MYANMAR: Karen groups cautious on peace initiative

Photo: Contributor/IRIN
Thousands of Karen have been displaced

BANGKOK, 5 March 2012 (IRIN) – Karen representatives and international groups have expressed caution over recent peace efforts in Myanmar, appealing to the international community, especially the European Union and the US, to maintain pressure on the Burmese government.

“We welcome the peace initiative between the Karen National Union [KNU] and the Burmese government,” Zoya Phan, chair of the European Karen Network and adviser to the Karen Community Association, told IRIN on 5 March in Bangkok. “But we remain cautious over the government’s commitment,” she said.  More

MYANMAR/Burma: Karen People Worldwide Call For Genuine Peace And A Federal Union Of Burma

Representatives from Karen organizations worldwide today call for genuine peace throughout Burma and for national reconciliation towards the establishment of a federal union. They also appealed to the international community, especially the European Union and the United States, to maintain pressure on the Burmese Government until there is tangible political change for the Karen and for all the people of Burma.

Today’s appeals were the result of a four-day conference organized by the Karen National Unity Committee from 27 February to 1 March in Kawtholei, Karen State. The conference was attended by 167 Karen participants, including community and religious leaders, as well as representatives from women, youth and other Karen ethnic organizations from inside Burma and around the world. More

MYANMAR/BURMA: Campaigners Around The World Call To Postpone Destructive Chinese Pipelines In Burma

Published on Thursday, 01 March 2012

130 organizations over 20 countries today held demonstrations and submitted letters calling on Burma’s President Thein Sein to postpone China’s trans-Burma oil and gas pipelines project. The letter expressed serious concerns over human rights abuses as well as social, economic and environmental impacts of the Burmese, Chinese, Korean, and Indian company-led project.

The Shwe Gas Project and trans-Burma oil and gas pipelines are currently under construction, originating off Burma’s western coast and terminating in China’s Yunnan Province, and set to come online in 2013. The project will become the country’s largest source of foreign revenue generating US $29 billion over 30 years.

The open letter to Thein Sein strongly condemns the confiscation of the thousands of acres of farm lands for the project, and the military offensives against ethnic armies in the pipeline corridor in Northern Shan State. The letter references the previous suspension of the Myitsone Dam and Dawei coal-fired plant and “call[s] for a consistent policy of social and environmental accountability, and an immediate postponement of the project”. More

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