Burma votes amid cyclone

A constitutional referendum is being held in Burma despite calls from the outside world for a postponement after last week’s devastating cyclone.

Voting is under way in most of the country – but has been delayed in the worst-hit areas, including Rangoon. The poll comes amid mounting international criticism of Burma’s military rulers for their handling of the response to the crisis. They say they will welcome overseas aid but not foreign relief workers.

The UN fears the death toll from the cyclone could reach 100,000. The referendum has been postponed for two weeks in Rangoon, the country’s main city, and the Irrawaddy delta, which took the full force of Cyclone Nargis. The country’s ruling generals say the referendum will pave the way for democratic elections in 2010, while the opposition says it is intended to tighten the generals’ rule.

Democracy might not feed people but definitely saves lives and Burma nowadays is the best prove why the dictators must go the soonest possible.


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