Burma's Lucky Escape

How was Burma spared? The closeted nation's military rulers have a history of covering up natural disasters, including a 1984 fire that all but destroyed the city of Mandalay. So when the junta announced in the wake of December's tsunami that fewer than 100 people died in the disaster, international aid groups were highly suspicious. Last Monday, the U.N.'s World Food Programme speculated that hundreds of Burmese fishermen had probably been killed by the waves, and that 30,000 people had likely been left homeless. Yet as the week wore on and the official death toll held, a startling fact emerged: the...

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