• Aid at the point of a gun

    More than 60,000 people may have died as a result of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and at least 1.5 million are homeless or otherwise in desperate need of assistance. The Burmese military junta, one of the most morally repulsive in the world, has allowed in only a trickle of aid supplies. The handful of United States Air Force C-130 flights from Utapao Air Base here in Thailand is little more than symbolic, given the extent of the need.

  • Burma refuses aid workers entry

    Burma's ruling junta was last night locked in an increasingly tense stand-off with the international community after flatly refusing to allow foreign aid workers into the country to tackle the impact of the recent cyclone disaster. Amid clear indications that between 60,000 and 100,000 people are now dead or missing in the region, the Burmese junta said it was prepared to receive offers of aid from foreign sources, including the US.

  • Burma aid effort poses dilemma for generals

    For Burma's normally reclusive military rulers, resented by their own citizens and mistrustful of the outside world's intentions, the devastation wrought by tropical cyclone Nargis has posed an uncomfortable dilemma at a sensitive political moment. With the numbers of dead and missing now exceeding 60,000, the generals

  • US appeal to military regime in Burma

    President George W. Bush offered to send US naval forces to help cyclone-devastated Burma yesterday as the number of people dead and missing soared to 60,000. Mr Bush said the US, which has long-standing trade and investment sanctions against Burma, stood ready to "do a lot more to help", but that the ruling generals had first to open the door to the US. "We're prepared to help move navy assets to help find those who have lost their lives, to help find the missing and to help stabilise the situation," said Mr Bush, who has been a fierce critic of the regime.

  • Burma in call for aid as cyclone deaths rise

    Burma's military rulers told foreign diplomats yesterday that more than 10,000 people had died in the devastating cyclone at the weekend, as the regime made a rare appeal for international help to bring relief to survivors. The diplomats fear a further 3,000 could be missing. The cyclone, which devastated Rangoon, the largest city, and the rice-growing Irrawaddy Delta, reached speeds of up to 120mph as it ripped through the countryside.

  • Cyclone kills at least 350 in Burma

    More than 350 people have been killed in Burma by a powerful cyclone that knocked out power in the impoverished country's commercial capital and destroyed thousands of homes, state-run media said today. Military-run Myaddy television station said five regions have been declared disaster zones following yesterday's storm, which packed winds of up to 190 km/h. It said at least 351 people were killed by Tropical Cyclone Nargis, including 109 who lived on Haing Gyi island off the country's south-west coast. Many of the others died in the low-lying Irrawaddy delta.

  • PALM LEAF Across eastern and southern India

    PALM LEAF Across eastern and southern India

    Before paper, palm leaf or <i>Ola</i> was the most popular material used for writing and painting in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand and Indonesia.

  • Volatile threat

    Andaman archipelago on alert, following warnings of possible volcano eruption


    In Burma, there are an estimated 100,000 new tuberculosis cases each year. However, despite the crisis, the government is following the recommendations laid down by the World Health Organisation


    One of the Burma's ethnic rebel groups have criticised the military government for pushing ahead with a plan to build a hydroelectric dam overlooking the social and environmental impacts. "They

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