading to the embassy at Jalan Ru, off Jalan Ampang Hilir, and stationed FRU trucks at the United States Embassy nearby.

    Some of the Myanmars wore traditional clothes while others wore red headbands and T-shirts emblazoned with the word “No”.
    They co-operated with police throughout the protest and waited patiently at the blockade before police allowed several representatives to approach the embassy to hand over the memoranda.



    They also said prayers for those who perished when Myanmar was ravaged by cyclone Nargis.

    The first group to hand over a memorandum were members of the Burma Ethnic Nationality Joint Force, which is a coalition of seven ethnic groups in Myanmar.

    The second group comprised members of four political parties – the NLD-Liberated Area, the Arakan League for Democracy, Zomi National Congress-Liberated Area and Democratic Party of New Society.






    Photo from Reuters Pictures







    The shadows of demonstrators are seen during a protest against the constitutional referendum outside the Myanmar embassy in Kuala Lumpur May 10, 2008. The military rulers of Myanmar went ahead with a constitutional referendum on Saturday despite calls from the outside world to postpone it after the devastation of Cyclone Nargis. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

    The shadows of demonstrators are seen during a protest against the constitutional referendum outside the Myanmar embassy in Kuala Lumpur May 10, 2008. The military rulers of Myanmar went ahead with a constitutional referendum on Saturday despite calls from the outside world to postpone it after the devastation of Cyclone Nargis.



    Hundreds of activists stage protest in Malaysia against Myanmar referendum

     Myanmar‘s protesters offer prayers during a demonstration outside the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, May 10, 2008. Some 500 activists demonstrated Saturday at the Myanmar Embassy in Malaysia, demanding that Yangon call off its constitutional referendum even as voting began in the military-ruled nation despite a devastating cyclone. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)









    Gone with the wind in Myanmar

    Gone with the wind in Myanmar

    Residents rebuilding a house near Bogalay, Myanmar on Friday. (Agence France-Presse)

    “I have nothing,” she said, shuffling in a state of shock. “Everything is gone.”

    Six days after a cyclone churned through the coastal plain of Myanmar, it is clear the damage is great and that little aid has made it to the thousands of villagers along the sea south of the commercial capital, Yangon.

    The smell of rot and death is in the air here, part of a single district where the military government says 10,000 people have died.

    Yet it is difficult to assess the actual human toll, even in a landscape of toppled trees and houses and bloated farm animals that resemble the devastation of the 2004 tsunami that killed 181,000.

    Prescription, dispensing, suffering (Pt 2)

    Prescription, dispensing, suffering (Pt 2)

    Product Of The System in Malaysiakini

    Rules in any game should be fair and just and implemented on both parties.

    • If doctors are to be prohibited from dispensing,
    • shouldn’t pharmacists too be forbidden from diagnosing, examining, investigating and prescribing?
    • Yet this is exactly what takes place everyday in a typical pharmacy.

    I have seen with my own eyes (not that I can see with someone else’s eyes anyway)

    • pharmacists giving a medical consultation,
    • performing a physical examination
    • and thereafter recommending medications to walk-in customers.

    It is also not uncommon to find pharmacies collaborating with biochemical laboratories to conduct blood tests especially those in the form of seemingly value-for money ‘packages’. These would usually include a barrage of unnecessary tests comprising tumor markers, rheumatoid factor and thyroid function tests for an otherwise well and asymptomatic patient.

    medical doctorsPharmacists intrude into the physicians’ territory when they begin to do all this and more. Doctors may occasionally make mistakes due to their supposedly inferior knowledge of drugs despite the fact that they are trained in clinical pharmacology.

    In the same vein, pharmacists may have studied the basic features of disease entities and clinical biochemistry but they are nonetheless not of sufficient competency to diagnose, examine, investigate and treat patients. Pharmacists are not adequately trained to take a complete and thorough medical history or to recognise the subtle clinical signs so imperative in the art of differential diagnosis.

    In more ways than one and increasingly so, pharmacists are overtaking the role of a clinical doctor. Patients have reported buying antibiotics and prescription drugs over the pharmacy counter without prior consultation with a physician.

