Friday, May 9, 2008

Even a Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day

so many others, so many, are homeless or dead or without shelter. i really did not take much notice of the cyclone warnings from the state media although they did say it would be serious...too busy running round with a photographer for our next book. now i am careful of batteries in my laptop, but thank god i can send emails. i hope this gets to you.
internet access is not working for my mpt server so cannot do gmail, others who have broadband can. i have no power but everything alright. it was a very scary 13 hours from before midnight of 2nd to after noon of next day. had a slight accident with my car, front grill/lights ripped out, and i am unhurt but rattled. writing this by torch and candlelight.

This is an email from my friend Ma Thanegi, who lives in Yangon (it continues from the subject line "I am all right but") What stands out for me, in addition to the relief that she is unhurt and still in her home is the line "I really did not take notice of the cyclone warnings from the state media although they did say it would be serious..."

I'm not an apologist for the current regime and neither is Ma Thanegi (she spent years working with Aung San Su Kyi and subsequently several years in prison as a result.) But it bothers me intensely when rumors are reported as the truth (the government didn't issue cyclone warnings) when the truth alone is what we are looking for and often is quite horrible when unvarnished.

I live in a country where a natural disaster ripped the heart and soul from New Orleans. It was one of the worst things to ever happen in the U.S. and the worst happened after the hurricane. The core of the horror of Katrina was what was and was not done for the survivors. Let's not obscure the tragedy in Myanmar, with its death count rising higher and higher as different parts of the country reveal their dead, with rumors and political demonizing.

A small amount of money can go a long way toward helping people in this part of the world. You can help by reading the post Myanamar Tragedy that was written after this one. This is the account of writer and Bangkok bookstore owner Don Gilliland, who will make sure that all money goes directly to people in need in Yangon and elsewhere. (You can read his blog at

Please, in whatever way you can and with whatever avenue you trust, send whatever you can give.

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