The View from the Front

This article yesterday in the Seattle times tells about the struggle refugees are having making ends meet in the recession economy and how the budget cuts are impacting them here in Washington State.  I took some time to read the comments that followed the article, and was made aware of how great some of the hostility is that people hold towards not just illegal immigrants, but also towards those our government has invited to be here.  While I understand financial frustation, and fear that your piece of an ever-shrinking pie will somehow disappear, I am also aware that my friends who are refugees have faced things beyond my comprehension.  The link here is to an article from the Bangkok Post, written by a friend of a friend, highlighting the situation these folks needed a refuge from.

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Global Day of Prayer for Burma – March 14, 2009

The Global Day of Prayer for Burma is an annual event initiated in 1997 by Christians Concerned for Burma at the request of Burma’s democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  Next Sunday, churches around the world are urged to pray for Burma during their services.  See the following link for details:

http://www.prayforburma.org/IDX/Prayer/Day_of_Prayer/2010/GDOP%202010.pdf

For Seattle area runners/walkers, the Run for Relief (a fundraiser for relief efforts in Burma) will take place next Sunday in Gig Harbor….See following link for details:  http://www.chapelhillpc.org/our-calendars-mainmenu-17/special-events-mainmenu-131.html

While the generals prosper…..

While oil revenue goes up and you build a brand new capital, you plunder your nation and send the people deeper and deeper into poverty; health care is neglected, rebuilding after the cyclone is a shell game, and education gets next to nothing…only the generals get rich……this commentary in Mizzima news explains the shell game of the Burmese generals and international aid….so FULL of contradictions!

World Water Day

World Water Day is today, this year highlighting transboundary water, the places in the world where ownership of water rights and the need for access to clean water can mean the difference between life and death for you and your kids.  Check it out.  According to the Irrawaddy, drinking water is still a crisis in the delta area where Cyclone Nargis devastated parts of Burma a year ago.  One of the organizations  working in creative ways in Southeast Asia is Thirst Aid.

What can be done for Burma?

 Benedict Rogers of CSW visited Seattle recently and spoke about what can be done  about the problems of Burma.  He listed ways for people to campaign for meaningful change in Burma:

  1. Advocate for a universal arms embargo to go through the United Nations (US Campaign for Burma)
  2. Advocate  referral of the SPDC (illegal government of Burma) by the United Nations to the International Criminal Court to bring the generals to justice for crimes against humanity
  3. Support the democracy movement’s current campaign for a credential’s challenge in the United Nations to challenge the idea that this illegal regime has the right to represent the people of Burma (UN Credentials)
  4. Campaign for increased humanitarian aid to Burma, particularly to the areas where hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people are struggling with very little humanitarian assistance (Free Burma Rangers)
  5. Increased awareness and international response to the famine in Chin state caused by a plague of rats which have destroyed the food supply of 200 villages leaving at least 100,000 people close to starvation (Chin Relief)

The Change for Burma Campaign is run by Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Partners Relief & Development UK.