Interview with an eleven years old Cyclone Nargis survivor of Burma

If the world were a just place,

the first building project would be

a prison to hold Shwe, and his fellow thugs —
after their genocide trial.

__Joel Brinkley is a former Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for
The New York Times and now a professor of journalism at Stanford University.

Interview with an eleven years old Cyclone Nargis survivor of Burma

Now we are surviving with donation, for food and clothing,
I will try my best to protect my brother and sister by all means
by Mya Hnin Aye

This blogger (Sitmone) found the following interview from MM Thinker

Blog. MM Thinker put a note that he was crying while posting the following interview. This blogger shared his feeling and decided to translate into English for the international readers.This blogger would like to apologize the original source, the Voice Weekly for unable to get permission due to the situation that we all should understand.

“I heard that there was distribution of Rice, but I did not go there as I have no means (utensils) to cook. However, if there is donation of porridge, we would get it and shared among us.” Aye Aye Soe, 11 yrs, Cyclone Nargis Survivor

An interview with a Nargis Cyclone survivor,
an eleven years old girl from
Pan Nyein Village
, of Labutta.

The Voice Weekly, Vol.4/No.31

Following is an excerpt from an interview with Ma Aye Aye Soe, 11 years, who has survived the Cyclone Nargis, together with her younger brother and sister. The rest of her family members and relatives have perished with Cyclone Nargis, which caused hundred thousands death and million homeless in Irrawaddy Delta of Burma.

Voice: Could you please tell us your name as well as the name of village that you have stayed?

AAS: My name is Aye Aye Soe. We are from Pan Nyein Village which is quite a distance from Labutta Town.

V: How many family members do you have?

AAS: Six. Three of us are alive. My father, mother, and a ten years old brother, all of them died during Cyclone. Only the body of my father was found after the cyclone. Also, all of my relatives have perished with Cyclone Nargis.

V: Please tell us the names of your brother and sister who are alive?

AAS: Sister Aye Mya Mon, who is six years old and brother, Ye Thet Kyaw, three years old.

V: Did you go to school? (Before Cyclone)

AAS: No, I was taking care of my younger brother and sister, whenever my parents were (working) in paddy field. Only, the ten years old my late brother went to school.

V: Could you please tell us what actually happened on that day?

AAS: All four siblings and my mother were at home on that day (the day Cyclone Nargis has struck). My mother went to get some rice from my father. (Probably her father was in rice storage). When my mother gets back home, then the Cyclone started. Later our house collapsed due to the powerful wind. Once the house collapsed my mother left us to go and get my father back home. We saw our neighbors started running away after there home collapsed. So we followed them. My brother (ten years old) followed a man who told us that the bridge was still intact,(later found out to be not true) because of that he died. Water rose as darkness fell, and we have stopped running as we did not know where to go. Instead we tried to climb up the trees, but we were unable to reach the trunk of the tree due to powerful wind and high waves. We were almost drowned in the waves that followed the Cyclone. Finally, an uncle from Pan Nyein Village pushed all of us to higher ground. Immediately after that he was struck by very big wave and disappeared. He was found dead next morning.

V: Were all of you (three siblings) together during the Cyclone?

AAS: Yes. We were never been separated. My brother was clinging to my chest while I was holding my sister. We have held each other tight, as we have decided to live or die together.

V: Have you found any villagers from Pan Nyein in this camp?

Yes. Only twelve out of two hundred from our village survived. Only three female survived. Among the children we are the sole survivors. All our relatives were dead.

V: Once you are in this camp, what do you get?

AAS: Rice was distributed; however we did not go and get it as we have no means to cook. If there is porridge distribution we will take it and shared among us. Recently, we receive a daily allowance of 500 kyat (0.5 USD) for me and 250 kyat each for my siblings. With that money we buy food and rice for all of us.

V: Why did you bring your brother to this clinic?

AAS: He was sick since last night. I have given the hydration salt given by the nurse, but he was not getting better. He kept on vomiting and it never stop until now. This morning he pointed some foods, as he seems to be hungry. However, I could not buy them as I do not have money. Now he is getting weak and exhausted due to non stop vomiting.

V: What else do you want to say?

AA: I do not know. My parents and all of my relatives were dead. I can’ think of what should I do next. Now, we eat and wear (the clothes) whatever given to us. For sure I will protect my brother and my sister by all means. I was told that my late brother’s school teacher will come and fetch us soon.

Simple translation – By Sit Mone

Original post in Burmese at MM Thinker Blog

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