Irrawaddy Burmese Version NewsIrawaddy Burmese Version News
Parliamentary confrontation over the true aims of an intergovernmental organization that had sanctioned the régime; a long-held faith in independence; and the anxiety of letting a large number of aliens into the deltas, which has a long record of opposition to the federal administration - all these could have contributed to the military's reluctance.
Even today, outside parties still need a separate permit to reach the areas most affected by Cyclone Nargis at the estuary of the deltas. It is a hard trip, on bad streets, through a shallow, verdant, water-rich countryside and then by ship down one of the many broad, bay affluents of the Irrawaddy.
And I belonged to a group of reporters brought to two towns upstream of Bogale, the biggest city in the southeast of the deltas - Pyin Ma Gone and Myit Poe Kyone Sein. Hurricane wrecked almost everything they had. and all my buffalo were slain and all my ricseed was broken.
It said that the regime had to grow some substitute seed grain, but the seed was of very bad seed of a small harvest. A year later they were struck by severe flooding, which at least contributed to washing some of the salts out of the ground; then there was a pest of mice because so many of their wild carnivores had been destroyed by the clone.
Though Maung Hla possesses more lands than most others, the possession in a state where the 60s nationalized the entire state is never clear. "The view can be deceptive in the delta," says Andrew Kirkwood, a long-time helper in Burma who now operates LIFT, one of the trusts through which various NGOs channelize their financing for developing countries.
"Now it' s very, very leafy, with plenty of paddy to harvest. He received only one/10th of the amount per head allocated to neighboring Laos, which also has an authority. Up to this year, only 60 NGOs and UN organizations were working in Burma. That contributed to the tragic poverty caused by 50 years of maladministration.
However, the hurricane also had a great influence. "Hurricane Nargis was a turning point," says Andreas List, director of the EU office in Rangoon. "Afterwards, the administration realized it needed help internationally. "Andrew Kirkwood thinks the effects were even greater - that the blow of the hurricane contributed to persuading the army to agree to reforms.
"For my part, I believe that the clone and the influx of aid have actually contributed to the policy making game. This has allowed some confidence to be built between the world and the government," he says. We all expect the federal administration to set its own agenda. "The EU-financed but LIFT coordinated project in the Danube River Basin and in the Danube River Basin was humble but adapted to the needs of the two communities, which are still recuperating from the cyclone's wreck.
They have experimented with different varieties of rices in Pyin Ma Gone, which sometimes yield higher harvests in the sometimes brine. Burmese peasants have had much lower harvests than in other Asiatic lands due to the irregular seed available to them in the past. "There is another fight," says U Hla Min, an authority on growing rices, who works in the towns.
" In the past, bad communications and transportation connections forced peasants to resell paddy to paddy merchants, often at prices well below the current prices. Now they have built up a net from outside to pass on the latest prices in cities like Bogale around all the communities so that they can ask for a better one.
The thing about these deltas was how little they had.