Petition calls for aid workers to enter Myanmar

May 12th, 2008 - 7:48 am ICT by admin  

Singapore, May 12 (DPA) Nearly 2,000 people in Singapore have signed a petition calling on the international community to enter cyclone-battered Myanmar with or without the military government’s permission, organizers said Monday. The document, including signatures from Myanmar nationals and Singaporeans, will be presented to various embassies.

“It is imperative to act before many more lives are unnecessarily lost,” said the petition calling for aid workers to enter “regardless of the lack of permission from the military junta”.

Myanmar’s state-run television reported more than 28,458 deaths and 33,416 people missing, but international observers fear nearly 100,000 deaths.

The military government has allowed in some aid but does not want to grant entrance to foreign agencies and experts trained in disaster relief, triggering an international outcry.

Britain-based Oxfam East Asia director Sarah Ireland warned Myanmar is on the brink of a public health catastrophe.

Myanmar nationals lining up to sign the petition said they have not heard from family and friends in the country since Cyclone Nargis hit May 3.

Worker Myint Tham, 49, told The Straits Times that he is “worried sick. I feel so helpless.”

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