Urgent Call on ASEAN to help halt intensifying conflict in Kachin state in Burma

We are movements and organizations calling on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to add its voice and heed mounting international calls for an immediate stop to the continuing attacks on the Kachin people in Burma.

The Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) and the signatories below urges all ASEAN governments to end its silence on the humanitarian challenges happening within its own backyard and compel the Burmese government to stand down and stop the violence it is perpetrating in Kachin state. Air strikes in the ethnic state were reported to have begun a few days ago.

As this situation unfolds into a grave humanitarian crisis, the ASEAN governments are obliged under its own Charter and international laws to address systematic human rights violations that occur even outside their own territories. The displacement of around 75,000 people since June 2011 and deaths of around 300 people during the last air strike in the northern states of Kachin and nearby Shan must be condemned. The Kachins have long been disenfranchised economically and politically, and have been suffering from poverty, sexual violence against women and children, forced labor, extra judicial killings, among others. It is time that their miserable situation is addressed head-on.

As the so-called reformist Burmese government continues to justify its acts of violence by claiming that their military action was done in self-defense, ASEAN governments should take a more proactive position in joining the call of the international community to pressure the Burmese government to cease and desist further military action that would only intensify the conflict and inevitably result to widespread human rights abuses in Burma. ASEAN should also lead and seek the unimpeded flow of humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced peoples caused by the conflict.

While it is imperative to tackle the immediate situation in Kachin, the only way to strategically resolve the conflict is if the demand of the Kachin and ethnic peoples for genuine political dialogue and recognition of their ethnic rights and identities are heeded.

We call on all humanitarian institutions, peace-loving individuals and the global solidarity movement for Burma to support the call for peace and ethnic rights of the struggling peoples of Kachin and the rest of Burma.

Signed:

Regional & Global
Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean – Burma)
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC)
Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD)
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia)
Burma Partnership (BP)
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CWS)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Forum of Burmese in Europe (FBE)
Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD)

Aceh
Aceh Judicial Monitoring Institute (AJM)
Acehnese Civil Society Task Force (ACSTF)
Peoples Crisis Centre (PCC).
Saree School for Human Rights and Peace (SHRP)

Australia
Burma Campaign Australia

Belgium
Actions Birmanie

Burma/Myanmar
Kachin National Organization (KNO)
Karen Women Empowerment Group (KWEG)
Myanmar People’s Forum (MPF)

East Timor
East Timor Students Solidarity Council (ETSSC)

France
Association Info Birmanie

Germany
Burma Aktion
Society for Threatened Peoples – Germany

India
Burma Centre Delhi (BCD)
Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)

Indonesia
Akar Bengkulu Indonesia
KALYANAMITRA
MartoArt
Solidaritas Indonesia untuk Burma (SIB)

Japan
People’s Forum on Burma (Japan)

Malaysia
Hon. Charles Santiago, Member of Parliament of Malaysia
Hon. Tian Chua, Member of Parliament, Malaysia

Norway
Norwegian Burma Committee

Philippines
Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-P)
Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (Cebu) (FBC-P Cebu)
Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF)
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Center for Agrarian Reform, Empowerment and Transformation, Inc. (CARET)
Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA)
Center for Peace Education, Miriam College
Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)
Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML)
Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW)
Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC)
Nisa Ul-Haqq Fi Bangsamoro (Women for Justice in the Bangsamoro)
Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines)
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PHILRIGHTS)
SANLAKAS
United Transport Workers Organization (UTWO)

Poland
Polish Burma Solidarity

South Africa
Free Burma Campaign – South Africa (FBC-SA)

Sweden
Swedish Burma Committee

Switzerland
Association Suisse-Birmanie

United Kingdom
Burma Campaign UK
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
Burma Action Ireland

Thailand
All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress
Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
Back Pack Health Worker Team (BPHWT)
Forum for Democracy in Burma
Human Rights Education Institute of Burma
Nationalities Youth Forum

USA
U.S. Campaign for Burma

West Papua
Dewan Adat Papua

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