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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2344

UN briefing on Burma violence - global protests

New York 15 May, (Asiantribune.com): Responding to current reports of escalating violence by the Burmese (Myanmar) ruling military junta against thousands of ethnic minority Kayin (Karen) villagers, The Burma UN Service Office and global humanitarian agency Church World Service (CWS) will present a briefing Tuesday May 16 at the United Nations.

The briefing is part of a day of global protest in more than 12 countries against the brutal suppression of political and ethnic opposition to the junta’s rule.

Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program Associate Director Erol Kekic, who will present at the briefing along with Karen spokespersons and officials of the National Coalition Government of the Union (NCGUB), says, "We have a humanitarian catastrophe in the making on our hands with more than 2,000 people already in camps in Thailand just since December. We want the international community represented within the United Nations to act now prevent another Rwanda or Darfur from happening.”

The NCGUB is made up of members of the Burmese Parliament elected in 1990. Since 1991, it has served as a government in exile, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The group will press the United Nations Security Council to call for Burma's ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council, to stop its recent offensive against civilians in Karen State; call for the release of political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate; call for U.N. General Secretary Koffi Annan to publicly condemn the violence; and call for the U.N. to protest the ethnic cleansing in Burma.

Recent escalation in the brutality is forcing more Karen to seek refuge in neighboring Thailand. Thousands are waiting to cross the border and, Kekic says, “some observers believe the junta was actually hunting down like animals some 200 people who had escaped from one village that had just been destroyed."

- Asian Tribune -

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