Sixty NGOs and campaign groups in 21 countries will take part on Friday in a Global Day of Action today to mark what they say is the 2nd anniversary of military attacks by Myanmar government forces against the Kachin Independence Army and Kachin civilians, the beginning of a conflict that effectively broke a 17- year ceasefire.
“It has been two years now since the Burmese [Myanmar] Army broke the ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army, which resulted in continuous military attacks on a daily basis and human rights abuses against Kachin civilians. During the military attacks, the Burmese Army targets civilians. This constitutes a war crime. Human rights abuses committed by the Burmese Army documented by the United Nations could also qualify as crimes against humanity,” read a joint statement on June 7.
“Kachin civilians have suffered from human rights violations, including rape of women and children, arbitrary execution, torture, forced labour, mortar bombing, burning and looting of villages,” the organizations said. “More than 100,000 Kachin civilians have had to flee from their homes to refugee camps and internally displaced areas. The Burmese government continues to restrict access for humanitarian aid to thousands of Kachin refugees. International humanitarian aid is still needed for the IDPs through local relief organisations.”
The 60 NGOs and campaign groups—which include Burma Campaign UK, US Campaign for Burma, ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, Burma Info (Japan), Chin Human Rights Organization, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Federation for Human Rights, Rohingya Youth Development Forum, and a host of exiled Kachin organizations—say they are also calling for the establishment of a federalism in Myanmar.
The 60 organizations say there will be peaceful demonstrations, letter-writing and events in various countries across the world targeting respective governments to put pressure on Myanmar President Thein Sein to stop the attacks against the Kachin and commit to a political solution based on the principle of federal democracy and equal rights for ethnic nationalities.