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Kachin OrganizationJoint Statement January 15 by ေစာမင္းျဖဴ

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									Date : 15 January 2013

 Joint Statement of Kachin Organizations/Civil Society Groups Call for
         Investigation into Burma Army’s War Crimes in Laiza

We, the undersigned Kachin organisations, wish to express our grave concern over the
widespread human rights violations being committed by the Burmese army against
Kachin civilians, including the ongoing indiscriminate shelling of residential areas of
Laiza, which recently led to the death of three civilians aged between 14 and 65, and
injury of four others.

Since June 2011, when the 17-year ceasefire between the Burmese government and the
Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) was broken, widespread human rights
violations by the Burmese army, including sexual violence against women and children ,
extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, have resulted in extensive
displacement of over 100,000 civilians. Since December 14, 2012, there has been an
escalation of violence, in total disregard for international human rights and
humanitarian standards, including bombings by jet fighters of both military and civilian
objectives around Laiza.

On 27 December 2012, the Burmese army shelled mortars on a village, resulting in the
death of U Maji Tu, a 41-year-old man, while 3 other civilians were seriously injured. On
January 14 2013, the Burmese troops fired a 105 mm mortar on Hka Chyang Block 4
residential area of Laiza. This targeting of civilians resulted in the death of assistant
pastor Malang Yaw, 65 years old, IDP Nhkum Bawk Naw, 40 years old, and Hpauyu Doi
San Awng, a 14-year-old child. During the incident, 4 other civilians were injured,
including a 2 year-old and 8 year-old boy. The Burmese army again mortared in the
evening on January 14, 2013; the civilians are afraid and are constructing bunkers.
The repeated attacks on a civilian population suggest that these acts are intentional, and
that the Burmese army is targetting civilians.

These civilian deaths and injuries highlight the lack of protection for the over 60,000
internally displaced persons sheltering in temporary camps in KIO territory, who are
now living in terror of being targeted by the Burmese army.

We would like to highlight the total lack of consideration for international humanitarian
law by the Burmese military, including Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection
of Civilian Persons in Time of War which states in its article 27 that « protected persons
are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their
family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and
customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected
especially against all acts of violence or threats ». Moreover, according to Article 8 of
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the incidents described here are
likely to amount to war crimes as they constitute « wilful killing », « intentionally
directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual
civilians not taking direct part in hostilities » and « attacking or bombarding, by
whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and
which are not military objectives ».

We would also like to remind the Burmese government that « distinction must be

civilian population » and that « it is prohibited to launch attacks against the civilian
made at all times between persons taking part in the hostilities and members of the

populations as such » (General Assembly Resolution on Human Rights, December 19th
1968).

 «These mortar attack on civilians in the Kachin town of Laiza, which has resulted in
three deaths and the wounding of several others, amounts to the war crime of murder »
said Moon Nay Li, coordinator of the Kachin Womens’s Association Thailand.

Therefore, we would like to issue the following recommendations to the Thein Sein
government :
    Immediately put an end to the use of heavy weapons such as jet fighters and
      mortars with the purpose of targeting civilians;
    Immediately put an end to the military offensive and escalation against the
      KIO/KIA headquarters in Laiza during the peace negotiations;
    Immediately allow international and local NGOs to access the Kachin internally
      displaced persons’ camps in order to deliver humanitarian assistance.

We would also like to recommend to parliament members, including the National
League for Democracy’s representatives and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to raise their voices
against the ongoing human rights abuses against the Kachin civilians, in accordance with
their duty to protect every citizen of the Union.

Finally, we would like to issue the following recommendations to the United Nations and
the international community :
     Consider urgently the ongoing and widespread human rights abuses being
       committed against Kachin civilians by the Burmese military, and take concrete
       legal and diplomatic actions to put an end to this critical situation;
     Immediately stop providing the Burmese government with heavy weapons that
       are being used to commit human rights violations against Kachin civilians ;
     Consider supporting the design and implementation of a UN-backed independent
       commission of inquiry on the widespread human rights abuses being committed
       against the Kachin people, as suggested by the Special Rapporteur on Burma, in
       order to put an end to impunity.
For more information please contact:

   (1) Moon Nay Li (KWAT) +66 (0) 856251912 or kwat.coordinator@gmail.com,
   (2) Naw San (AKSYU) +66 (0)848119594 or aksyumaesot@gmail.com,



From the following Kachin organizations:

   1. All Kachin Students and Youth Union (AKSYU)
   2. JLH Singapore
   3. Kachin Alliance (USA)
   4. Kachin Center (Thailand)
   5. Kachin Community in Thailand (KCT)
   6. Kachin Development Network Group (KDNG)
   7. Kachin Development Group (KDG)
   8. Kachin Environmental Organization (KEO)
   9. Kachin Lawyers’ Group (KLG)
   10. Kachin News Group (KNG)
   11. Kachin National Organization- United Kingdom (KNO-UK)
   12. Kachin Peace Network (KPN)
   13. Kachin Women’s Association-Thailand (KWAT)
   14. Kachin Women Peace Network (KWPN)
   15. Kachin Women Union (KWU)
   16. Pan Kachin Development Society (PKDS)

								
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