Disasters in Myanmar: Natural and Man-made
Listen to/Watch entire show:
The Myanmar government's continued refusal to facilitate aid to its own people has raised a challenging question: would an invasion for "humanitarian purposes" make things better or worse? We update the extent of the disaster and the prospects for international intervention. Also, rescue operations in China where a devastating earthquake has killed 12,000, and Mexico's deadly fight against organized crime has raised fears in that country. Is any law-enforcement official safe from assassination.
Photo: AFP/AFP/Getty Images
China Grapples with Devastating Earthquake and the Olympics ()
In China, some 12,000 have died and 18,000 reportedly are buried beneath the rubble in one city alone after the biggest earthquake in decades. Fifty thousand Chinese troops are part of the rescue effort, which the BBC calls "chaotic yet organized." Foreign resources are welcome, although foreign aid workers are being kept out on the grounds that transporting them to the worst-hit areas is impossible. Mike Chinoy is a senior fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Burma's Misery, Myanmar's Intransigence ()
China has mobilized massive resources to deal with yesterday's earthquake. More than a week after the cyclone hit Myanmar it's a different story. The Burmese government now concedes that 60,000 have died since the Cyclone Nargis struck the Irrawaddy River Delta a week from last Saturday. Resources comparable to those that helped Indonesia recover from the tsunami four years ago are waiting off shore, but they're not getting in. As many as two million people are at risk for their lives, while the government distributes what aid there is to supporters and soldiers. Does that constitute a "crime against humanity?" Would an invasion for "humanitarian reasons" make things better or worse?
- Richard Walden: President, Operation USA
- Maureen Aung-Thwin: Director of the Burma Project, Soros Foundation
- Shawn W. Crispin: Southeast Asia Editor, Asia Times Online
- Maggie Farley: UN Correspondent, Los Angeles Times
- Gareth Evans: Co-Chair, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Drug Cartels Assassinate Top Mexican Law Enforcement ()
Mexico's fight against organized crime has claimed 1000 lives in the past year; 25 police officers have been gunned down since the first of this month, nine of them federal agents. But one killing rattled the country more than any other. Federal Police Chief Édgar Millán Gómez was gunned down last Thursday by a man waiting for him in his apartment. Six people have since been arrested, as President Felipe Calderón urges unity against organized crime. Frank Contreras, who reports for BBC Radio and Al Jazeera English, has more on an increasingly bloody battle.
- Franc Contreras: freelance correspondent, BBC Radio and AlJazeera English
CD copies of To the Point are available by calling 1.888.600.5279.
Engage & Discuss
BROUGHT TO YOU BY