I am forwarding an open letter from the Kachin Alliance to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in an effort to stop the wholesale killing in Kachin State, Burma’s Secret War. This is the English version so the world can learn the reality of the horrific human rights violations being perpetrated against innocent people as the world lifts sanctions.
Sept 16, 2012
Dear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,
The Kachin Alliance, representatives of the Kachin community in the US, wishes to extend a warm welcome to you on your momentous visit to this country, and offer heartfelt congratulations on the great honor of receiving the Congressional Gold Medal.
We Kachins cannot, however, participate in this joyous occasion, as our hearts are heavy with sadness and trepidation, mindful of the untold miseries our kinsmen in Kachinland are currently going through. We feel that it is inappropriate for us to rejoice and celebrate when the tens of thousands of our people displaced by renewed fighting are in dire need of the most basic of human needs, when they have to live in constant fear and uncertainty, when Chinese authorities have dismantled refugee camps on their borders and sent them back into conflict zones, when their rights are being violated even in the sanctity of a church-run camp in government controlled territory.
We earnestly appeal to you in the name of your revered father, the architect of independence, General Aung San, to use your moral authority, your international stature, and powerful position in parliament as opposition leader, and Chair of the Rule of Law Committee, to be an advocate for the rights of our people. It is a measure of the trust our forefathers put in General Aung San’s promise of equal rights that they rejected the British offer of a separate homeland, and opted to form a union with the lowland Burmans. Staying loyal and true to their commitment to the union, they fought valiantly alongside other hilltribes servicemen to stave off the danger posed by the myriad of insurgencies that emerged soon after independence, and saved the union from disintegrating. The first prime minister of the Union, the late U Nu, had often paid tribute to this fact in his Kachin State Day messages.
May we therefore, take this opportunity to implore your intervention in the following issues critical to the well-being of the Kachin people:
- A free flow of domestic and international aid for Kachin IDPs, as resolving the IDP problem needs to be a prerequisite for any and all future talks, military or political.
- Presence of UN observer teams or intermediary teams in conflict zones and IDP camps to monitor and prevent human rights abuses.
- Urge government to begin a political dialogue leading to a genuine federal union that guarantees equality and self-determination for ethnic nationalities
- Parliamentary steps to cut off military spending for the Kachin war as a means of bringing the decades long civil war to an end.
- End, not just suspend, construction of the Myitsone Dam and 6 other smaller dams on the tributaries of the Irrawaddy, which spells ecological disaster not just for Kachin State but for the entire country.