Myanmar junta evicts cyclone survivors

By June 18, 2008

Myanmar (MNN) — Myanmar's junta
government has been quietly evicting cyclone survivors from shelters and
shutting down refugee camps. They're
sending the people home for "reconstruction," but there's nothing
left in most villages.

The government has now imposed
martial law in many areas of the delta affected by the cyclone, and some local
officials are being accused of abusing their authority.

Donor organizations are still NOT
allowed into the villages affected. They are allowed to deliver supplies to an
SPDC (Burma Army)-controlled warehouse in township areas where who knows what
is happening with the supplies donated. There are growing concerns that the government is merely stockpiling the
supplies and issuing propaganda showing distribution.

Vision Beyond Borders' Patrick
Klein says in order to get aid to these areas, "There's a list. For that village, you have to be on that list; you
have to be approved by the village leaders. If it's not (on the list), you're turned back, and any supplies you've
brought for the cyclone victims will be confiscated by the government. I don't know how our friends are getting on
those lists, but they are going in with a team." 

There are other concerns, too.
Klein says  they have confirmed reports
that the army is now shooting survivors as well as raping female survivors. Blockades are up on all roads and river ways
to the delta area to intercept local individuals bringing aid to survivors in
order to extort money from them.

Vision Beyond Borders' team arrives in Myanmar tomorrow. Continue
to pray that the Lord would intervene so that the team can reach those needing
help. The team sent ahead two
containers: one is full of medicine, the
other is full of food. They're also
taking in 15 duffel bags with medication, water purification tablets, clothes
and money. 

Aside from providing the physical
help, they'll also be living their faith. Klein says during his last trip, the team got
the chance to talk about Christ and share their testimony.  

The response was overwhelming. "I've
never seen the people cling to every word. They were desperate for hope. That's what we want to do is bring them not
just the supplies. That's the secondary thing. But we are trying to get the
Gospel to these people because we know that there's a lot of people that could
die as a result of this catastrophe, but we want to give them the hope that is
in Jesus Christ."


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