Junta keeps foreign aid out
Myanmar’s military regime dug in its heels on Thursday two weeks after a deadly cyclone, saying it would not bow to pressure to let in foreign aid workers as the UN called an emergency summit.world Updated: May 16, 2008 01:15 IST
Myanmar’s military regime dug in its heels on Thursday two weeks after a deadly cyclone, saying it would not bow to pressure to let in foreign aid workers as the UN called an emergency summit.
With at least 66,000 dead or missing and another two million in dire need of emergency aid, the generals again rebuffed calls to accept the foreign relief workers needed to quickly deliver food, water, shelter and medicine.
As anger boiled over in the international community about the delays, British PM Gordon Brown announced the UN would
convene a summit somewhere in Asia to address the crisis.
"We will stop at nothing in trying to pressure the regime into doing what any regime should have done long ago," Brown said in London. He did not say when or where exactly the meeting would be held.
Hours earlier, the military — which has held a total grip on power since 1962 — made clear it would not bow to foreign demands despite the risk that many more victims could die unless help comes soon.
"We are way behind the curve compared to any other international disaster in recent memory," said Mark Malloch-Brown, a top British diplomat.
"I cannot recall a relief operation where, at least the international response, has been subjected to such delays,' he said in Bangkok.
Earlier on Thursday, the junta announced victory in a national referendum on a new constitution with 92.4 per cent of the ballots. It said the turnout in the vote, held last Saturday with parts of the country still underwater and tens of thousands of people unaccounted for, was 99 per cent.