Ethnic Karens Call on Ban Ki-moon to Help Stop Attacks in Burma
28 February 2011: 84,000 Karen civilians have signed a petition which will be delivered to the UN Office today, calling on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to immediately stop Burma’s military regime from attacking civilians and committing human rights abuses in the country.
The petition, signed by Karen civilians aged from 16 to 103, will also be passed onto other world leaders in eight countries including British PM David Cameron and Australian PM Julia Gillard.
Naw Zipporah Sein, General Secretary of the Karen National Union, said the Burma Army has been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity for decades and the appeal calling on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to use his power to stop the atrocities in Burma is from ordinary villagers who have been affected by Burma Army’s attacks.
“We urge Ban Ki-moon to work with concerned governments around the world to secure a nationwide ceasefire, leading to meaningful and inclusive dialogue to achieve genuine national reconciliation and the establishment of a federal Burma that guarantee ethnic equality and human rights.”
The Burma Army have destroyed more than 3,600 villages in eastern Burma in the past 15 years, according to the statement issued today.
In 2010 alone before the November 7 elections, there are reported cases of 18 civilians killed; 38 tortured and beaten; 52 arbitrarily arrested; 2,336 used as slave labours; 198 homes, schools, and churches destroyed, 146 fields and orchards ruined; and more than 3,000 forced to flee into hiding, according to the KNU’s reports.
Today’s petition is organised by the Karen National Union (KNU) at the request of Karen civilians in cooperation with local community leaders and supported by 31 Karen organisations from 15 countries across the globe.
Van Biak Thang