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ONGOING SEXUAL VIOLENCE HIGHLIGHTS URGENT NEED FOR BURMA ARMY TO STOP OFFENSIVES AND PULL BACK TROOPS FROM KACHIN AREAS

WLB statement Kachin murders header

(Chiang Mai, January 22, 2015) The rape and murder of two female teachers in Northern Shan State early on January 20 th is evidence of the Burma Army’s continued use of sexual violence against ethnic civilians. The Kachin Baptist Convention volunteers – Maran Lu Ra and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin – were gang-raped and killed in their church compound in Kawng Hka Shabuk village, Muse District. The day after, a woman in Hku Maw village, Northern Shan State suffered severe injuries during an incident of attempted sexual violence by a Burma Army soldier stationed there. The government of Burma must immediately stop its military offensives in ethnic areas, pull back its troops, and start political dialogue with all the ethnic armed groups.

Statement by Shan Community Based Organisations

obama burmaWe, Shan community based organisations, deplore the large-scale offensive that the Burma Army has been conducting in central Shan State since June 2014, which is in violation of an existing ceasefire agreement and completely negates the Burmese government’s claims to be building nationwide peace. We urge President Obama to publicly raise concerns about this offensive with President Thein Sein during his visit to Naypyidaw, and to call for the Burmese government to immediately end its military operations and begin political dialogue to end the civil war.

Namkham farmers’ protest highlights urgent needfor moratorium on resource extraction during peace process

Mining waste clogging the Nam Siri Stream front

The anti-mining protest by over 3,000 villagers in Namkham, northern Shan State, on September 5, 2014, highlights the lack of protection against damaging mining, and the urgent need for a moratorium on resource extraction in ethnic areas until there isgenuine political reform and peace in Burma.

Since 2012, six companies have been mining silica inthe hills south-east of Namkham for export to
China. Large amounts of mining waste have been dumped in the Nam Siri Stream, which nine villages rely on for farming as well as domestic use. Thishas polluted and clogged the stream, causing it to overflow into nearby fields, destroying crops, irrigation channels and weirs. At least 100 acres of fields have been destroyed so far.

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