    If the MOH is sincere to reduce adverse pharmacological reactions due to supposedly inept medical doctors, then it should also clamp down on pharmacists playing doctor everyday in their pharmaceutical premises.

    Patients will receive better healthcare services only when each team member abides by and operate within their jurisdiction.

    The move to restrict doctors to prescribing only while conveniently ignoring the shortcomings and excesses among the pharmacy profession is biased and favors the pharmacists’ interests.

    Root problem is quality

    A significant issue in Malaysian healthcare is that of the quality of our medical personnel. This includes doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists, therapists, amongst others. A substantial number of our doctors are locally-trained and educated. If current trends are extrapolated to the future, the number of local medical graduates is bound to rise exponentially alongside the unrestrained establishment of new medical schools.

    The quality and competency of current and future medical graduates produced locally is an imperative point to consider. Competent doctors with a sound knowledge of pharmacology will go a long way in improving patient care and minimising incidence of adverse drug reactions. The very fact that the MOH resorts to the drastic step in prohibiting doctors from dispensing medications indicates that it must be aware of the high prevalence of drug-related clinical errors.

    Much of patient safety revolves around the competency of Malaysian doctors in making the right diagnosis and prescribing the right medications. Retracting dispensing rights from clinicians therefore, will not solve the underlying problem. Our doctors might still be issuing the right medications but for the wrong diagnosis. In the end, a dispensing pharmacists will still end up supplying the patient with a medication of the right dosage, right frequency but for the wrong indication.

    medical doctors in malaysia 120106Patient safety therefore begins with the production of competent medical graduates. The problem lies in the fact the same universities producing medical doctors are usually the same institutions producing pharmacists. It is really not surprising, since the basic sciences of both disciplines are quite similar. Therefore, if the doctors produced by our local institutions are apparently not up to par, can we expect the pharmacy graduates who learnt under the same teachers to be much better in their own right?

    Among other remedial measures, my personal opinion is that the medical syllabus of our local universities is in desperate need for a radical review. There is a pressing need for a greater emphasis on basic and clinical pharmacology. At the same time, the excessive weightage accorded to para-clinical subjects like public health and behavioral medicine need to be trimmed down to its rightful size. Lastly, genuine meritocracy in terms of student intake, as opposed to ‘meritocracy in the Malaysian mould’, will drastically improve the final products of our local institutions.

    MOH’s own backyard needs cleaning

    Healthcare provision in Malaysia has undergone radical waves of change during the Chua Soi Lek era. The most sweeping changes seem to affect the private sector much more than anything else. The Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act typifies MOH’s obsession with regulating private medical practice as though all doctors are under MOH’s ownership and leash.

    An analyst new to Malaysian healthcare might be forgiven for having the impression that the Malaysian Ministry of Health is currently on a witch hunt in order to make private practice unappealing and unfeasible in order to reduce the number of government doctors resigning from the civil service.

    Regardless of MOH’s genuine motives, it must be borne in mind that private healthcare facilities only serve an estimated twenty percent of the total patient load in the whole country. The major provider of affordable healthcare is still the Ministry of Health and probably always will be.

    Targeting private healthcare providers therefore, will only create changes in a small portion of the population. Overhauling the public healthcare services conversely, will improve the lot of the remaining eighty percent of the population.

    medicine health pills and tablets and capsulesAt present, the healthcare services provided by the Malaysian Ministry of Health are admittedly among the most accessible in the world. The quality of MOH’s services however, leaves much to be desired. Instead of conceiving ways and means to make the private sector increasingly unappealing to the frustrated government doctor, the MOH needs to plug the brain drain by making the ministry a more rewarding organisation to work in.

    The MOH needs to clean up its own messy backyard first before encroaching into the private practitioners’.

    The prescribing-dispensing issue should hardly be MOH’s priority at the moment. I can effortlessly think of a list of issues for the MOH to tackle apart from retracting the right of clinicians to dispense drugs.

