KCC to Campaign for Resumption of Aids to Border Area

The Karen Community of Canada (KCC) will conduct international campaigns to resume aids to the refugees in Thai-Burma border and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The KCC’s chair Slone Phan told Karen News on September 4 that the decision was made by delegates from respective cities who attended the KCC’s annual meeting in Edmonton of Alberita province in Canada on September 1-3.

“There has been a great decline in aids for the refugee camps at the Thai border and also for local IDPs. We have decided to advocate for them and conduct international campaigns,” he said.

He continued that the KCC will submit to the Canadian government about the the military conflict in ethnic areas including the Karen State and human rights violations that have been committed against ethnic minorities and give more pressure for the international community to take action against Burma government.

In a statement released at the KCC’s annual meeting and 20th anniversary, the KCC expressed concerns over the Tatmadaw’s military expansions in ethnic areas including the Karen State, increase in military activities, and continuation of human rights violations against ethnic people amid the implementation of Myanmar peace process.

“We believe the ongoing implementation of the peace process does not bring any benefits to the Karen people. Military conflicts continue to take place in ethnic areas. The Karen people still have to flee. The government is still doing territorial clearance. Also, the entry of administrative, education, and health sectors in our areas have caused great concerns,” Slone Phan said.

In the statement, the KCC said the repatriation of refugees from the border and IDPs should not be carried out due to lack of significant agreement in the peace process, which is being implemented by the KNU and the Myanmar government. It also urged the international community not to cut the aids and Myanmar government not to carry out any mega projects that can harm the livelihood of local residents.

Since 2014, education, health, and social aids including food supplies and aids for camp management have been significantly reduced for the refugees living in nine Burmese refugee camps along Thai-Burma border. International aids have also been cut for the local IDPs since 2017, according to the people who have been assisting the refugees and IDPs.

Fifty-four delegates from respective cities attended the KCC’s three-day annual meeting and reviewed the members from respective cities and the presentations of the central executive committee members and set down decisions. Entertainment programs were also provided to mark the 20th anniversary of the KCC.

The KCC was established in 1998 to work for the affairs of the Karen nationals living in Canada. Canada is home to between 8,000 and 10,000 Karen people and most of them migrated to the country from the refugee camps at the Thai-Burma border under the UNHCR’s third country settlement program since 2006.

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