Monks from Myanmar march in Cannes Film Festival

AP, May 20, 2008

PARIS, France -- Five monks from Myanmar marched through the Cannes Film Festival crowd on Monday to demand that the Southeast Asian nation's junta allow foreign aid workers into the country to help cyclone victims.

<< French actress, singer and activist Jane Birkin, centre, amongst Burmese monks and other protesters as they take part in a "peaceful march to save Burma", during the 61st International film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Monday, May 19, 2008.

"This is a humanitarian crisis — we need help," said U Uttara, an exiled monk among the marchers.

Singer-actress Jane Birkin joined the monks during their awareness-raising efforts in Cannes. Other activities included speeches and the screening of a short film shot in Myanmar, called "Freedom from Fear."

Birkin said the march's message was: "Let us in, and let us help."

"Please, otherwise there will be 300,000 people that will die," she said.

Myanmar's May 2-3 cyclone left at least 134,000 people dead or missing. European Union nations have warned the junta could be committing a crime against humanity by blocking aid intended for up to 2.5 million survivors faced with hunger, loss of their homes and potential outbreaks of deadly diseases.