Target: President of Burma, Thein Sein.
Goal: To end the Burmese government’s brutal campaign against the people of the Kachin region.
The Burmese government must end its operations against the people of the Kachin region in northern Burma. The government should be condemned for its role in the shelling deaths of civilians in the Kachin province. According to reports, the Burmese army indiscriminately shelled the town of Laiza in the Kachin state in an effort to knock out an administrative center for the Kachin Independence Organization. The actions taken by the Burmese army are in direct violation of the laws of war and international humanitarian law. The law prohibits attacks that cannot directly target the military objective. Bombardments that subject an entire town to shelling are illegal. The military wing of the KIO, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), is fighting against the government to keep control of the region. The fighting, which began last year, marked the end of a 17-year peace between the two sides.
The shelling of civilians in Laiza is hardly the first wartime abuse committed by the Burmese army. Human rights groups report that the Burmese army has routinely attacked Kachin villages and shot and killed fleeing civilians. Torture, rape, the use of child soldiers and other abuses have been levied against the Kachin people in an effort to break the will of the KIA and reclaim the region.
The government in Burma must allow aid workers in to assist the displaced Kachin people who are in desperate need of humanitarian aid. There are currently around 15,000 internally displaced people who are being sheltered in camps run by the KIO. The conditions in the camps are not sufficient to sustain life. By continuing the conflict against the KIO and then denying access to aid groups, the Burmese army is compounding the problem. Sign this petition to demand that the Burmese government end the conflict against the ethnic Kachin people and restore the peace.
Dear President Thein Sein,
The violence currently being committed against the ethnic Kachin people of northern Burma is inexcusable. The recent shelling of the town of Laiza is in direct violation with the international laws of war. However this is not the only abuse that the Burmese army has allegedly committed. Reports of torture, rape and the use of child soldiers are all direct violations of international law. Those who have committed senseless acts of terror against civilians should be held responsible. It is your government’s responsibility to be accountable for it’s wrongdoings.
Your government must also allow international aid groups access to the camps that currently house around 15,000 refugees. By allowing humanitarian aid to flow to these people, you may prevent another human rights atrocity from occurring on your soil. I ask you to halt the offensive against the people of northern Burma and restore the peace between your two peoples.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: via Public Domain Image