Press Esc to close
Tuesday 30 September 2014
News updated at 11:07 AM IST
Weather
Max: 31°C
Min : 21°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day
Breaking News

Help Myanmar

A fortnight after Japan was convulsed by multiple disasters, Myanmar has been shaken by a powerful earthquake, 6.8 on the Richter scale.

The quake’s epicentre was along the Myanmar-Thailand border. Since it was inland, there is no threat of a tsunami. Official estimates peg the death toll at 75 but this could be higher as the damage in interior parts of the country is yet to be assessed. More importantly, Myanmar’s government is known to diminish the magnitude of its people’s sufferings. Comparisons between the quakes in Japan and Myanmar are inevitable and these will prompt many to quickly conclude that the devastation from the latter is not that serious. Indeed, the Myanmar quake is of far less intensity to the 8.9 tremor that rocked Japan. Besides, the horror in Japan was wrought not so much by the earthquake as by the tsunami and then the nuclear crisis that followed. Fortunately, Myanmar has escaped both.

However, this must not lead the international community to conclude that Myanmar does not need help. It does. Its capacity for rescue and relief is minimal as will be its ability to rebuild and reconstruct. Myanmar is among the poorest countries in the world. Its economy is in a shambles thanks to the flawed policies of its military rulers and the impact of ill-conceived economic sanctions imposed by the West. Besides, the country is yet to recover from the devastation unleashed by Cyclone Nargis in May 2008. Around 1,38,000 people were killed in that disaster, the worst ever to hit Myanmar. It is believed that much of the aid that poured into Myanmar in the aftermath of Nargis did not reach the victims but went into the personal pockets of the generals. With this, Myanmar’s junta reaffirmed that they cared little for the people. A similar response from the government now could amplify the damage done by the quake.

Myanmar’s new government takes charge later this week. Although a supposedly ‘elected’ government, it is dominated by the military. How it responds to the quake disaster will be closely watched now. It has a chance to show that it is a responsive and responsible government. Several countries including India have promised humanitarian and other help. The government must ensure that these reach the intended beneficiaries. Inept handling of a natural disaster could prove catastrophic.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A community Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata...

A community Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata...

Cricket legend and owner of Kerala Blasters football team Sachin Tendulkar during the...

Cricket legend and owner of Kerala Blasters football team Sachin Tendulkar during the...

Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha sweeps the office premises as he participates in the...

Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha sweeps the office premises as he participates in the...

Visitors at an exhibition inside a Tram in Kolkata...

Visitors at an exhibition inside a Tram in Kolkata...

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella interacts with the employees during a visit to the company's ...

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella interacts with the employees during a visit to the company's ...

Female Passengers board a train after train services were partially resumed following...

Female Passengers board a train after train services were partially resumed following...

Fire tenders douse a major fire that broke out in a car service station at Sector 14...

Fire tenders douse a major fire that broke out in a car service station at Sector 14...

A road roller crushes a large number liquor bottles seized by the police from the...

A road roller crushes a large number liquor bottles seized by the police from the...

Audience members react as they attend an event with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi ...

Audience members react as they attend an event with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi ...

A painter reacts as he creates a portrait of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi before...

A painter reacts as he creates a portrait of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi before...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523