Thursday, January 12, 2012

Karen exiled community calls for ‘political talks’


Thursday, 12 January 2012 17:59 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – The Karen Communities Worldwide issued a statement on Thursday, calling for negotiations that go beyond a Karen cease-fire and tackle the political issues behind the war in Karen State and other ethnic areas.

“As Karen refugees we know it is not safe to return to our homeland without a political solution that ensures there will be peace and where our rights and culture will be protected,” the statement said.

“We have seen how human rights abuses have continued in other areas of Burma where there are ceasefires, and how the dictatorship used the ceasefires to extend its control and try to weaken the ethnic political parties which defended the people. A ceasefire alone tackles the symptoms, not the causes. There must also be political dialogue for a permanent political solution.”

The group called for specific points involving a discussion of political issues including

  • A nationwide cease-fire
  • Dialogue for a political solution that guarantees ethnic rights and culture.
  • Stop military actions in ethnic areas
  • Stop human rights violations
  • Free all political prisoners, including ethnic leader Mahn Nyein Maung

The statement said the agreement signed on Thursday in Hpaan is the sixth time a cease-fire agreement has been signed in the past 63 years between the Karen and the government. Past negotiations have failed because the Burmese government has always effectively demanded surrender, and has refused to seriously discuss the political problems which are the cause of the conflict, said the statement. 

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