An exclusive interview with President Thein Sein about the rapid transformation of Myanmar – a revolution in progress.
By Christiane Amanpour
In Haiti, the emergency phase is still in full swing. Yes, many official rescue efforts have been called off. But the truth is that international rescue crews are still being called out when there's a clue that somebody might be alive under the rubble.
Because of the miraculous rescue of a 24-year-old man on Saturday night, they are not giving up. Hope does diminish with each day, but the rescues haven’t ceased. So they may even pull more people out. I think that gives tremendous hope not just to people here in Port-au-Prince but to people everywhere.
This Sunday, we saw Mass and religious services here and around the country. This is a powerfully religious country. So many Haitians were not just mourning the family and friends they lost, but giving thanks for the survival of friends who made it through and for the resilience and resolve they have shown throughout this incredible crisis.
And now, at last, the aid pipeline is gradually widening and more food and water is gradually getting to people who need it. It’s still not perfect, but it is slowly becoming a much more organized distribution.
We’ve seen signs of rebuilding that will allow Haitians to return to their homes. And the U.N. is conscious that it needs to help put people to work. That will help build a sense of security here - just paying people, so they can keep body and soul together.
One of the U.N.’s plans is to pay people $3 a day to start collecting rubble and get it out of the streets. That might not sound like much, but it's more than the $1 a day most people exist on here in Haiti. Now they can start to get the streets back to normal.
And at the same time, emergency officials want people to get out of the capital city to go see family around the country, whose communities might have withstood the earthquake better than this ravaged city has. We're seeing people leaving town by whatever means they can find – on busses, bicycles, motorbikes, and in cars.
It’s important to know that not all of Haiti has been destroyed. The greatest damage has occurred in this capital city and parts of Jacmel – a cultural capital on the southern Caribbean coast. Leogane, another city close to Jacmel, was also hit hard, and people there are also moving to the countryside.
Many Haitians would like to leave the country altogether. The United States has made it clear in radio broadcasts here in Haiti, in aerial broadcasts from its huge C-130 transport jets, that they are not allowing illegal immigrants to enter the United States. So without a visa, Haitians are being told, “do not come” – you’ll be repatriated. This sounds harsh, but the United States says it is focusing its help inside Haiti, and doesn’t want people to perish trying to cross the high seas.
Still, we see long lines by the immigration offices, by the passport offices, people camping out by the U.S. embassy, the Canadian embassy – all, hoping to leave. All hoping for a future.
By Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.
The government of earthquake-ravaged Haiti must become more visible now, even amid a global outpouring of aid as the impoverished island nation struggles to recover, Brazil's foreign minister said Monday.
"The government, in spite of all the difficulties, should appear more to the people," Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
"I think it's important because after all, they are the ones who transmit the needs of the Haitian people to us, to the international community."
Amorim, speaking from an international conference on Haiti in Montreal, Canada, said it's important for the world to follow the priorities of the Haitian government.
// "We cannot lose sight of the central role of the elected leaders of Haiti," he said. "Haiti is a country that has an elected government."
Amorim was among more than a dozen foreign ministers and leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, attending the Montreal conference. Representatives of many international institutions such as the United Nations and the European Union were also there.
Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will seek a fresh mandate in the upcoming elections in the South Asian nation, but he is facing a tough challenge from his one-time confidante and former Army commander, retired General Sarath Fonseka.
More than 14 million Sri Lankans will head to the polls on Tuesday to elect the island nation's sixth executive president to a six-year term.
Buoyed by the military defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last year, which brought an end to a decades-long separatist conflict, Rajapaksa called the election two years before his term ends. In an unexpected move, his partner in military victory, Fonseka, joined the group of 20 other lesser-known contenders vying to replace him. Observers say the result could be a photo finish.
Fonseka, who won wide acclaim for leading troops to military victory against the rebels, broke ranks with the Rajapaksa administration after he was elevated to the largely ceremonial post of Chief of Defence Staff in July of last year after retiring as Army commander.
After Fonseka announced his presidential bid, the main opposition parties - with widely diverse political ideologies - closed ranks behind him to make him their common candidate.
A Little While
by Edwidge Danticat
My cousin Maxo has died. The house that I called home during my visits to Haiti collapsed on top of him.
Maxo was born on November 4, 1948, after three days of agonizing labor. “I felt,” my Aunt Denise used to say, “as though I spent all three days pushing him out of my eyes.” She had a long scar above her right eyebrow, where she had jabbed her nails through her skin during the most painful moments. She never gave birth again.
On AMANPOUR. today, while international donors meet in Montreal to ponder the future of the relief and development effort, Christiane travels to the southern port town of Jacmel. A popular tourist site and center of the arts in Haiti, the city was hoping for a renaissance with the announcement of the first major hotel chain deal in a decade. That was the day before the earthquake. Does tourism still hold the key to its rebirth from the rubble? Haiti is just one of the stories in our round-up of some of the top headlines this morning.
Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.
HAITI – Will international donors make a long-term commitment to Haiti’s recovery?
- International donors meet in Montreal, Canada to decide priorities for Haiti’s long-term development
- Canada says meeting will lay groundwork for future aid, not seek immediate pledges of money
- Haitian prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive is among the officials attending the meeting, which also includes representatives of the U.N. and other international organizations
QUESTION: Will Haiti’s partners seize the moment and give the country an opportunity to build a new and better country out of the ruins without dictating the way Haiti does it?