Finlands Ambassador To Thailand Meets With Myanmar Officials

The Finnish Ambassador to Thailand has met with
representatives of the Myanmar military junta. He encouraged them to allow
international relief agencies to areas affected by the recent cyclone.
    Lars Backström met on Sunday May 11, 2008 with the country’s Health and
Social Affairs Minister, who told him the country’s own relief aid programme
was proceeding well. Officials did not respond to his request to visit the
stricken areas by helicopter.
    Backström said people in the capital Yangon appeared
exhausted and were disappointed with the government’s response to the cyclone.
    He also met with International Red Cross and U.N. representatives
as well as with Finns living in the country.
The Myanmar junta is still refusing to allow most
international aid workers into the country. Officials, however, promised to
speed up the distribution of aid.
Relief agencies estimate 1.5 million people are in need of
aid. Ambassador Backström said the Myanmar junta says this figure is


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