Posted by George Morrison

It must be the most callous disregard for its citizens witnessed this century for the military government of Burma to give a higher priority to their referendum than to the supply of aid to its people suffering from Cyclone Nargis. Not since Nero fiddled while Rome burned has there been such a studied indifference to the suffering of ones own people by those in authority. But then Nero had some excuse – he was mad! The Military government of Burma can only claim a degree of self interest that must astonish even Mugabe! The refusal to grant visas to countries to land their planes laden with food and drinking water was a particularly callous action, apparently taken out of a fear that it might disrupt a referendum designed to help them remain in power. Such is the paranoia of the ruling Junta that some foreign aid provided to disaster victims was modified to make it look like it came from the military regime, and state-run television continuously ran images of Gen. Than Shwe ceremonially handing out disaster relief. More than a week after the disaster, only one out of 10 people who are homeless, injured or threatened by disease and hunger have received some kind of aid. According to British Foreign Secretary “A natural disaster is turning into a humanitarian catastrophe of genuinely epic proportions in significant part because of the malign neglect of the regime.” Ringed by a horseshoe of high mountains that isolates the country from India, China and Thailand and with a standing army of 500,000 the Generals have a history of being able to ignore human rights. The land is strewn with temples and has 750,000 Buddhist monks but having been ruthlessly put down by the army in a recent protest last August they seem powerless to move the government to help those stricken by the cyclone. When a government is responsible to no-one it becomes a god ruling by fear and tolerating no opposition. But it will fall. Natural disasters will multiply till Scripture predicts the Omega point will come and declares that Christ’s reign will be ushered in and as the writer in last book of the Bible puts it, “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever”. That day may be sooner than we thing. Jesus said that his followers were to be ready.