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CFOB concerned with Kachin conflicts in northern Burma

Statement and Information Release of Canadian Friends of Burma - Jan. 18, 2013

OTTAWA – Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) is concerned with escalating conflicts in Kachin State of Burma, especially reports on civilian casualty and the use of heavy artilleries and air forces. We call on the Government of Canada and international community to help stop the conflicts by using its diplomatic channels and to help alleviate the sufferings of 100,000 refugees in the conflict zones by providing emergency humanitarian assistance.
 
The ongoing conflicts – started again last year after 17 years ceasefire agreement in between Burmese armed forces and Kachin resistance group, Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) – requires a political solution through negotiations. Burmese democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu recently said “We will only be able to avoid such conflicts if we begin to practice a culture of negotiation.”
 
We are a bit relieved to hear that Burmese government is still committed to continue negotiations with KIO in coming days, according to the spokesperson of the Burmese president's Office in his recent interview. However, as of this statement released, we are still receiving latest reports about the fighting taking place in northern part of Burma.
 
We would like to see the ongoing political and economic reform process smooth and steady. However, we note that it won't be possible or the effort could be short-lived without peace and stability, especially in the ethnic minority areas.
 
We support the Kachin community in Canada in holding peace rallies across Canada and equally share their concerns on the conflicts. The Kachin Canadian Association (KCA) organized a rally in Toronto City Hall last Saturday - the protest can be watched here.  And it also is leading two rallies this Saturday as well. Please see detailed info below:
 
City: Edmonton, AB
Date: Saturday, January 19th, 2013
Time: 12:00pm noon – 2:00 pm (local time)
Protest Location: At the corner of 100 Street NW and 101a Avenue NW, Centennial Plaza Edmonton, Alberta
Contacts: Brang Nu (587-335-2189), Htu Tawng (780-707-0017) and Maung Win (780-802-9730)
 
City: Kitchener, ON
Date: January 19, 2013  (Saturday)
Time: 3:00 PM (local time)
Protest Location: Kitchener City Hall, 200 King St. W Kitchener, ON
 
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The Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) is federally incorporated, national non-governmental organization working for democracy and human rights in Burma. Address: Suite 206, 145 Spruce St., Ottawa, K1R 6P1; Tel: 613.297-6835; Website: http://www.cfob.org  


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