———— We would like to dedicate our Weekly Highlights today to U Win Tin, Co-founder and patron of the National League for Democracy, for always standing up for the oppressed and voiceless. We are deeply saddened Ba Ba passed away this morning. Although he is no longer physically with us, his unwavering righteous mind and courage will continue to be the guiding light and the inspiration for us and for all who continue in their fight for genuine democracy and freedom of speech in Burma.
Just 48 hours after peace talks in Rangoon concluded on 8 April between the government and ethnic non-state armed groups, including the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the Burma Army launched another round of offensives in southern Kachin State against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Fighting has been on-going since, forcing thousands of Kachin, Shan, and Palaung villagers to flee, many of whom had already been displaced in this conflict.
Burma Army soldiers originally used the nationwide census as a pretext to accompany enumerators into KIA territory and launch attacks on various KIA outposts. State media has reported 22 dead due to the resulting clashes but the true figure is probably much higher. Meanwhile, according to a statement released by a coalition of humanitarian groups working in the conflict-affected areas, over three thousand villagers have been forced to flee, many of whom had to leave an internally displaced people (IDP) camp, from which they had settled after previous attacks. Several local news sources have stated the figure of those displaced maybe as high as ten thousand people [...]
Tags: Armed Conflict, Census, Kachin, U Win Tin