Rights activists commemorate cyclone victims

Jun 3, 2008 (DVB), A one-month memorial commemorating the victims of Cyclone Nargis was held by the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network in Irrawaddy’s Bassein and Bogalay townships yesterday.

HRDP member U Myint Aye told DVB the group had organised a meal for monks in Bogalay and Bassein to make merit for those who lost their lives and had donated 100 robes on behalf of cyclone victims to monks in each town.

"Our group members are organising the commemorations in Bogalay and Bassein township at the same time to make merit and give religious support to the victims killed by Cyclone Nargis," said U Myint Aye.

"We are also doing this to provide moral support to the victims’ families."

Tens of thousands of people were killed and large areas of the Irrawaddy delta and Rangoon division left devastated by the cyclone, which hit Burma on 2 May.

Myint Aye said the HRDP also denounced the remarks made in mid-May by general Thein Sein, prime minister of Burma and head of the cyclone relief effort, claiming that the initial disaster relief phase had ended and it was time for reconstruction and development projects.

"I don’t understand the basis for [Thein Sein's] remarks about the relief work being complete," he said.

"They should first take care of the dead bodies of the victims killed one month ago which are still floating around in rivers and creeks."

Reporting by Aye Nai

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