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Better Late Than Never? — Why Now?
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Better Late Than Never?

The BBC notes that Burma to mourn cyclone’s victims

Burma’s junta has declared three days of official mourning for the victims of Cyclone Nargis, 17 days after the storm struck, state television has announced.

The move came as Burma’s closest ally, China, began three days of mourning for its own disaster, the Sichuan quake.

Analysts say Burma’s move may indicate it now recognises the scale of the disaster it initially downplayed, and could be more open to outside help.

Earlier, Burma agreed at an emergency summit in Singapore to accept more aid.

Burma’s secretive military rulers have been criticised for the slow response to the 2 May disaster, which left about 78,000 dead – more than double the number killed in China’s earthquake.

Come on, they are doing it because the Chinese are doing it, not because they give a damn. They are going to lower flags to half-staff for three days instead of collecting and burying the dead or feeding and caring for the living. After 17 days and being beseeched by all sides to take action, they are going to hold a military ceremony.

Two and a half weeks after the cyclone struck, and they don’t even have a preliminary damage assessment – they don’t know, or apparently care, how badly their country was mauled, and how much trouble people are in because of the ruined rice harvest. The winter harvest was blown away and the summer crop can’t be planted because of sea water in the paddies. It will take years for rice production to recover.


1 John B. { 05.20.08 at 1:15 pm }

The flags will be at half mast because everyone is so famished they don’t have the strength to raise them to full height.

2 Bryan { 05.20.08 at 3:57 pm }

I would think they would use any cloth, including flags, for clothes lost in the storm.