YANGON, Myanmar, May 8 (UPI) -- Cyclone Nargis may have helped crack the Myanmar military junta's nearly 50 years of closed-door rule, exposing its claims of self-sufficiency.
The junta largely succeeded in ignoring international pressure during its brutal crackdown of the democracy protests last September, but after the cyclone's devastation, it is left with no choice than to seek help from outside, the International Herald Tribune reported Thursday.
There is still the government hesitation as seen by its slow response to accepting the aid and limiting access to foreign relief workers. But help has begun to reach people in the main city of Yangon and elsewhere in the Southeast Asian country, formerly known as Burma, which since the 1962 military takeover, has remained closed to outsiders.
"Normally they would be saying, 'We are going to stick it out, we don't need anyone's help,'" Zarni, a Myanmar visiting research fellow at Oxford University, told IHT. "That barrier has been broken."
But by accepting international help, the report noted the government runs the risk of being seen as incapable of helping its people.
The most likely place from where a change can come in the country eventually is from within the military, the report said.