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Local Youth Mark 4th Anniversary of War in Kachin State

By YEN SNAING  •  June 8, 2015

11412118_1014136845297134_4670162355541705519_nRANGOON — On Saturday, hundreds gathered in Rangoon to commemorate four years of conflict in Kachin State, calling for additional support for some 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in camps in Burma’s far north.

The event, called “Concern, Care and Contribute to the IDPs Now,” was organized through an online campaign by Kachin youth based in the former capital.

The group had planned to hold the activities on Sule Pagoda Road and at the Hledan Flyover Bridge and Inya Lake bank, but permission was denied for all three of these locations by the authorities.

Police instead gave permission for the event to be held at a football field in Bo Sein Hman Ward of Rangoon’s Tamwe Township.

Participants performed plays, peace songs and poetry intended to raise awareness about the difficulties faced by the IDP population in Kachin State and about the conflict that restarted on June 9, 2011 after the breakdown of a 17-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army.

Event organizers also raised funds to support Kachin IDPs, who, they report, are living on a budget of 400 kyats (about 40 cents) per day. The group added that the amount is expected to be halved this month as international funding is reduced.

On Monday,more than 70 organizations endorsed an open letter calling on the Burmese government to immediately stop military offensives in Kachin and northern Shan States, to respect current ceasefire agreements and to withdraw Burmese troops from ethnic areas.

They also urged the government to allow humanitarian agencies into IDP camps without restriction. To the international community and donor organizations, the statement requested continued humanitarian support to IDPs in cooperation with local community-based organizations.

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This post is in: People's Voices

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