In early May 2008, when Cyclone Nargis devastated large parts of Myanmar, its then military rulers baulked at accepting outside help to deal with the crisis.
Satellite images established that the damage and human suffering were so colossal as to be beyond Myanmar's capabilities to handle: More than 144,000 dead, 37 townships damaged and 2.4 million people affected in various ways. But Prime Minister Thein Sein, a former general, was adamant that while aid was welcome, assistance was not.
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