An estimated 133,000 people are dead or missing in the wake of the cyclone which hit Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta area on May 2. Over 2.5 million survivors are in need of shelter, food, and clean water, and threatened by diseases and starvation. The Military Junta cold-bloodedly exploits the disaster by withholding access to foreign aid agencies. The Irrawaddy News Magazine quotes British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: It is being made into a man-made catastrophe by the negligence, the neglect and the inhuman treatment of the Burmese people by a regime that is failing to act and to allow the international community to do what it wants to do.
The monasteries in the devastated area have become relief centers, according to Reuter’s. Because of the respect accorded to the monks, even the military resists to interfere with Buddhist relief efforts. Rice, drinking water, clothing, and tin roofing sheets are being driven into the disaster zones by trucks which are allowed safe passage because they belong to the monasteries. Avaaz.org accepts donations which go directly to the International Burmese Monks Organization. Unlike other aid forms which could be diverted or delayed by the Burmese government, money donated here is being put to use immediately. Please be as generous as you possibly can.