Two disasters, two responses. Myanmar and China have suffered a cyclone and earthquake respectively that have claimed thousands of lives, but the responses of the two governments have been worlds apart. Myanmar basically rejected offers of outside help and aid with suspicion of foreigners outweighing concern for its citizens. China, on the other hand, quickly realised the impact of the quake was so massive that outside help was needed to bring relief to the millions of people whose lives have been blighted.
Nothing condemns the government of Myanmar more than its totally inadequate and incompetent reaction which is still causing misery and grief. Thousands of people in Myanmar are likely to die because of the refusal to accept aid. Telephone calls by the UN secretary general to the military rulers go unanswered. It is a response that has sapped the Myanmar junta of moral legitimacy. It had precious little before the cyclone after placing Nobel Peace Prize recipient and election winner Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest and brutally denying its people basic human rights. But condemning the junta will not ease the atrocious conditions being endured there. Only the international community demanding aid be allowed in will do that.