Singapore Pledges Additional Funding for IOM’s Ayeyarwady Delta Shelter Programme

Posted on Tuesday, 18-05-2010
Myanmar – Singapore has pledged a further USD 200,000 to support IOM’s shelter programme for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady delta.The donation, which follows an earlier Singaporean contribution of USD 100,000, will go towards helping the most vulnerable households in rural areas of Pyapone township to repair and weatherproof their homes ahead of the monsoon, which is expected this month.

The money will pay for materials, including nipa palm for roofing materials, bamboo mats for walling, and bamboo for structural support.  Each household will also receive a shelter instruction book to help them to build safer homes.

Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in May 2008, killing some 140,000 people and affecting some 2.4 million others in the delta region, much of which is only accessible by water.

“The Singapore Government is committed to helping the survivors of Cyclone Nargis rebuild their lives. Our partnership with the IOM is intended to address the considerable ongoing need for shelter in Nargis-affected areas, and remains guided by the Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness Plan (PONREPP) and the Prioritised Action Plan,” said Singaporean Ambassador to Myanmar Robert Chua.

IOM has already helped over 68,000 families to repair or rebuild their homes in the delta at a cost of some USD 15 million since the cyclone. Other contributors to the IOM post-Nargis shelter programme have included the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Japan and ECHO.

But two years after the disaster, thousands of vulnerable families still remain without adequate shelter, according to IOM Myanmar Chief of Mission Mariko Tomiyama. “IOM is currently appealing for a further USD 12.5 million to meet the needs of a further 50,000 vulnerable families,” she says.

For more information please contact:

Nelson Bosch
IOM Myanmar

Four Thai government agencies to meet on bringing Thaksin back to face charges

    • BANGKOK, May 28 (TNA) — Four Thai government agencies are scheduled to meet Tuesday to map measures to return fugitive, ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra to face terrorism charges in Thailand, a senior official said Friday.

      Thailand’s Criminal Court issued a warrant for Mr Thaksin’s arrest on terrorism charges in connection with the violent Red Shirt protest. Mr Thaksin stands accused of masterminding and funding the violent protest of the Red Shirts which culminated in an army assault and Red Shirt arson in the capital and provinces in the North and Northeast during the past week.

      Director-General Tarit Pengdit of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) said the agency together with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Royal Thai Police Bureau and the International Affairs Department of the Office of the Attorney General will meet Tuesday to plan how to bring back Mr Thaksin, now living in self-exile overseas.

      Mr Tarit also said the DSI will seek arrest warrants for more anti-government Red Shirt key figures next week as concerned officials are now gathering evidence against them.

      Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to the foreign affairs minister, said he had received a report that Mr Thaksin had left France and that he is awaiting a reply from the Montenegrin government whether it would extradite the ousted premier as Thailand asked earlier.  Admitting that it is quite difficult to bring back Mr Thaksin, Mr Chavanond said his ministry would put efforts in line with “righteous process and evidence”.

      Asked about the ex-premier’s plan to sue the Thai government at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, he said it is impossible as Thailand has not ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The International Criminal Court is authorised to rule on genocide, invasion, war criminals and international war and crimes against humanity.

      The United Nations Security Council will not intervene as it is Thailand’s domestic affair, he said.

      A report by the Associated Press (AP) in Podgorica said the Montenegrin government would not extradite or put Mr Thaksin on the track of justice without valid proof or an international arrest warrant. The ousted premier has acquired a Montenegrin passport and stays occasionally in a seaside villa.

      Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic told the news agency Thursday that Montenegro gave Mr Thaksin citizenship partly because of his planned multimillion investments in Montenegro’s tourism. However, the premier said “we have mechanisms to correct our decisions” if need be. (TNA)

No hostels for students of Kalay University (Sagaing Division)

Dear Editor

The rector of Kalay University (Sagaing Division) Myint Swe has borne a grudge against us since we participated in the 2007 “saffron revolution”. Students have since been banned from living in the university’s hostels, which has caused great inconvenience to those whose homes are very far away.

About 60 per cent of the 4,000-strong student body participated in the demonstrations led by Buddhist monks in September 2007, and boycotted exams.

About 1,000 students were living in the 15 hostels that provided a most convenient and affordable solution for those from distant places such as Chin State and Sagaing Division.

At that time, the accommodation cost about 10,000 Kyats per a month including hostel fees of 2,000 Kyats per a month. After 2007, we have had to rent relatively expensive private hostels, forcing us to pay three times the normal cost. There are too few private hostels nearby to accommodate the students, so some have to live in relatives’ homes or and with parents’ friends.

My house is 7 miles (11 kilometres) from the university. So, I’m very tired to attend classes and have to spend unnecessary funds on buses. Moreover, it’s very difficult travel to the campus on rainy days. Many students have similar difficulties.

About 50 per cent of students are from Kalay, 30 per cent are from Chin State and 20 per cent are from Kalaywa and Tamu (Sagaing Division).

Kalay University was opened in 1993 and is located at Koe Mile village, 9 miles (14 kilometres) west of Kalay.

We want to stay at the cheap university hostels and don’t want to have to worry about accommodation expenses. So, we want to urge the authorities to reopen the hostels for students as soon as possible.

Students of Kalay University

Falam, Chin State

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