Open Border or Thousands Die; BURMA DEATH TOLL 22,000 Military Rulers Told to Let Foreign Aid in to Stricken Delta

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Byline: By Ian Dow

A HUGE international aid effort for devastated Burma was still being kept out by the country's military rulers last night.

And experts warned their bizarre tactics were condemning tens of thousands more of their own people to death.

At least 22,000 people have died as a result of a cyclone and floods that hit the country at the weekend.

Food, drinking water and shelter are all in short supply for the 230,000 survivors in the Irrawaddy delta area.

But the military junta, who seized power in 1962, were still stalling over accepting aid.

A UN report said: "Visas are still a problem. It is not clear when it will be sorted out."

Thailand, Singapore, Italy, France, Sweden, Britain, South Korea, Australia, Israel, the US, Poland and Japan have all offered help.

But Burma has so far only accepted aid from traditional friends China, India and Indonesia. Only one Chinese plane carrying 60 tons of aid has landed in Rangoon. …