Dissident Groups Call For Peace Between Burmese Government and Ethnic Armies

A coalition of nine dissident groups from inside Burma,called +9 Orgs, issued a statement this week calling on the Burmese governmentto make peace with ethnic armies. The statement said the ongoing civil war inBurma is not just an issue between the army and ethnic groups, but that itconcerns everyone in Burma who wants democracy.

“We believe that peace could not beachieved without democracy whereas there could be no democracy without peace,” the coalition said.

Conflicts between the army and ethnic militias in Shan,Karen, Mon, and Kachin states, and previous attempts by the army to transformethnic militias into army-controlled Border Guard Forces, were given as examplesof “clear proof of military regime's lack of asincere wish for national peace.”

Thestatement also claimed that the immediate cause of the conflict in Kachin Stateis a hydroelectric project started by the military regime “for its owninterests,” but that the root cause of the problem is the regime’s “failure toprovide equal rights to ethnic nationalities.”

PHR supports+9 Orgs’ calls for an end to the civil war in Burma and demands for ethnicminorities to be treated with equal rights.

+9 Orgscomprises:  All BurmaMonks’ Alliance, The 88 Generation Students, Arakan Ray, Democratic Students andYouths Force in Rangoon Division, All Burma Federation of Student Unions, 2007Generation Students Union, Arakan Students Union, All Burma Youths Union, andBasic Education Students Union.

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