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Take Action: End the Humanitarian Crisis in Kachin State

Kachin Activist in DC © USCB

Join the Global Actions!

On 9 June it will have been a full year since the fighting in Kachin State began. While the current government of Burma is engaging in ceasefires negotiations with some ethnic groups, the people of Kachin State are left in distress and urgent need of aid.

Human rights violations committed by Burma Army soldiers against civilians living in the conflict area are commonplace and have shown no signs of abating. Villages are burnt, women raped, civilians tortured and killed. Fighting occurs every day and has recently intensified. There are currently around 75,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), living in squalid conditions with nowhere to go and no access to assistance from local or international aid organizations.

While the last year saw some positive developments in Burma, it also saw the intensification of the armed conflict and worsening of human rights violations in Kachin State. To ensure that the international attention given to recent changes doesn’t overshadow and marginalize the urgent need to support and help the Kachin people, Kachin groups and communities around the world invite you to take the following actions to urge President Thein Sein to immediately put an end to the humanitarian crisis, raise awareness within the international community and express support for the Kachin people. Kachin groups worldwide will focus their actions during the week of 7 – 14 June, while people inside Burma will be organizing solidarity events throughout the month.

Click here to see details of events being organized around the world.

Proposed Actions

  • Join the 44 organizations, communities and networks from all around the world that already endorsed the letter to President Thein Sein from Kachin community groups by replying to info@burmapartnership.org before Monday 4 June. Print and deliver the final letter to the Burmese Embassy or Consulate in your country.
  • Organize a protest or event to raise awareness about the situation in Kachin State. Events have already been confirmed in Indonesia, Thailand, Switzerland, United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Issue a press release and/or circulate information about your action through listservs, social networking sites (such as Facebook and Twitter) and comments on blogs.
  • Send us the details of your planned action, and afterwards, send us pictures, press releases, links to blog posts, etc. This information will be gathered in a feature on our website to show our collective efforts and solidarity.

Online Actions

  • Sign a petition calling on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to not suspend sanctions on Burma without putting safeguards in place to prevent American businesses from fueling human rights abuses on Change.org.
  • Tell USAID Administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah, to urgently provide lifesaving aid to Kachin IDPs by signing the online letter on US Campaign for Burma’s website.
  • Donate to help Kachin refugee children on Burma Campaign UK’s website.
  • Join the Facebook campaign “Displaced But Not Forgotten 365” organized by the Oxford Burma Alliance to raise awareness about the current situation affecting IDPs in Burma.

Tools

  • A compilation of photos you can use during your event, click here
  • A list of contacts of local Kachin organizers in your respective areas, click here

Confirmed Actions

Bangkok, Thailand

Protesters deliver letter to President Thein Sein to an Embassy officialOn 5 June, around 40 people staged a protest at the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok to criticize the ongoing armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Kachin State. The protesters, members of the Kachin community in Bangkok and representatives from the Overseas National Students of Burma, read out a statement and the text of the letter addressed to President Thein Sein calling for an end to the crisis situation. An official from the Embassy met the protesters and accepted the letter. See the press release and photos here.

 

 

On June 8, a press conference was organized at the FCCT in Bangkok for the release of a new report by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand “Ongoing Impunity, Continued Burma Army Atrocities Against the Kachin People” and to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis that Kachin people are facing since one full year.

Ahead of the Press Conference a diplomatic briefing took place at the Swedish Embassy.

See Photos here

 

Rangoon, Burma

Kachin Peace Network eventThe Kachin Peace Network is organizing a “Heart-to-Heart” discussion in Rangoon on 9 June from 1 to 3pm at Doe Yoe Yar Restaurant, Shwe Gone Daing. Click on the flyer to the left for more information.

 

 

 

 
Five journalists will have an exhibition of their work at the Royal Rose (Thiri Hall) in Shwe Gone Daing, Rangoon from June 9-11. Click on the flyer to the left for more information.

 

 

 

 

MyitKyina, Burma

On June 9, around 2000 youths gathered to mark the one year anniversary of the fighting between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army. See Photos here.

 

 

 

 

Makati, Philippines

Free Burma Coalition-Philippines (FBC-P) as the group together with other solidarity activists from the Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) staged a public demonstration today in front of the Burma embassy in Makati City, Philippines in line with the international celebration of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s 67th birthday and call to end humanitarian crisis in Kachin State and sectarian-violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Arakan.

See photos here.

 

United States

On June 9, Kachin communities held prayer all around the country in Michigan, Atlanta in Georgia, Philadelphia, Illinois, San Francisco and Kachins in Jacksonville, Florida held a candle light service to mark the one year anniversary of the resumed conflict in Kachin State.

See Photos here.

 

 

Ottawa, Canada

On June 8, an advocacy team comprising representatives of the Kachin Community of Canada, Canadian Friends of Burma and Inter Pares visited the Canadian Parliament where they were received by the Assistant Deputy Speaker. In the afternoon, they visited the Department of Foreign Affairs and the International Trade and Canadian International Development.

In all meetings, the importance of the urgent assistance needed for Kachin IDPs were discussed. Officials assured that they would follow up on the issue with international organizations such as the World Food Program (WFP) and the Red Cross that are present in Burma for immediate assistance. See Photos here.

 

Stockholm, Sweden

Matt @ seminarOn 1 June, the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights and the Swedish Burma Committee organized the seminar entitled, “The limits of Burma’s recent reforms – the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Kachin State.” During the seminar Matthew F. Smith, the author of Human Rights Watch’s latest report Untold miseries – Wartime abuses and forced displacement in Kachin State, talked about the serious abuses committed in Kachin State and the blockage of humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of displaced civilians in Kachin state. Around 30 people attended the seminar.

 

Geneva, Switzerland

The committee members of the Swiss-Burma Association visited the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations in Geneva to deliver the urgent call to end the humanitarian crisis in Kachin State. The letter to President Thein Sein was given to the reception of the Mission as Mr. Maung Wao, Ambassador, could not receive them.

New Delhi, India

On June 9, around 80 Kachin and activists from Burma joined a protest at the Burmese Embassy in New Delhi to call for an end to the ongoing war in Kachin State.

Protesters delivered the text of a letter addressed to President Thein Sein calling for an end to the humanitarian crisis.

See photos here

 

 

London, United Kingdom  

On June 8, Kachin people and activists from Burma joined a protest at the Burmese Embassy in London to call for an end to the humanitarian crisis in Kachin State.

See photos here

 

 

 

Canberra, Australia

On June 8, 50 Kachin and Karen people from Sydney, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga and Brisbane gathered in front of the Burmese Embassy in Canberra. Kachin representatives gave speeches outlining the current and ongoing human rights violations occurring in Kachin State. Embassy representatives did not accept the letter.

See photos here.

 

 

Odense, Denmark

On June 9, the Kachin Community of Denmark organized a demonstration in Odense calling for and end to the humanitarian crisis in Kachin State, Burma 

See photos here and video here

 

 

 

Hong Kong

On June 12, the Hong Kong Coalition for a Free Burma gathered at the Burmese Consulate in Hong Kong to hand over the letter to President Thein Sein calling for an end to the humanitarian crisis. Nobody from the Consulate came to take the letter.

See photos here

 

 

 

Tokyo, Japan

On June 8, Kachin people and activists from Burma joined a protest at the Burmese Embassy in Tokyo to call for an end to the humanitarian crisis in Kachin State.

See photos here.