UN chief visits cyclone-hit Burma

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Burma to try to persuade the country’s ruling generals to let in a torrent of foreign assistance for cyclone victims rather than the current trickle.

Shortly after arriving in the country, Mr Ban said the main purpose of his visit was “to demonstrate my solidarity”.

By the junta’s own count, at least 134,000 people are dead or missing from the May 2-3 cyclone.

Mr Ban was scheduled to meet today with government ministers – including prime minister Thein Sein – and international aid agencies in Rangoon. He is also flying by helicopter to the Irrawaddy Delta, the region hardest hit by the cyclone.

UN official Dan Baker said Mr Ban will meet junta leader senior general Than Shwe tomorrow.

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