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2008 Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and Different News Report

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2008 Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and Different News Report

Myo Myint Aung( Myanmar), Communication University of China


The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is boarded by China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. It is located in strategically important place. It`s location is between China and India. Myanmar is composed of seven States and Divisions. I will introduce background history of Myanmar politics. Myanmar was unified by Myanmar Dynasties three times. They are Pagan Dynasty (AD 1044-1287), Taungoo Dynasty (AD1486-1752) and Kongbong Dynasty. The British begun their conquest of Myanmar in1824, expanding their holdings after each of three wars. At the end of third war in 1885, the British gained complete control of Myanmar, annexing it to British India. Outbreak of World War II, a group of Myanmar patriots known as '30 Comrades' joined the Japanese forces in driving out the British. Moreover Myanmar patriotic people switched sides in 1945 and aided US and British forces in their drive to Yangon against the Japanese. After the war Myanmar demanded independence from Britain. The British agreed to demand. A constitution was completed in 1947 and independence granted in 1948. On 4th January 1948 Myanmar became independent with U Nu as a Prime Minister. In 1955 U Nu together with Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, Indian Prime Minister Nehru, Indonesian President Sukarno, Yugoslav President Tito and Egyptian President Nasser cofounded the Movement of Non-Aligned states. During the period from1948 to1962, Myanmar had a democratic, parliamentary government. In 1962 the Revolutionary Council took over the state power. In 1974 government established Socialist country with new constitution. In 1988, student-led demonstration broke out and then the State Law and Order council handed over the state power in 1989. Then the government announced a change of name for the country in English Burma to Myanmar. In 1997, the government changed its name the State Peace and Development Council. The government announced a seven roadmap to democracy in 1993 and hold National Convention to draft the principles for the new Constitution. The government declared the completion of the Constitution Drafting Committee`s work in February 2008, and announced that would be hold a National Referendum on the Constitution in May 2008. This is a brief background history of Myanmar before Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar on 2nd May 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit in Myanmar namely Ayeyarwaddy division, Yangon Division, Bago Division Kayin State and Mon State. Nargis was a strong and tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar. It caused at least 84,000 dead and 53,000 missing. Damage was estimated at over us dollar 10 billion which made it the most damaging cyclone ever recorded in this area. I will compare and present western media, the BBC`s report and national state own media, The New Light of Myanmar`s report.

On 7 May, BBC correspondent reported the Burmese military government was facing growing international frustration over its slowness in accepting foreign assistance. The southern Irrawaddy was littered with many dead bodies and bloated carcasses of cattle. A BBC correspondent in the delta said much of region was hidden behind broken bridges and blocked roads. Survivors were desperate for food and shelter while the government negotiated about visas people were probably dying. The BBC reporters were making accusations for political gains such as storm victims were in desperate need of food, clothing and shelter and were suffering infectious diseases on account of the fact that the government had failed to carry out rescue work effectively. They also accused the Myanmar government was accepting through restrictions and prohibiting international assistance, preventing foreign rescue workers from entering the nation, preventing donors from making donation of relief aid freely and blocking donation of relief supplies and forcing the storm victims to go back to their native places. In the other BBC news was reported as "should it be Burma or Myanmar". It said that a devastating cyclone in Burma has killed ten thousands and left many more homeless, but why is the country not known in the UK by its official name Myanmar? The eyes of the world`s media were focused on Burma, yet news organizations and nations differ in what they call the country. On 8th May the first UN flight arrived in Myanmar. It brought much need relief some of one million people who left homeless by cyclone. The flight had been delayed because of Burma`s reluctance to accept help, causing international concern. China, a close ally of Burma has also urged it to work the international community. On 9th May BBC reported that Burma military junta says the country is not ready to accept foreign aid workers amid mounting criticism it`s response to the devastating cyclone. BBC also accused Burma shuns foreign aid workers. An another BBC`s report said that UN says it is extremely disappointed at the slow progress made in securing access to victims of the last weekend`s cyclone in Burma.

A constitutional referendum has been in Burma despite calls from the outside world for a postponement after last week`s devastating cyclone. The BBC also reported that delivery aid to Burma to help cyclone victims have been arriving sporadically, and the UN fears only a quarter of survivors have received aid. New Constitution has been approved in a referendum, according to state-media 92 percent voted "yes" in the ballot. Human Right Watch labeled the result an "insult" to the people of Burma, while opposition group said the vote had been "full of cheating and fraud". Burma new constitution overwhelmingly backed in a 10th May vote widely condemned as a sham. Burma junta has declared three days of official mourning for the victims of cyclone Nargis, 17 days after the storm struck, state television has announced. The move came as Burma`s close ally, China, began three days of mourning for its own disaster, the Sichuan quake. Burma has begun official mourning for victims of cyclone Nargis, as the junta starts to accept limited outside help. Burma has allowed nine UN World Food Program helicopters to deliver aid to remote cyclone -hit areas, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Mon says. Mr. Ban Ki Mon welcomed the Burmese military`s "recent flexibility" in allowing Asian aid workers into the country, relaxing restrictions on foreign relief teams.

Now let `s study the news issued by the state-owned media, The New Light of Myanmar newspaper. The Government of Union of Myanmar issued warning to the people as to the severe cyclone



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