7Day News Daily
Translate and summarize by Frontier Myanmar
Scores of civil society organisations released an open letter to President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on January 20 that calls for the immediate resolution of fighting between the Tatmadaw and some brigades of the Karen National Union.
A total of 165 groups, including the Karen Youth Network, Karen Peace Support Network and Karen Women’s Organisation, issued the letter, which follows fighting in ceasefire areas of Kayin State that has raised tensions and caused suffering among residents.
The letter expressed concern for the welfare of about 4,000 people who have been displaced by recent fighting between the Tatmadaw and KNU.
They called for the protection of the rights of women and children, saying those in conflict affected areas were facing an increase in violations, including sexual violence, and also lacked access to education and health care.
They urged the government to create ways of resolving political problems through political means. The root cause of armed conflict in ethnic areas is political issues, the letter said.
They also urged the government to help bring an end to military operations in ethnic areas.
Ko Saw Tun Tun, director of Youth Circle, said the government elected by the people needed to express its opinion about armed conflict and to resolve the current fighting.
He said the Tatmadaw needed to resolve differences with the KNU over the road-building and troop deployments that are the main factors in the fighting, if it wants to make peace.
He also urged citizens throughout the country to demand an end to the fighting and denounce the Tatmadaw.
He said he also wanted to urge the KNU to negotiate if negotiations were sought by “the other side”.
There has been fighting between the Tatmadaw and the KNU’s Brigade No. 5 in the Mae Wine area of Hpapun District in Kayin State since early last month.