    Private laboratories are conducting endless unnecessary tests upon patients and usually at high financial cost despite their so-called ‘attractive’ packages. In the process, patients are parting with their hard-earned money for investigations that bring little benefit to their overall well- being.

    Mildly ‘abnormal’ results with little clinical significance result in undue anxiety to patients. More often than not, such tests will result in further unnecessary investigations. The MOH needs to regulate the activities of these increasingly brazen and devious laboratories.

    Potentially lethal procedures

    Medical assistants trained and produced by the MOH’s own grounds are running loose and roaming into territories that are far beyond their expertise. It is not uncommon to find patients who were on long-term follow up under a medical assistant for supposedly minor ailments like refractory gastritis and chronic sorethroat.

    A few patients with such symptoms turned up having advanced cancer of the stomach and esophagus instead. The medical assistants – who for years were treating them with antacids and multiple courses of antibiotics – failed to notice the warning signs and red flags of an occult malignancy.

    They were not trained in the art of diagnosis and clinical examination but were performing the tasks and duties of a doctor. There is no doubt that the role of the medical assistant is indispensable in the MOH. Just as a surgeon would not interfere with the role of an oncologist, medical assistants too must be aware of the limits of their expertise. MOH will do well to remember the case of the medical assistant caught running a fully-fledged surgical clinic in Shah Alam in late 2006.

    refugees in malaysia 130207 medicalAdulterated drugs with genuine risks of lethal effects are paddled openly at roadside stalls and night markets. They are extremely popular among folks from all strata of society who rarely admit to the use of such toxins to their physicians. It is possible and highly probable that many unexplained deaths taking place each day are in some way related to the rampant use of such preparations.

    Non-medical personnel are performing risky and potentially lethal procedures daily without the fear of being nabbed by the authorities. These are mostly aesthetic procedures. Mole removals, botulinum toxin injections and even blepharoplasty are carried out brazenly by unskilled personnel and usually in the least sterile conditions.

    It makes a mockery of the plastic surgeon’s years of training but above all, proves that the MOH is indeed barking up the wrong tree in its obsession to retract the dispensing privileges of medical practitioners.

    Get priorities right

    In summary, a patient’s health is affected by many factors – a doctor’s aptitude is merely one step in a torrent of events. The health seeking behavior of patients play an imperative role in the final outcome of one’s own health.

    Most harm to patients can only occur as a result of unidentified minor errors in the management flowchart of a patient. If allowed to accumulate, such errors converge as a snowball that threatens the long term outcome of an ill person.

    There are a multitude of other clinical errors apart from prescribing and dispensing, some of which are not at all committed by trained medical staff. The MOH must get its priorities right by first overhauling an increasingly overloaded public healthcare service.

    Lastly, the difference between a drug and a poison is the dose. A toxin used in the right amount for the right condition is an elixir. A medication used in the wrong dosage and for the wrong indication is lethal poison.


    PRODUCT OF THE SYSTEM is the pseudonym of a doctor in government service.

    Read this: Apartheid Myanmar Buddhist Chauvinistic SPDC

    Read this: Apartheid Myanmar Buddhist Chauvinistic SPDC

     I just heard on the Democratic Voice of Burma about reports of obstructing, confiscating and insulting of SPDC Military authorities to the Burmese Muslims rice doners from Daunt Tan Mosque.

    •  Those Burmese Muslims were just only trying to distribute rice bags to the cyclone victims.
    • SPDC authorities stopped them and told them that INDIANS are not allowed to donate personally to the victims.
    • They confiscated all the donations and said they, military authorities themselves would distribute (donate) to the victims.

     What a sparrow mind they have!

     There are reports that even ‘part of the international aids’ only are labeled as donations from the generals and distributed to the refugees.

    • Please notice that ‘part of the international aids’ only reached the victims.
    • Wives of the generals are rumored to keep the best and each and every level of military authorities would take the rare chance to choose what they want, some for use and some for resale.

    Myanmar/Burmese roots is the mixture of_

    1. Pyu (Hindu-Indians)
    2. Kan Yan (Tibeto-Burmans, migrants from China, Yanze/Yellow River area.)
    3. Thet (Sino-Shan migrants from Yunnan)

    SPDC Generals are all mixed blooded early migrants and they are shamelessly practicing Apartheid system in Myanmar.


