The Kachin Women Association Thailand released a report – Ongoing Impunity – that documents the continued abuse of civilians by the Burma Army. The report, released yesterday at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, details the killings, rape, forced labor and displacement that has occurred in the last twelve months of fighting between the Kachin Independent Army and government troops.
The international community and governments have praised Burma’s authoritarian government for its recent reforms, but KWAT say their report is proof little has changed for ethnic people.
The Kachin Women Association Thailand, a community-based-organization working on women and children issues, said that Burma’s “so-called progress has not been felt in ethnic conflict areas with the Kachin people experiencing increased insecurity and repression.”
The KWAT report notes that the Burma Army has 150 battalions currently deployed in Kachin State, increasing sexual violence where the rape or sexual assault of at least 43 women and girls, of whom 21 were killed and the displacement of as many as 75,000 people with very little access to humanitarian aids.
Earlier this week, more than 40 Kachin community-based-organizations demonstrated outside the Burma Embassy in Bangkok and demanded the country’s President, U Thein Shein, to immediately stop the fighting in Kachin State that has displaced as many as 75,000 people.
Hkawng Seng Pan, deputy coordinater of the Kachin Women Association Thailand (KWAT) said.
“The fighting in Kachin area is mainly focused on attacking civilians. For this reason, we demand a stop to the fighting.”
Hkawng Seng Pan said KWAT had sent a letter to President U Thein Shein calling for an immediate end to the conflict – more than 60 Kachin groups based in 20 countries signed the letter.
The Kachin had a ceasefire arrangement with the previous military regime for 17 years. Fighting broke out in June 2011 between the Kachin Independent Army and The Burma Army.
Ko Naw San, a member of the All Kachin Student and Youth Union said.
“We call on the government to end the misery that is happening –the killing, burning of villages, displacement, shooting of children and the rape of women.”
Kachin groups, based in Denmark, England, US, and Japan said they plan to hold demonstration in solidarity with the Thailand based groups.
The KIA and Burmese military government agreed to a ceasefire agreement in 1994, it was broken by the U Thein Shin government in June 2011.