No. 1/2011 (4 Organizations)
Dated – October 7th, 2011
On January 4, 1948, the Union of Burma came into being as a union of diverse ethnic groups including the Arakan, Burman, Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Mon, and Shan. The union spirit was based on the Panglong Agreement that guarantees equal status and equal footing for all the union members.
Unfortunately, the military led by General Ne Win broke the Panglong Agreement and broke the union spirit with the coup in 1962; and the successive military regimes have continued to oppress the people in Burma, especially the ethnic minority groups. As a result, tens of thousands of refugees have fled from Burma to Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and India.
The 2010 election in Burma was not free and fair, and the new government has launched attacks on the Kachin, Shan, and Karen people. As a result of these military offensives, thousands of internally displaced persons have tried to flee to the neighboring country of China. Unfortunately, China, a major political and economic ally of Burma, has blocked the border crossings, and the refugees are stranded without humanitarian assistance on the border between Burma and China.
In response to these humanitarian and political crises, we the undersigned groups urge China to:
1) open the border crossings into China to allow people fleeing from Kachin, Shan, and Karen States to take refugee;
2) support humanitarian assistance to those who flee into China and to those who remain as internally displaced persons in northern Burma;
3) stop supporting the Burmese regime politically, economically, and militarily;
4) halt investment in Burma until the restoration of genuine democracy in Burma; and
5) open up communication and dialogue with leaders of the democratic movement including with leaders of minority ethnic groups and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
|Pu Tial Hoo
President, Chin Freedom Coalition
|Sai Htwe Maung
President, California Shan Society
Los Angeles, California
N-Sang Gum San
Interim President, Kachin National Organization (USA)
Director, Karen American Communities Foundation