My Facebook Thoughts

Thursday, May 08, 2008

You Want To Help, But...

The more I read about the Burma cyclone the more frustrated I get. Tens of thousands of people are dead. Tens of thousands of people are feared dead. The living have no safe food or water. The worst part is the Burma government is stopping the helpers from helping. All I can do is share information I have.

The following is from

In the wake of a massive cyclone, tens of thousands of Burmese are dead. More than 40,000 are missing. A million are homeless.

But what's happening in Burma is not just a natural disaster—it's also a catastrophe of bad leadership.

Burma's brutal and corrupt military junta failed to warn the people, failed to evacuate any areas, and suppressed freedom of communication so that Burmese people didn't know the storm was coming when the rest of the world did. Now the government is failing to respond to the disaster and obstructing international aid organizations.

Humanitarian relief is urgently needed, but Burma's government could easily delay, divert or misuse any aid. Today the International Burmese Monks Organization, including many leaders of the democracy protests last fall, launched a new effort to provide relief through Burma's powerful grass roots network of monasteries—the most trusted institutions in the country and currently the only source of housing and support in many devastated communities. Click below to help the Burmese people with a donation and see a video appeal to Avaaz from a leader of the monks:

Giving to the monks is a smart, fast way to get aid directly to Burma's people. Governments and international aid organizations are important, but face challenges—they may not be allowed into Burma, or they may be forced to provide aid according to the junta's rules. And most will have to spend large amounts of money just setting up operations in the country. The monks are already on the front lines of the aid effort—housing, feeding, and supporting the victims of the cyclone since the day it struck. The International Burmese Monks Organization will send money directly to each monastery through their own networks, bypassing regime controls.

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