Kachins protested in three locations in the United States on Friday against the Chinese government’s policies in Burma, according to protesters.
The demonstrations took place at the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC, and two Chinese Consulates in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California, protest leaders said.
The largest demonstration was in Washington, where nearly 100 protesters, including ethnic Chin, Karen and Shan from Burma, joined together, according to participants.
Gum San, Interim President of the Kachin National Organization (USA) and the leader of the Washington protest told the Kachin News Group, “We have to protest against the Chinese government because it supports the Burmese government, which is oppressing citizens and ethnic minorities like fascist Japan- which oppressed Chinese people in WW II. So, China should stop its support and protection of the Burmese government.”
A joint statement by Kachin, Chin, Karen and Shan organizations was handed to the embassy.
The statement urges China to:
1) open the border crossings into China to allow people fleeing from Kachin, Shan, and Karen States to take refuge;
2) provide 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 the country;
5) open up communication and dialogue with leaders of the democratic movement, including leaders of minority ethnic groups and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mawrin Seng Mai, a Kachin movie and pop star who joined the demonstration at the Los Angeles Chinese Consulate told KNG, “We urged the Chinese government to support the United Nations’ effort to solve Burma’s problems and listen to the voices of ethnic minorities”.
It was the first time the Kachin protesters demonstrated in front of the Houston Chinese Consulate, protest leader Sut Nau said.
He said, “We will continue to protest against the Chinese government as long as it supports the Burmese regime because we cannot go back to our homeland and join the Kachin Independence Army, which is resisting the offensive by the regime with arms.”
The new military-dominated government, formed in March, led by ex-general Thein Sein, launched large-scale offensives against ethnic Kachin, Karen and Shan in March.