Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Burma junta's priortity

Why has the Burma junta been slow to grant visas to foreign aid workers? Why does it want to distribute the international aid itself? Brian McCartan at the Asia Times has a theory. He thinks "the junta's control of aid and food stocks may . . . be a hedge to remain in power." McCartan explains:
. . . the junta continues to hamper aid efforts by denying visas to humanitarian relief specialists, many of whom are now stranded in neighboring Bangkok. The military regime has consistently said it wants the relief supplies, but not the aid workers. It especially does not want aid workers who may control the distribution of relief supplies, precisely because that would keep the military from monopolizing the dispersal of the aid and prevent it from channeling it to its own members.
What's the Burma junta's priority? Feed the army.
Hat-tip: Jeg

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