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Myanmar assures int'l community best doing of its cyclone relief work
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Myanmar has assured donors and the international community the best doing of its cyclone relief work, saying that it is transporting all donated relief supplies to the cyclone-torn areas by using the country's own helicopters, boats and motor vehicles, according to a foreign ministry's statement published in Friday's state newspaper the New Light of Myanmar.

"At this juncture, the international community can best help the victims by donating emergency provisions such as medical supplies, food, cloth, electricity generator, and materials for emergency shelter or with financial assistance," the statement said, adding that "Myanmar will wholeheartedly welcome such course of action."

"The government and the people of Myanmar are grateful to the friendly nations, the United Nations, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, private individuals and others for their sympathy and condolences expressed and the kind generosity in donating emergency relief provisions as well as the financial support for relief and resettlement of the victims in cyclone-affected areas," it said.

"Foreign countries had sent with prior consent chartered aircraft loaded with emergency provisions that landed in Myanmar soil without any hindrances or difficulties," it also said, adding that up to date, the country received a total of 11 such charted flights with more are scheduled to arrive in a few days time.

"Currently, Myanmar has prioritized receiving emergency relief provisions and is making strenuous efforts to transport those provisions without delay by its own labor to the affected areas," the statement noted.

The statement clarified that "Myanmar is not yet ready to receive search and rescue teams as well as media teams from foreign countries," citing the landing of a chartered plane at the Yangon International Airport from Qatar on Wednesday with the presence of a search and rescue team on board along with emergency provisions without prior information.

"Myanmar understood that only handing over of donated emergency provisions would take place," the statement stressed.

Mentioning that the aircraft left on the same day, the statement added that "Myanmar highly appreciates the generosity as well as the readiness of the international community including the State Qatar to contribute assessment and coordinate teams as well as emergency rescue and relief teams."

International humanitarian relief aid supplies have been successively pouring in Myanmar since Tuesday from Thailand, China, Singapore, Italy, Bangladesh, India, Japan and Laos as well as China's Taiwan.

Arrived at Yangon by air or by sea were items of tent, mosquito net, power generator, medicine, water purifier, dry potato and pork, instant noodle, biscuit, cloth, zinc sheet, hammer and nail, and candle.

The deadly cyclone, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit five divisions and states -- Yangon, Bago, Ayeyawaddy, Kayin and Mon, of which Ayeyawaddy division and the biggest city of Yangon sustained the heaviest casualties and infrastructural damage.

According to the updated official statistics, A total of 22,997people have died in the tropical cyclone storm Nargis that swept the five divisions and states.

Altogether 42,119 people remained missing, leaving 14,003 injured.

(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2008)

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