Burma to accept aid effort led by ASEAN
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Burma will accept relief led by the Asian countries' association and will observe a 3-day mourning period. Our special correspondents in the Irrawaddy delta bring you exclusive images from the ravaged region. (Report: A. Beaumont and A. Boussat)
After turning a deaf ear to the international community, the Burmese junta appeared Monday to be softening its opposition to allowing international aid into the country to help the two million victims of cyclone Nargis.
A conference calling for aid organised by the United Nations and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will take place in
A joint communiqué by Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the UN, and by ASEAN said: "The conference will focus on the needs of those affected by the cyclone and seek international support and financial assistance for the international humanitarian response to meet the most urgent challenges, as well as longer-term recovery efforts."
The ruling military junta has decreed three days of national mourning, from Tuesday to Thursday. The junta's chief, Than Shwe, has made his first visit to the disaster zone.
The third-deadliest cyclone in
Several ASEAN members, including
Pressure from the UN
For the first time since Cyclone Nargis hit on May 2, John Holmes, the UN representative charged with humanitarian affairs, was authorised to visit the most affected areas in the southeast region of the country.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to arrive in
Since the cyclone hit there has been no contact between junta officials and the UN. Than Shwe has refused three times to take telephone calls from the UN chief.
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