Shaken by the scope of the disaster, the authorities said they would delay a vote in the worst affected areas on a new constitution that was meant to cement the military’s grip on power....
The postponement of the vote, a centerpiece of government policy, along with an appeal for foreign disaster relief assistance, were difficult concessions by an insular military junta that portrays itself as all-powerful and self-sufficient, analysts said....
The United States, which has led a drive for economic sanctions against Myanmar’s repressive regime, said it would also provide aid, but only if an American disaster team was invited into the country.
The policy was presented by the first lady, Laura Bush, , along with a lecture to the junta about human rights and disaster relief.
"This is a cheap shot," said Aung Nain Oo, a Burmese political analyst who is based in Thailand. "The people are dying. This is no time for a political message to be aired. This is a time for relief. No one is asking for anything like this except the United States."
May 6, 2008
Cyclone Nargis. Myanmar.