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Kachin groups protest at Burmese embassy

Foreign-based Kachin organisations demonstrated in front of the Burmese embassy in Bangkok yesterday and called for an end to the on-going war in Kachin state.

About 50 protesters from several organisations including Kachin Women’s Association-Thailand, All Kachin Students and Youth Union and Friends of Burma, along with Kachin migrant workers and Burmese activists, joined the protest in front of the Burmese embassy from 10am to 11:30am.

“People in international communities are saying Burma is changing but this is only artificial and in certain sectors. In fact, there is an on-going civil conflict in which people are suffering,” said the event’s spokesperson Hkawng Seng Pan.

“We [believe] the international community should pressure the Burmese government to put the country on the right track to democracy and the government should consult with the [United Nationalities Federal Council] to not only [install] superficial peace but the perpetual peace in the country and also work with the [Kachin Independence Organisation] to bring about perpetual peace.”

The protesters handed a letter addressed to President Thein Sein to embassy officials. The letter provided a six-point summary of their demands, which included calling for an end to human rights abuses against refuges, allowing for the deliverance of humanitarian aid to Kachin state and to allow international and domestic civil society groups to observe peace talks.

Copies of the letter were also sent to the United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma Tomas Quintana.

June 9 marks the one-year anniversary of the on-going conflict in northern Burma’s Kachin state between the Kachin Independence Army and government troops after a 17-year ceasefire broke down. An estimated 80,000 people have been affected or displaced by the fighting.


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