Monday, October 20, 2008

New Report Reveals the Other Side of Post-Nargis Joint Assessment Report (PONJA)

From: Burma Partnership
Date: Thu, Oct 16, 2008
Subject: Press Release on New Report Launch*

For Immediate Release:

16 October 2008

Burma Partnership - National Press Club of Indonesia - AIPMC

Media Contacts:

Ko Shwe (KESAN) +
66 890107015

Khin Ohmar (Burma Partnership) +
62 811 893 126 (INA #)
Imelda Sari (NPCI) +62 811 971930


(Jakarta, Indonesia) Today a report entitled “Post-Nargis Analysis: The Other Side of the Story” was launched by nineteen of Burma’s civil society organizations. The report reveals cases of aid obstruction, human rights abuses, intimidation, and corruption that have occurred in the cyclone-hit region. The post-Nargis analysis report is released today (10/16) in Jakarta because Indonesia holds a key position within both the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations Security Council, and is the host country of the ASEAN Secretariat.

When we studied the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment (PONJA) report prepared by the UN, ASEAN and the Burmese regime, we realized that it failed to describe the obstruction of aid and human rights abuses committed by the military regime in the areas affected by the cyclone. So, as independent civil society organizations, we felt the need to tell the other side of the post-Nargis story by producing this report,” said Ko Shwe, one of the primary sources for the report and a Karen environmental activist who visited the delta in the aftermath of the cyclone.

The report stresses that the description in the PONJA report distorts the nature of the response by the military regime. Furthermore, the report claims that the PONJA report omits reference to cases of human rights abuses, intimidation, and corruption that have occurred in the cyclone-hit region.

It recommends that information on aid distribution and the PONJA report be made available to the public in local language, and an independent system be put in place to monitor and evaluate aid distribution to ensure that the assistance is being provided fairly and effectively within Burma. It also suggests that all parties involved in relief efforts for the cyclone victims, including governments, financial institutions, and international NGOs, maintain maximum transparency and provide public information regarding their activities by adhering to the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Operational Guidelines on Human Rights and Natural Disasters.

“Given the limited access to independent information under the regime’s censorship, we believe our input and recommendations offer a crucial substantive contribution to the post-Nargis recovery,” said Khin Ohmar, Coordinator of Burma Partnership.

The report also urges the international community to consider having independent civil society groups as additional counterparts in the post-Nargis assessment and recovery implementation processes.

The Post-Nargis Analysis report delegation consists of Kraisak Choonhavan, the President of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) and a Thai Member of Parliament; Khin Ohmar, Burma Partnership Coordinator; and Yuki Akimoto, Director of the Burma Information Network (BurmaInfo). The press conference to release the “Post-Nargis Analysis: The Other Side of the Story” was hosted by the Burma Partnership and ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, together with the National Press Club of Indonesia.

Karen Environment and Social Action Network (KESAN)

KESAN is a local organization working alongside local communities in Karen State, Burma, to build up capacities in nature resource management, raise public environmental awareness and support community-based development initiatives.

Tel: +66 890107015

Burma Partnership

Burma Partnership is a movement of organizations and individuals that aims to develop a strong broad-based partnership of peoples of the Asia-Pacific advocating and mobilizing a movement for promoting freedom, democracy and human rights in Burma.

Tel: +66 1 884 0772, +66 1 466 5406

E-mail: partnership@csloxinfo.com, apppb.blogspot.com

ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus

18-2 Commercial Centre, Taman Adabi Indah,

Off Jalan Klang Lama, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel +603-7984 7318, +603-7980 1393

Fax +603-7983 7318, +603-7981 7782

E-mail: info@aseanmp.org, www.aseanmp.org

National Press Club of Indonesia

Gedung Ariobimo Sentral Lantai 4

Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav X-2 No 5, Jakarta 12950

Tel: +62 21 529 09152

Fax: +62 21 2525750

Email: npci_08@yahoo.com

###


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