The Burmese government has insisted that there must be ‘no strings attached’ to foreign aid destined for cyclone victims.
Deputy Defence Minister Aye Myint told a high-level regional security forum in Singapore that the authorities were trying their best to help their people, but no system was perfect.
The military junta has come under fierce international criticism for restricting crucial foreign aid after the cyclone, which killed nearly 78,000 people, with up to 56,000 others missing.
‘You have to understand that every process will not be totally perfect,’ the minister said.
He said Myanmar was now concentrating on reconstruction and rehabilitation work.
But Pierre Lellouche, a ruling party member of the French parliament, who was attending the Singapore forum, said he would press his government to propose a UN resolution that could hold the Myanmar regime liable to be brought before the International Criminal Court.
A French navy ship carrying 1,000 tonnes of aid supplies waited for 10 days off the Burmese coast after being refused entry, and was eventually forced to turn back and hand over its cargo to neighbouring Thailand.
And the Canadian Defence Minister, Peter MacKay, said the Burmese government representative was ‘in a state of denial.’
Rights groups accuse the junta of forcing victims out of emergency shelters and back to their devastated villages - even if they have no homes left after the cyclone.
Nearly one month after the storm, only around 40% of the estimated 2.4m people in need have received foreign help.