hi all, please consider these words from AVAAZ on the situation in Burma,

best wishes

Jonathan

also please take a look at shi short video www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2008/may/09/cyclone.burma.aid

and www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/09/cyclonenargis.burma4


Dear friends,

Staggering new estimates suggest that 100,000 people may have died in Burma's terrible cyclone. Incredibly,

the corrupt and brutal Burmese government has stopped most international aid at the borders and is impeding

the relief effort.

In under 24 hours, Avaaz members have donated over 690,000 Euros (over US$1 million – more than many

governments!) to help Burma's monks provide the emergency relief, through their own networks and monasteries,

that the government will not. Scroll down to see the email sent yesterday with all the details of how we can help,

or click below to help us get over 1 million Euros (US$1.54m) today:

secure.avaaz.org/en/burma_cyclone/15.php
_________________________________________________________

Dear friends,

In the wake of a massive cyclone, a shocking 100,000 Burmese may be dead. More are missing. A million

are homeless. But what's happening in Burma is not just a natural disaster--it's also a catastrophe of bad

leadership. Burma's brutal and corrupt military junta failed to warn the people, failed to evacuate any areas,

and suppressed freedom of communication so that Burmese people didn't know the storm was coming

when the rest of the world did. Now the government is failing to respond to the disaster and obstructing

international aid organizations.

Humanitarian relief is urgently needed, but Burma's government could easily delay, divert or misuse any aid.

Yesterday the International Burmese Monks Organization, including many leaders of the democracy protests

last fall, launched a new effort to provide relief through Burma's powerful grass roots network of monasteries--

the most trusted institutions in the country and currently the only source of housing and support in many

devastated communities. Click below to help the Burmese people with a donation and see a video appeal

to Avaaz from a leader of the monks:

secure.avaaz.org/en/burma_cyclone/15.php

Giving to the monks is a smart, fast way to get aid directly to Burma's people. Governments and internationa

l aid organizations are important, but face challenges--they may not be allowed into Burma, or they may be

forced to provide aid according to the junta's rules. And most will have to spend large amounts of money

just setting up operations in the country. The monks are already on the front lines of the aid effort--housing,

feeding, and supporting the victims of the cyclone since the day it struck. The International Burmese Monks

Organization will send money directly to each monastery through their own networks, bypassing regime

controls.

Last year, more than 800,000 of us around the world stood with the Burmese people as they rose up

against the military dictatorship. The government lost no time then in dispatching its armies to ruthlessly

crush the non-violent democracy movement--but now, as tens of thousands die, the junta's response is

slow and threatens to divert precious aid into the corrupt regime's pockets.

The monks are unlikely to receive aid from governments or large humanitarian organizations, but they

have a stronger presence and trust among the Burmese people than both. If we all chip in a little bit,

we can help them to make a big difference. Click here to donate:

secure.avaaz.org/en/burma_cyclone/15.php

With hope,

Ricken, Ben, Graziela, Paul, Iain, Veronique, Pascal, Galit and the whole Avaaz team

PS: Here are some links to more information:

For more information about Avaaz's work to support the Burmese people, click here:
www.avaaz.org/en/burma_report_back


For more information about the cyclone, the humanitarian crisis, and the political dimension, see these articles:

economictimes.indiatimes.com/PoliticsNation/IMD_issued_specific_and_precise_advisories_to_Myanmar_IMD/articleshow/3016493.cms
www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/08/myanmar/?iref=mpstoryview


www.irrawaddy.org/opinion_story.php?art_id=11836


www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/world/asia/07aid.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7385205.stm