US military plane flies aid to Myanmar

May 12th, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by admin  

Bangkok, May 12 (DPA) A US military aircraft left Thailand’s U-Tapao Airbase Monday to deliver emergency aid to neighbouring Myanmar in the wake of a cyclone that has left an estimated 100,000 people dead. The C-130 cargo plane departed the base 120 km south-east of Bangkok loaded with 12,670 kg of water, mosquito nets and bedding.

The assistance, to be distributed by USAID inside Myanmar, is part of an international push to assist an estimated 1.9 million people in Myanmar affected by Cyclone Nargis, which slammed into the country’s central coast May 2 and 3, leaving the rice-growing Irrawaddy delta in ruins.

In what was deemed a breakthrough, the US government received permission Friday from Myanmar’s military junta to deliver the relief supplies, a day after the regime rejected an offer to fly the aid in on a Thai Air Force C-130.

Myanmar’s government has also refused to grant visas to a US Disaster Assistance Response Team to accompany the US aid.

Relief experts with the UN and international aid agencies have received similar treatment by the xenophobic regime.

Myanmar has been ruled by military dictatorships since 1962. The current regime has come under constant criticism from Western democracies for human rights abuses and its refusal to introduce political reforms that would allow a representative democracy in the country.

In September, the military crushed anti-junta demonstrations led by Buddhist monks, leaving at least 31 people dead, leading to a new wave of international condemnation.

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