Friday, May 9, 2008

Myanmar and the death of Responsibility to Protect (update 5)

I'll leave the final word, at least until Monday, on the Myanmar issue to my colleague and muckraker extraordinaire Matthew Lee's Inner City Press. He blogs like me, but he digs for dirt and finds all sorts of stuff that I would never think to find. I have great respect, and if you want to know what's happening at the UN he'll always have something no one else has got.

That said, it now being the weekend, the Myanmar issue is sort of over for me. I'm a reporter at UN headquarters, so nothing will happen for us over the weekend, most likely, which is good because I'm going to a wedding tomorrow. Which is a whole nother story. I'm young enough — 25 — that when my peers start getting married and reproducing, it's a little jarring to say the least.

Apparently, however, the Myanmar regime feels the same way, because their embassy in Bangkok, Thailand — where most of the aid is being launched from — is similarly closed for the weekend. This is normal for embassies, perhaps, and I know it's been a stressful week in Myanmar — 100,000 dead and all — but especially given that most of the aid workers are still waiting for visas... well, in the words of OCHA chief John Holmes, "closing the embassies on the weekend in the face of an emergency doesn't seem to be a particularly helpful response."

Have a nice weekend, and be thankful you're not living in the Irrawaddy. And if any of you are, I don't know how you're reading this, since from what I hear power, electrical and phone service is still out throughout the delta a full week after the cyclone hit.

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