JAKARTA, INDONESIA - HOLLYWOOD stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt joined forces with Asian political figures in an advertising campaign calling on the region to push Myanmar's junta to allow in more cyclone aid.
A full page advertisement in Indonesian English language daily Jakarta Post on Tuesday by US-based pressure group Not On Our Watch said Asia must pressure the reclusive regime to fully open its doors to foreign aid after Cyclone Nargis.
'Burma's neighbours have the power to help victims who remain desperately in need,' said the advertisement, signed by former and current regional leaders and Nobel laureates, referring to Myanmar by its previous name.
Signatories included former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.
The advertisement said Myanmar's regime is risking thousands of lives by holding out on aid, although the junta has been giving increasing access to foreign relief workers despite its initial refusal to cooperate.
The May 2-3 cyclone left around 138,000 people dead and missing in Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta region, according to the junta, and the UN estimates 2.4 million people are in need of aid.
The junta has refused most offers of Western aid but allowed in a 250-member Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) backed assessment team on June 2.
Jakarta is the home of the secretariat of Asean, which has been criticised for failing to strongly press Myanmar's government to allow full foreign aid.
The advertisement in the Jakarta Post was funded by the board of New York-based Not On Our Watch, which includes Clooney, Pitt and fellow actor Matt Damon. -- AFP