France criticizes Myanmar for refusing to allow aid into country

France criticized Myanmar's military junta on Friday for refusing to allow a French navy ship with 1,500 tons of relief supplies for victims of Cyclone Nargis to deliver the food and medicine directly to the devastated Irrawaddy Delta region by small boats and helicopters. France's UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert said the ship would be in international waters within sight of the Irrawaddy Delta on Saturday, and he warned that the military government's refusal to allow aid to be delivered to people in need or in danger "could lead to a true crime against humanity." Ripert told reporters that when he got up to speak in the UN General Assembly about the government's failure to allow foreigners to deliver aid he was immediately interrupted by Myanmar's UN ambassador who accused France of sending "a warship" to the country. "I had to intervene to explain that it's not true," Ripert said. "It's not a warship, it's a ship on which we have 1,500 tons of food, drugs, medications. We have small boats which could allow us to go through the delta to most of the regions where no one has accessed yet. We have small helicopters to drop food, and we have doctors."