Here in Italy, I receive more and more fragmented information about what is happening in Burma. Unfortunately, even the news from the mass media is dwindling whereas the current situation in Burma should draw our outmost support and attention.
Recent assessments report over 100.000 deaths without considering the epidemic diseases spreading in the affected area. Despite that, the military junta continues to delay humanitarian aid and dispatches.
Cyclone Nargis hit Burma almost three weeks ago. Rescuers still need to negotiate with the MFA and local authorities to enter the country because the military junta imposes severe restrictions on all humanitarian foreign agencies. We have to treat this cause seriously. As a parent, it is particularly disturbing for me to learn that there are over 30.000 kids starving without any help.
If the international community does not act promptly, we will all be responsible for not having done enough to avoid this umpteenth disaster.
I am sitting at home, deeply moved by the plight of the Burmese people. I wonder what could be done from here to help them. It is difficult from so far way, but I would like to extend my encouragement and solidarity to those unfortunate people. I am close to you all during these moments of suffering.
Who could remain untouched by a tragedy that involves these innocent people, children, survivors of the rage of the cyclone that are now starving, dying and consumed by dysentery and the never-ending rain and cold.
We have to commit ourselves to do whatever we can to leave no stone unturned.
While survivors threatened by diseases wait for help, health operator teams ready to intervene are prevented from helping by the regime. Despite the international mobilization and the efforts of the people based in the area, it is extremely difficult to overcome the crisis.
Our support is a well-deserved reward for their perseverance and outstanding courage.
Survivors, most of whom wounded, need immediate basic assistance i.e. clean water, shelters and food. It is a fact that the cyclone has reduced to the extreme a country already on its knees from so many years of military dictatorship.
I know that the Burmese are courageous people who are now fighting against woe and adversity with strength and dignity that has deeply moved the entire world. My heart is truly with them. I am sure that in these moments of sorrow they have found the strength to carry on. We should not abandon them. They deserve our support. In this way we can make them feel that we are by their side.
I urge the Burmese military junta to let the international humanitarian agencies and the United Nations enter the country to carry on a fast and steady humanitarian intervention in order to save innocent lives and to avoid any further suffering for them.
I also urge the Burmese military junta to release Peace Noble Laureate and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has been kept prisoner for most of the last 18 years.
Roberto Baggio and Vittorio Petrone