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May 22, 2008 (DVB), The National League for Democracy has issued a statement welcoming the visit of United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to Burma and calling for international cooperation to help cyclone victims.
The secretary-general arrived in Burma today and is due to hold talks with junta leaders in the capital Naypyidaw tomorrow.
The NLD said victims of the cyclone had not received timely and effective assistance, and aid workers were facing financial, material and technical difficulties in getting support to them.
Millions of victims are now at risk of bad weather and water-borne diseases, the party said.
"Bringing the situation back to normal in those areas as well as resettling people and redeveloping the environment is a matter of life and death for the future of Burma," the statement said.
"The great responsibility for saving millions of lives, as well as the fate of a country, is not the kind of thing that can be done by one person, association or country alone," it went on.
"The NLD would like to request that the international community, including the UN and Mr Ban Ki-moon, show sympathy and humanitarian concern to the people of Burma and provide as much help as they can."
NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win said he did not know what the outcome of Ban’s visit would be.
"We have to wait and see how much the government can cooperate with Mr Ban Ki-moon," he said.
Nyan Win also criticised the Burmese regime for forcing cyclone victims to return to their devastated villages to vote in the postponed referendum.
"We cannot understand at all the military junta’s decision to force the refugees back to their villages to vote in the referendum on 24 May," he said.
"They should put more emphasis on saving lives than on a referendum which is not even legitimate."
Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw