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12 May 2008

Barrett calls on international community to deliver Burma aid

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West today called on the international community to defy the Burmese government and deliver desperately needed aid to victims of last weeks cyclone.

Although the first US aid flight has now reached Burma the military generals who control the country are continuing to deny access to humanitarian aid workers, despite warnings that aid entering the country is vastly inadequate for the scale of the disaster.

Mr Barrett is calling on the international community to listen to pleas from opposition leader Aung San Suu Ki, who’s National League for Democracy party won democratic elections in 1990 for aid workers to enter the country before the disaster deepens.

Mr Barrett said:

“The scale of the disaster in Burma is already horrific with aid agencies estimating that 100,000 have already died. However, experts say that this figure could rise to 1.5 million unless we can secure clean water and sanitation.

“Unless the Burmese government allows aid workers to enter the country then millions of people will die needlessly. By frustrating the UN’s efforts to distribute vital aid such as medicines, food and hygiene equipment the Burmese government are acting with a callous disregard for their own people.”

“It is time for the international community to take a tough line with the Burmese Government. The self-appointed generals have no democratic mandate to govern and if they are not prepared to protect their own people then the responsibility must fall to others to act.

“We owe our allegiance to the people of Burma not the Burmese government. Further delays in the aid operation will only make a dreadful situation worse. It is vital that aid workers are allowed access to the millions of people desperately in need of help.”

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.