Thursday, May 22, 2008

Myanmar update

The UN secretary general has been stepping up the pressure on Myanmar's secretive military leaders, to open the country's doors to international aid for the two-and-a-half million cyclone survivors.

After visiting the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, regarded as Myanmar's spiritual heart, Ban Ki-moon signed the book of condolence at the Foreign Ministry.

Cyclone Nargis has left 134, 000 people dead or missing, and millions more homeless, hungry and vulnerable to disease.

Ban's aim is to convince the generals to accept more foreign expertise and aid. The regime says the situation is under control.

He spent an hour and a half with Prime Minister Thein Sein, telling him, according to a UN official at the meeting, that the crisis had gone beyond what Myanmar could handle.

Maybe this junta will finally open up to interaction with other nations. Maybe.

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