On the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, ND-Burma calls on the NLD-led government and ethnic armed organizations to publicly acknowledge that grave human rights abuses have been committed by all parties and continue to be perpetrated in the context of Burma’s ethnic conflict.
ND-Burma has been documenting human rights abuses since 2004 and has a database of over 6,000 bulletins detailing a range of violations. Sadly, this database continues to get bigger with every year: 2016 saw a dramatic increase in violations documented – almost double the number recorded in 2015.
So far, the NLD-led government has remained silent on past as well as ongoing human rights violations, the large majority if which are perpetrated in ethnic nationality areas. Ethnic armed organizations also deny all allegations of human rights violations, such as forced recruitment.
ND-Burma believes that the failure to acknowledge abuses has emboldened security forces and led to the large increase in violations last year. A refusal to take stock of Burma’s bloody past has resulted in atrocities escalating under its first civilian-led government in more than half a decade. This has quickly destroyed the already fragile trust between the different parties in the peace process and led to negotiations fraying mere months after the opening of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference.
ND-Burma will soon be publishing the results of its needs assessment outlining what action victims require in order to rebuild their lives. The assessment will be based on victims’ testimonies and we expect these requirements to be incorporated into negotiations on the peace process.
Less than a year of the new government took office, ethnic conflict continues to rage and Burma’s people are experiencing the same violations of their rights as under the military regime. It is time to begin healing the wounds of the past in order to build lasting peace.
ND-Burma is a 13-member organization that includes organizations representing a range of ethnic nationalities, women and the LGBTI community.
Our members are:
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma
Human Rights Foundation of Monland
Kachin Women’s Association – Thailand
Palaung Women’s Organization
Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization
Tavoyan Women’s Union (TWU)
All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress
Chin Human Rights Organization
Lahu Women’s Organization
Pao Youth Organization
Download the statement in English HERE.