    Please read this letter to the Malaysiakini by Kin Kok Low, Let me tell you about ‘brain drain’


    I was born in 1949 in Penang when the white men were still the colonial masters of Malaya. During that time there were only two types of people – the British who were the imperial masters and Malayans of different ethnic backgrounds who were the ‘ruled’. We called the British ‘Sir’ or ‘Tuan’ – in our own country! My dad worked for Sime Darby (owned by the British then). He was ‘exploited’ by the boss. He retired after 35 years with the company with very little savings.

    I grew up in a slum area in Penang (Dato Keramat Road). Next to our slum was a Malay kampung. We little boys knew we (the Chinese and Malays) were different. But not that much different. We played football, flew kites and catched peacock fish together. We had our little boys fight but our parents never come out with a parang or kung fu knives to kill each other. A few days later we again played tops or badminton together.

    To cut the story short, I was fortunate to attend my secondary education at the Penang Free School, passed my HSC and given a state scholarship (the chief minister that time was Dr Lim Chong Yew) to study economics at the University of Malaya. My second day at UM was May 13, 1969. Suddenly, we (Malay and Chinese students) found we were very different. We became suspicious of each other. We gathered in ethnic groups. My childhood friend, Adenan was a clerk working for the HSBC bank. But we were still friends. Our naive minds could not understand why the Malays and Chinese could not live together like Adenan and me.

    I graduated and did not take up teaching as required by my scholarship. But I paid back the scholarship money to the government. I joined Malayawata and later in 1975 the Chase Manhattan Bank. During this period I saw the impact of the NEP, the separation of Malaysians based on race, religion, colour and political affiliation. It pained me to see all these. I was a fifth-generation of Chinese Malaysian. My roots were in Malaysia. Malaysia was the country I was brought up and thought I had a future in.

    China was not an option for me. I was poor like my Malay friend in Dato Keramat Road. Why discriminate based on race? Why not discriminate bases on social class? There are rich and poor Malays. Likewise there are rich and poor non-Malays. Why can a rich Malay kid receive support (scholarship, allowed to go to university) while a poor non-Malay kid is not given the opportunity? I was born a Malaysian and Malaysia was my country. There was no other country.

    I got married and have two wonderful children. Both my wife and I had very successful careers. By 1989, we could experience the intensity of the separation of the races with the onslaught of the NEP. I still have many Malay and Indian friends. In 1989 we decided – for the sake of our children – that we need to go out to have a look at other countries. China was not in our mind as a place we wanted to emigrate. We came to Australia. We all like it.

    The good thing about Australia is that when you first meet the immigration officer he says, ‘Welcome to Australia’. The customs officer did not hustle us. We looked at some of the schools for our children. The teachers welcomed our children even though we had not registered them. We went to the government departments and people lined up. There is no ‘cutting the line’. All are served irrespective of their race and the government officer even smiles!

    We returned to Malaysia and applied for Australian permanent residency. In 1992, my wife and I left our two very wonderful jobs and with our teenaged children, emigrated to Australia. The first year was a struggle for me as I could not find job. In 1992, Australia had the recession it needed to have. I subsequently found a job and career. Our kids went to school, to university (both received scholarships) and both are now successful bankers. I am still working at 59. I work for a US company.

    For our Australian operations we have a country manager who is a French Australian, a general manager who is Anglo Saxon Australian and a finance manager who is an Indian from South Africa. I am the human resources manager and I am ethnically, Chinese. I have an American and a white Australian reporting to me. We have more than 20 different ethnic groups working in our company. We are very different culturally, religiously and socially. But when we come to work we work for one company in one country.

    Why do I want to tell my story? Because this is the same story of many qualified, experienced Malaysians now living in Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, Singapore and even China. Malaysia is losing very talented people. Talent which is short supply in the world.

    As an economist once said, ‘It is better to have 30% of 1,000 than 90% of 200′.