War against any ethnic nationality is war against all: UNFC
10 January 2013: Tension has mounted between Thein Sein’s government and ethnic nationalities as heavy military attacks against KIA (Kachin Independence Army) by Burma Army soldiers continue.
The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and its affiliated ethnic organizations condemned the acts of Tatmadaw, saying: “War against any ethnic nationality is tantamount to war against all of us.”
In a statement released today in response to ongoing armed conflicts in Kachin State, UNFC called on President Thein Sein to immediately halt the war and human rights violations against the people.
What Burma’s government has done with increasing acts of violence and human rights violations is totally contradictory to its program of peace making in progress, according to the statement.
In their recent annual meeting on 7-10 January, all member organizations of UNFC agreed to fully cooperate as a united entity with the government only when the Tatmadaw stop attacks and make a complete ceasefire with ethnic groups.
The Women’s League of Burma (WLB) called on the international community to immediately act in ensuring Thein Sein’s government put an end to military attacks and human rights abuses in Kachin State.
Tin Tin Nyo, WLB General Secretary, said: “There has not been a single airstrike for 20 years, but now government forces are using jet fighters and helicopters to launch attacks near civilian areas.”
“We ask the international community to take action against Thein Sein’s government to stop fighting, and for the refugees.”
The Chin National Front (CNF) also criticized Burma’s government for its military offensive, saying the peace process could be affected if Burma Army forces continue its launch of heavy artillery in Kachin State.
The United Nationalities Federal Council held its annual meeting on a Thai-Burma border this week with leaders of member and affiliated organizations such as Karen National Union (KNU), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), New Mon State Party (NMSP), Arakan National Council (ANC), Pa-Oh National Liberation Organization (PNLO), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), Wa National Organization (WNO), and Chin National Front (CNF) in absence.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang