Media Release from the Kachin National Organization - UK
Thursday 22nd November 2012
Kachin community demands stronger action from the British government
Representatives of the Kachin community today will address members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Burma in the British Parliament. They will discuss the situation in Kachin State including the human rights and humanitarian crisis, and demand stronger action from the British government to help the Kachin people.
For the first time since the Burmese Army broke the 17 year ceasefire in Kachin State, members of the Kachin community have the opportunity to directly raise the Kachin situation in the Britsih Parliament and engage with Members of Parliament, asking them to push for stronger action from the UK government.
Kachin civilians have suffered human rights violations committed by the Burmese Army’s troops, including rape of women and children, arbitrary execution, torture, forced labour, mortar bombing, and burning of villages. Since June 2011, more than 100,000 Kachin civilians have been forced to flee from their homeland facing a severe humanitarian crisis. The Burmese government continues to block humanitarian aid access to thousands of Kachin refugees while keeping some innocent Kachin civilians in jails.
"We are extremely disapponted that the interntaional communtiy including the British government are turning their back on the suffering of the Kachin people." said Hkun Sa Mahkaw from the Kachin National Organization. “Lack of strong action from the British government to help stop the Burmese Army’s attack against the Kachin has cost many lives already. Only through dialogue and national reconciliation there can be political solutions that guarantee genuine peace for the Kachin and all the people in Burma.”
“We appreciate the UK parliamentarians’ concern over the crisis in Kachin State” said Kai Htang, an aid worker from Kachin Relief Fund, "We hope the British Government will respond by taking a stronger stance to pressure the Burmese government to cease attacking innocent civilians and open up humanitarian access in the country. As British government is one of the biggest donors to Burma, we call on DFID to increase British aid for Kachin refugees.”
For more information, please contact Goontawng Lashi (Chairman of KNO-UK) 00447595763340
Note to editors
About the speakers:
Hkun Sa Mahkaw is a former political prisoner and a leader of the Kachin National Organization. The Kachin National Organization is a political organisation founded by the overseas Kachins and the elders from Kachin state, to regain the rights of Kachin people. He just returned from a humanitarian aid relief mission in Kachin state, northern Burma.
Kai Htang has been working with the Kachin Relief Fund (KRF), which was formed by the Kachin community in UK. KRF is working closely with the local NGOs and churches for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees in Kachin state. KRF provides emergency relief monthly to over 100,000 internally displaced persons in the current conflict zone in northern Burma. KRF also carries out research and documentation of the situation of the internally displaced persons.