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July 30, 2011

Myanmar Tragedy Continues To Unfold

After a few weeks of dealing with the destruction of a cyclone Myanmar is trying to find a way to rebuild. With a government that was slow to react and allow aide into survivors, Myanmar is a country in pain. With over 130,000 people dad and over 2 million people homeless, turning away help the way that the ruling junta did seems down right despicable. However now that it is clear that Myanmar can not reconstruct their country by themselves and some foreign aide is being allowed in now.

Myanmar was one a very fertile area where food was plentiful. However, the cyclone wiped out crops and will prevent farmers from planting again immediately. Rice fields are completely wiped out in Irrawaddy Delta, the area of Myanmar that produces 60% of their rice crop. Rice is planted during the dry season and once in the rainy season. The cyclone that swept through Myanmar’s low lying rice growing region may have destroyed 200,000 tons of rice. Fortunately the government has a stock pile of rice that can save the citizens of Myanmar from starving. The only catch is that it will have to be hand delivered.

This is where the help of other nations can be sued. If Myanmar intends to save the people hat survived the cyclone and prevent them from starving they need to get help from every nation that is willing. Surely an international gathering of workers and supplies can help get the rice to the starving masses. This is no time to be picky or to keep foreigners out. This is the time to let helping hands in and allow them to help save lives.

In addition to the loss of the rice crops, Myanmar has also lost many of it’s working animals. Water buffalo also suffered major casualties in the storm. Carcasses of the animals can be found throughout the delta’s river. This decrease in rice production is extremely bad news because rice is the staple food of Myanmar.

To add to the trouble of Myanmar rice growers, the land that they plant on was completely soaked by flooding. It will be some time before planters will be able to grow rice in those fields again. Myanmar and its farmers will need help to make it through the next few months.

Of course, the ruling junta is still refusing aide workers. While they have realized that they will need food from other countries the government is still reluctant to allow foreigners in. Since the end of British rule in 1948 Myanmar, or Burma, foreigners have not been welcomed in the country. After decades of political turmoil military rule set in. The junta that now rules is not interested in other countries and information is hard to get out of the Myanmar. The past has not been that great between Myanmar and the world but the time for arguing politics and incidence of the past is over. Right now help is needed to save the people of Myanmar and the government of that country needs to take all of the help they can get. Refusal of foreign help equates to genocide.

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