Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Karen Communities Worldwide Statement.

Karen Communities Worldwide Statement on SPDC and DKBA Joint Military Operation in Karen State.

Emergency Release 001/09
June 12th, 2009

At the beginning of June the Burmese Army and DKBA began a new military offensive in Karen State, Burma. The Burmese Army offers the DKBA lucrative border trade deals to carry out attacks on its behalf before the 2010 general election. Since this new military operation, Burma Army and DKBA troops committed series of human rights violations. Innocent civilians were taken from their homes and forced to carry weapons and army equipment for Burmese Army and DKBA and have not been given food, clothing or shelter at night.

According to the last updated news, approximately six thousands Karen villagers in the operation areas were forced to flee. Those who crossed the border into Thailand have been facing shortage of food, medical aid, shelter, and many villagers, especially children and the elderly have become ill. Some mortars and rocket-propelled grenades fired by the Burmese Army have landed in Thai soil. This poses an immediate threat to Thai civilians who live along the border area and is another reason why for international concern and intervention.

More than a million Karen people have been forced from their homes and became displaced after decades of attacks targeting innocent civilians as the part of SPDC’s ethnic cleansing campaign. The SPDC is deliberately targeting civilians, which is a war crime, or crime against humanity. Spreading hot bed of killer diseases to neighboring countries became serious issues in the region. Now and again, a new wave of Karen refugees, mostly women and children have to leave their home by forced in this current crisis.

Burma is not a simple internal problem anymore, but become a threat to international peace and security, and became a major problem for neighboring countries. We, the Karen communities who have been forced to flee all across the world result of the military attacks against our villages and homes call on the international community to take serious action to end the crime against humanity being perpetrated by the SPDC regime.

Therefore, we the Karen communities worldwide call for the following demands:

• The United Nations Security Council to pass a binding resolution calling for animmediate end to military attacks, and imposing a global arms embargo against the SPDC, the Burmese regime.

• The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights on Burma to visit the areas where attacks and human rights abuses are taking place and speak to the local Karen civilians in order to get the truth and first hand report about what is happening in Burma currently rather than just go to meet Burmese authorities.

• Burmese authorities to stop all military offensive and start meaningful national reconciliation plan, and let the United Nations Security Council get involved in solving all political, human rights and economic problems peacefully and permanently.

• Burmese and Thai authorities to let the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and NGOs to deliver emergency relief in the area of conflict zone without any restrictions to save the lives of Karen displaced people who were caught in between.

Media Contact Persons
1. Zoya Phan +44 207 324 4712 (UK)
2. Saw Steven Dun +206 295 8553 (USA)
3. Mahn Kyaw Shwe +;1 519 434 0139 (CANADA)