Toward Democracy, Human Rights and Federalism

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Regime Pushing Cyclone Victims Back to Their Ravaged Villages

Thursday, May 22 2008, 12:36 PM EDT
Dr. Thaung Htun, UN Representative of the NCGUB said, "As usual, the Burmese generals are once again playing a game with the international community. But the game the regime is playing this time amounts to risking the lives of thousands of cyclone victims, especially young children, expelled from urban areas since they are left without shelter, food, clothing, and safe drinking water and exposed to monsoon rains."

National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma

Press Release, May 21, 2008

Regime Pushing Cyclone Victims Back To Their Ravaged Villages

The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) has been alerted about the expulsion of cyclone victims from towns and suburban areas and repatriated back to their deserted, cyclone devastated villages by the Burmese authorities. The inhumane drive by the Burma Army and members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, and Swan Arr-Shin groups started yesterday in Bogale, Dedaye, Labutta, and Pyapon Townships of Irrawaddy Division and Hlaingthaya, Kungyangon, North Okkalapa, and South Dagon Townships in Rangoon Division.

The targeted refugees are those living inside monastery compounds or in their own temporary makeshift shelters near the motorways. They refugees had camped near the accessible areas to receive relief aid from Buddhist monks, local donors, and community assistance groups because they could not survive in their villages as effective aid from the regime or international agencies had not been reaching them for almost three weeks after the cyclone.

The reason for the forced repatriation, which has so far resulted in the drowning of about 30 refugees when a boat leaving Bogale sank, came after the Burmese military realized that it cannot accommodate all the refugees in the camps it was setting up in towns for the arrival of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 22 May. The authorities had been setting up cyclone refugee camps each of which will have 50 to 100 tents or accommodate between 500 and 1,000 refugees. Since cyclone victims number in tens of thousands, refugees who cannot be in the camps are being driven out of sight before the UN top official arrives.

Dr. Thaung Htun, UN Representative of the NCGUB said, "As usual, the Burmese generals are once again playing a game with the international community. But the game the regime is playing this time amounts to risking the lives of thousands of cyclone victims, especially young children, expelled from urban areas since they are left without shelter, food, clothing, and safe drinking water and exposed to monsoon rains."

Given the development, the NCGUB strongly condemns the Burmese generals for risking the lives of the people and trying to hide the truth of the situation from the UN Secretary-General.

The NCGUB also calls on civilized nations to show their moral responsibility and save lives of the Burmese people through direct humanitarian intervention before the situation gets too late.

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