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Aid trickles through to Burmese villages

Latest update : 2008-05-21

Our special correspondent Anaïs Boussat talks about the crisis facing the inhabitants of the Irrawaddy Delta, despite declarations from the junta that a “phase of reconstruction” is underway. Watch the testimony by a political opponent.

Nearly 20 days after cyclone Nargis devastated large swathes of south-west Burma, the government officially declared that the Irrawaddy Delta had moved on from the emergency, to a phase of rebuilding.

FRANCE 24’s special correspondents Anaïs Boussat and Alice Beaumont, who have entered the Irrawaddy area, testify otherwise. “On the first day of the voyage out of Rangoon, I saw that many villages were still isolated, and that any aid that arrived by air was insufficient,” explains Anaïs Boussat. She also said that communications and transport links remain a complicated affair.

In just a half an hour on the water, our correspondent saw seven corpses. “The inhabitants explained that they didn’t have time to remove them because they have other priorities, like finding food and shelter,” she explains.

In Rangoon, a political opponent visiting the Irrawaddy region agreed to speak to our correspondents, expressing his anger with the government. “What the government is showing in pictures and the press, its not reality," he said.

“They have no chance, no homes, no means, no buildings…..nothing. No food to eat, they’re really suffering.”

In spite of 18 years spent in prison, he does little to hide his membership of the NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party, and hopes that in the future a democratic vote can bring his party to power in Burma.


Date created : 2008-05-21