Kachins ask UK government for help

Britain based Kachin community is into discussions with the UK government to help Kachin people in Burma in the midst of civil war between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burmese Army.

Three representatives of the Kachin National Organization (KNO) met representatives of UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on June 30 in its London office and discussed the current situation in Kachin State and the plight of war refugees, said a participant.

During the meeting Kachin representatives submitted a four point proposal to FCO, requesting the UK government to appoint staff to observe the situation of refugees in Kachin State, help war refugees immediately and push the Burmese government to announce a ceasefire. It also urged beginning of peace talks with all ethnic armed groups and support in forming a Commission of Inquiry for Crimes Against Humanity in Burma committed by Burmese military on civilians.

In the over one hour meeting, officers from FCO Burma Desk and from the Department for International Development (DFID) UK attended.

This meeting was organized by Benedict Rogers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) South East Asia Team Leader, who visited Burma several times including Kachin State and other remote areas.

On June 17, Gum San N-Sang, general secretary of the United States based KNO office met a United Nation (UN) officer and urged help for the war refugees and put pressure on the Burmese government to halt military offensives against the KIA.

Kachins around the world such as in United States, UK, India, Japan, Malaysia, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia protested on June 24 on the war against Kachin people and demanded that the international community help war refugees.

There are more than 20,000 Kachin refugees who have fled to China border for fear of torture, rape and use as porter by Burmese troops.

Civil war broke out between KIA and Burmese Army from June 9 after Burmese troops fired on KIA battalion 15 at Sang Gang at N’mawk region including under Manmaw Township.

Military tension between the two groups and skirmishes continues around Kachin State and Northern Shan State despite two attempts at peace talks by mediators.

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