May 16, 2008

China Earthquake eclipse Myanmar Cyclone !!!

While I was extremely busy this week as it seems work momentum going back to how bad it was about 2 months back. I definitely have to find a way out of this. Life has to take priority over work. I don't think people in society should live to work but should work to live happily. Without it would become like new form of bonded labor. Anyway I am going to type down my thoughts on this in some other posts as this is one of the subjects which has been criss-crossing my mind and thoughts these days.
In this busy week in the back of head thoughts of Chinese and Burmese[Myanmar's cyclone] had been making rounds. I was more than happy when during my course of work this week there was something to be done towards the good cause of helping the Chinese people affected by the earthquake. It seems the death toll will cross all other previous historical earthquake to have befallen on Chinese people except for the deadly 1976 earthquake. I think this time the death toll will keep rising in days to come because of modernization drive that China has gone through over last 32 years since 1976. There are reports coming out of the earthquake affected area that Dams and Rivers seem to have been stretched and could cause more disaster if they break their banks and walls. I am happy for one of my co-workers who returned back safely from the tour to Sinchuan province in China where he was on Holidays when the quake struck. He just had to take round about arrangements as the airport does not seem to be operating any more. All most all infra structure has been badly damaged around the area. Good that it has not affected the facilities which was host 2008 Olympic events. Anyways 2008 Olympics seems to doomed as it has been marred by Tibetan up rest. It's also that during this Olympic record number of people will face the gallows as Chinese lead the world in dishing out capital punishment. If you want to briefly know about some of previous deadly events humans have have braved, go to this page. There have been news of entire generation of Chinese families getting wiped out, part of it contributed by one child policy that Chinese authorities have in place. Among these bad news there are pocket of news like - No damage was done to red giant pandas and to Olympic facilities. Chinese like Burmese counterpart have allowed foreign aid to flow into the countries but have denied foreign personals to come in.
Looking at the Burmese cyclone catastrophe which seems to be outnumbering populous China and Sinchuan in terms of death tolls. Here the government and authorities seems to have utter disrespect towards human lives and fellow countrymen. Indian ocean and Bay of Bengal have been facing violent cyclones recently. India, Bangladesh seems to have been braving them of recently. They have done much better when disaster has struck especially cyclonic disasater. Indian authorities claims to have given advanced warning to Burmese authorities of the Cyclone Nargis but they seemed to have ignored the warnings completely. This could be because poor countries may not have infrastructure in place to taken on massive evacuation to avoid human life losses. At least relaying this message should have allowed agile human race to make their own preparations to save them selves. There are reports that authorities have not allowed even local wealthy and influential people to distribute supplies to the local stranded people dying of hunger and disease in semi nude stage. Local people have been blaming authorities to be hoarding foreign supplies and dishing out mushed and rusted rice to locals in name of aid from foreign countries. Check out this page which talks about plight of Burmese people who have been forced to turn into baggers where alms comes only from authorities. All the UN could do was to suspend supplies when Burmese authorities seized UN aids supply. I think UN should either intervene militarily and led Democracy usher in in future soon if it could not muster the courage to do that in past. Let Myanmar flourish at least to the stage of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
If we do comparison between how things have moved in China and Myanmar during these time of crisis you will see that initially world media was flush with news of Burmese tragedy but soon all over the media there were talks of only Chinese quake. It was all because how the authorities have worked for their people post tragedy. Chinese government much to respite of our Chinese brethren have given wide coverage and have been very candid in reporting the situation on ground. This was in contrast to how China in past have been very close during such events. Remember the recent Tibetan protest and Chinese authorities coverage and reaction. World over there was so much foul talk about Chinese oppression and this time world is going gaga over Chinese authorities effort to save people. I think this time only thing where Chinese authorities have lagged behind is not allowing foreign logistics professionals to take charge of aids distribution and human life saving effort. I think world will surely understand this and allow Chinese some more time as this change has been very positive for human civilization. Secondly Chinese system can definitely be trusted for their know-how in logistics for aid distribution unlike Burmese who have no expertize to handle such mass human saving cause. Thirdly it could be remotely because of Chinese militarily sensitivities. Recently there have been media reports about two[one land based and other under water] huge Chinese missile facilities being uncovered by commercial satellites. If Burmese would have allowed media coverage and aid distribution then things would have been much better in Myanmar after about 1 and 1/2 weeks post cyclone. More media coverage would led to more aid and who knows this would have led even Economy turning for better and Burmese becoming a part of main stream world.
I would love to see reader comments on this. In case you want to know past Chinese earthquakes, take a look at this.


CastoCreations said...


One of the reasons I haven't sent money to help with the Burma situation is the fact that the government isn't even letting aid get to the people. It's SO frustrating. :( And depressing.

I think that China has come quite a ways but they definitely have a long way to go in regards to allowing human rights.

Excellent post.

Anna Rees said...

I have to say that I have also not donated money to help the Burmese even thpough they must be suffering in the most dreadful conditions. The reason for this is that I fear the money or aid will be consificated by the Junta as a way of controlling the poorest people.

Anonymous said...

Good news is that UN general secretary has convinced Junta to allow foreign aid workers just 2 days back. I this will bring a lot of respite to Burmese population who are battling deadly diseases like Cholera, diarrhea and malaria after the cyclone.