Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Statement by KCBOs

Statement by Karen Community Based Organizations (KCBOs) on SPDC-DKBA Offensive
June 17, 2009

Burmese military attacks its people in order to secure power in 2010

The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) attacked the Karen National Liberated Army Brigade 7 since the beginning of June. This has forced about 3,500 villagers to abandon their villages and flee for their lives in Thailand.

"The villagers were terrified from escaping for their lives. It is heartbreaking to see pregnant women and new born babies in this heavy rainy time struggling."Naw Hsa Moo , Karen Student Network Group Secretary.

The Karen CBOs call on the SPDC/DKBA to immediately cease the attacks in Pa-an district, withdraw their troops and let the villagers return to their villages to live a normal life.

We request the international community to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those recently displaced to Thailand and to support Karen CBOs efforts in providing emergency needs and to further support community development to those displaced civilians in Karen State.

We strongly urge the SPDC to stop all offensives in the border areas of Burma and to invite the Karen National Union to discuss the end to civil war in Karen State. We urge the SPDC to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, and to hold open tripartite dialogue with democratic forces and ethnic representatives.

The offensive is one of the indicators of how desperately the SPDC wants their 2010 election plan to have their desired outcome. It is clear that the SPDC is using 2009 to shut down all possible opposition to their plan to ensure that their hold on power is ratified by their highly undemocratic election process next year.

The SPDC has instructed the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and other ceasefire groups to secure the border by launching attacks against non ceasefire groups. The purpose of this offensive is to ensure control of the border, so that they can successfully carry out their sham elections in 2010. These groups have been given responsibility as border security guards.

Since the beginning of the rainy season this year, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, Burma’s military regime) has been carrying out an offensive operation in Eastern Burma, which has led to massive displacement of Karen civilians to Thailand and within Eastern Burma. The offensive will lead to larger numbers of civilian deaths, and the displacement will increase the already high risk of all to landmine injuries, malaria, and maternal and infant death. The people of Eastern Burma have been suffering under one of the most brutal military regime for many years. This offensive is endangering the lives of thousands.

The Karen CBOs compose of ; Karen Youth Organization, Karen Student Network Group, Karen Woman Organization, Karen University Student Group, Backpack Health Worker Team, Federation of Trade Union Kawthoolei, Karen Education Department, Karen Health and Welfare Department, Karen Information Centre, Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People, Karen area Burma Issues, Karen Environmental Group, Karen Volunteer Service. Along the Thai Burma Border and is leading the effort to provide humanitarian needs to the newly arrived families in Thailand fleeing from these attacks.