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Don't Let ASEAN Cover Up the Crisis in Burma;
Burma Needs Massive Aid Now!

When: May 23, 2008  11:30am - 1:30pm

11:30-11:50 Meet at Justin Herman Plaza and set up for meditation march
11:50-12:10 March to Singapore Consulate, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105
12:10-1:30   Meditation in front of Singapore Consulate
Contact: 510 593 4388
Why: Singapore is the chair of ASEAN and a great enabler of Burma's brutal regime. Most ASEAN members, such as Thailand and Singapore, enjoy Burma's resources at cut-rate prices while millions suffer greatly under the junta.
After the deadly Nargis hit Burma's delta region, there was great outcry from much of the world as we witnessed the regime's cruel and dispassionate neglect of the massive destruction and deaths. As usual, member nations of ASEAN kept quiet until they saw western navy ships perched to act in the best interest of the cyclone victims. These are the same forces from the US, UK and France who effectively aided tsunami victims in the same region when members of ASEAN did not have sufficient resources or expertise to help their own. 
In an emergency meeting held on May 19, 10 members of ASEAN said they will make sure aid from all over the world will flow into Burma without any explanation or details as to how this aid will actually make it to the areas of greatest need. They also said they will hold a donor conference -- which France denounced as it ignores the real and immediate need of aid delivery to the Irrawaddy delta area. It is obvious that ASEAN's move is politically motivated. They should have acted much earlier rather than stalling to protect the Burmese regime's ineptitude. Had the welfare of the cyclone victims been their true priority, they would have had this meeting within days of the cyclone instead of waiting until there seems to be imminent humanitarian intervention by western countries. The insufficient and superficial aid operations of ASEAN, still tightly controlled by Burma's military, will inevitably result in hundreds of thousands of more deaths in the coming weeks and the potential of 2.5 million people dying of starvation, dehydration, disease and/or exposure.
We will, therefore, inform the Singapore consulate, the current chair of ASEAN, that it will be responsible for any future deaths if massive aid operations as called for by the US, UK and France are not implemented. Singapore has a responsibility to ensure that the 2.5 million lives receive the best care possible in this dire situation. It must continue to pressure the junta to accept as much aid as is needed in Burma, whether it be in supplies or personnel, and no matter which country is providing such aid.

The question to all ASEAN member nations should answer is:
Is this the plan you would want for your country in the next tsunami?