Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

02/16/2012 Burma (Christian Post) – Peace in conflict-ridden Burma is attainable within months, according to the country’s top peace negotiator. However, experts warn that despite reforms, Burma remains a country embroiled in decades’ worth of conflict that continues to be home to countless human rights violations against its population.
In an exclusive interview on Wednesday, lead peace negotiator Aung Min told Reuters news agency that Burma is on the verge of completing negotiations with dissident groups that the country’s military-run government has been fighting for years.

Despite the peaceful negotiations, reports of shelling and clashes trailed the agreement and experts have expressed concerns that President Thein Sein seems to have little control over his army, an alarming concern that could shadow negotiations between rebel groups and the government.
Furthermore, intense fighting between the Burmese army and Christians in the northern Kachin state has not subsided despite government rhetoric calling for peace.
After six decades of fighting, mass displacement, and egregious human rights violations, distrust of the government is rife among Burma’s ethnic minorities and many are dually suspicious and wary of the government’s motives for reform.
Experts in the field of human rights also remain cautious and maintain that reforms instated by Thein Sein’s government — although a signal that Burma is moving toward progressive change — have yet to materialize into transformations for the country’s religious and ethnic minorities.

Ryan Morgan, an advocacy officer and Burma expert at International Christian Concern (ICC) said the Washington, D.C.-based ICC is concerned that the international community might be too quick to accept an uncertain peace in Myanmar.
“We want the West and the United States to be cautious,” Morgan told The Christian Post. “The fact is fighting is still going on in many parts of Burma, not just for the Karin but for the Kachin in the north.
“There have been indications of change, we’ve seen prisoners released, it looks like there will be a bit of openness in the political system, but in terms of the military and the fighting that’s still going on we haven’t see serious changes.”
According to the ICC, Christians in the country have faced state-sponsored rape, raids, pillaging and other grave rights violations in the government’s fight to maintain its reign on power. Morgan believes these deep-seeded abuses are not likely to vanish overnight.
“We’re hopeful these changes are going to be permanent and that they’re going to last but at the same time it’s difficult to not be somewhat suspicious and wonder if they’re not just statements to get the international pressure on Burma alleviated,” Morgan added. “It’s all coming very very fast, we’re talking about a conflict that’s being going on for 60 years. I think we need to see concrete changes and see the situation with the Karen and Kachin actually change before more steps are taken.”

[Full Story]