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Dispatch From Burma

May 22, 2008

The following is excerpted from a special dispatch provided to the Asia Foundation by an on-the-ground contributor in Myanmar....

Rangoon, May 20 -- I am staying in a house without electricity, and at night I write by candlelight, the battery on my laptop dwindling, draining. In the mornings, I go to one of the city’s high-end hotels for the Internet connection. I want reliable information about the ravaged fishing villages and rice farming communities in the Delta. I seek people out for their stories -- executives, aid workers, doctors.

A businessman who has just returned from the worst-hit south-western part of the Delta in a private boat loaded with supplies, shows me film footage of villages that are nothing more than piles of water-logged timber. Shocked survivors huddle under make-shift shelters, with no access to relief supplies or medicine. Pointing to villages further south, in areas not yet reached by any aid two weeks after the storm, they say blankly into the camera, “Down there, it is even worse....”

Click here to read the complete dispatch -- and here to learn more about the Give2Asia Burma Cyclone Relief Fund.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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