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Statement to the US Consulate, Chiang Mai

By Kachin Community in Thailand  •  January 25, 2013

Since the resumption of conflict between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burmese government army in June 2011, it has been the government which has been one-sidedly launching offensives for the past 19 months. This has caused over 100,000 Kachin people, including women and children, to flee their homes and seek safe shelter elsewhere.

During attacks against the KIA, the Burma Army has committed all kinds of crimes, including burning villages, killing villagers, arresting and raping women, and even murdering children. Burmese government troops have not only attacked the KIA, but have targeted all Kachin villagers. As a result, Kachin and other ethnic civilians in Kachin and northern Shan State have been suffering from the conflict.

Instead of engaging in political dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict, the military government pressured the KIA to become a Border Guard Force, and in June 2011, the 17 year ceasefire between the KIA and the Burmese government army was broken.

The Burmese government forces have been using aircraft and long-range mortars to bomb the KIA bases, Laiza and the IDP camps. Because of this, not only KIA soldiers but also innocent civilians have died.

It is clear that the “democratic reform program” of President Thein Sein’s government is not aimed at granting equal rights to Kachin and other ethnic nationalities, but rather at annihilating them.

The US government should not remain silent when the Kachin refugees are suffering. The Kachin Rifles supported the Allied Forces to fight against fascist Japan in World War II in 1941. The US government should not forget this, and should provide support now that the Burma Army is attacking their former Kachin brothers-in-arms.

We therefore urge the US government:

  1. To provide humanitarian aid to displaced villagers sheltering in camps around Laiza and other areas along the China-Kachin border.
  2. To re-impose sanctions which were lifted against the Burmese government.
  3. To pressure the Chinese government to allow UNHCR to set up offices on the Kachin-China border in order to give aid to the Kachin IDPs.
  4. To push for the Kachin issue to be discussed at the UN General Assembly, for the sake of the Kachin people
  5. To urge the Burmese government to initiate genuine nationwide peace negotiations.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Seng Zin + 66 (0) 84 6142 330 
Mr. La Nu Nan + 66 (0) 84 6122 697

Download this statement in Burmese here.

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This post is in: Aid and Development, Press Release

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