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Burma letter: 150 organizations call on G20 countries to pressure India for full access to humanitarian aid at the India-Burma border and stop arming the Burmese military junta

September 5th, 2023  •  Author:   150 Organizations  •  8 minute read
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Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned 150 organizations are shocked, horrified, and appalled by the Burmese military’s unrelenting campaign of violence across the country. As the international community prepares to convene during the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, India, the Burmese military continues to benefit from Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s diplomatic and technical support, as India sells weapons to the Burmese junta. Such cooperation with an illegal military regime has emboldened the junta to intensify their attacks against civilians with impunity.

We urge you to take action immediately and implement harsher sanctions that will hold the junta accountable, while joining the call for a global arms embargo to halt Indian weapons sales to the military. 

In a review of India’s exports, advocacy group Justice for Myanmar found that Bharat Electronics, an Indian government-owned company, executed $5 million of deliveries to the Burmese junta from November 2022 to April 2023. Included in these deliveries were parts for naval vessels, battlefield radios, and artillery barrels identified as the guns commonly used to target civilians. 

The link between Indian arms sales and civilian casualties is direct and devastating; the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners estimates that the junta has killed almost 4,000 civilians since the start of the coup in February 2021. In a February 2023 report, multiple research and civil society organizations documented mounting evidence that the military’s actions amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. As civilians in Burma continue to suffer under the military regime, it is imperative that G20 attendees understand India’s complicity and take immediate action. 

The Burmese junta has utilized arms from India to increase airstrikes, mortar shelling attacks, and mass shootings on unarmed civilians across the country. Local groups on the ground report that assaults from the military occur daily. This year, from January to April, the junta launched 442 airstrikes almost surpassing the total number of airstrikes in 2022, which was 449

These attacks have internally displaced over 1 million people, while creating at least 70,000 refugees that have fled to neighboring countries. The UN itself has stated that there has been no signs that displacement will slow. By the end of 2023, the total displaced population is expected to increase to 2.7 million. Half of the country is living in poverty, with 15.2 million people experiencing food insecurity. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs further estimates that the junta’s violence has left at least 17.6 million people in Burma in dire need of humanitarian assistance, with a third of the population being children. 

A nation that continues to enable the junta, despite being aware of the junta’s crimes, should not be allowed to convene and welcome the world’s leaders at the G20 summit. While this is a disappointing occurrence, the G20 will offer attending countries an opportunity to call out India on the world’s stage, and lead justice and accountability measures for a people that cannot take such actions themselves. 

To prevent the military from receiving further weaponry, the international community must establish a coordinated global arms embargo. Stricter and harsher sanctions must also be put in place as a means of cutting off the junta’s sources of income and thus access to the diplomatic and technical power that has allowed them to ravage Burma.

• India must allow full access of humanitarian assistance, including, but not limited to humanitarian aid from UNICEF and the World Food Programme to the displaced communities along the India-Burma border;
• India must cooperate with the international community to enforce a coordinated global arm embargo;
• Indian companies must cease their provision of jet fuel to the Burmese junta;
• India and the international community must cut off all resources of income and access to diplomatic and technical power to prevent the Burmese military from continuing its campaign of violence on the people of Burma.

We, the undersigned 150 organizations, are in full support of Burma’s fight for inclusive democracy and urge you to act in the interests of basic human rights and dignity.

Sincerely,

Signed by: 

1. Ah Nah Podcast – Conversations with Myanmar, Ireland
2. ALTSEAN-Burma, Thailand
3. American Baptist Churches, KS, USA
4. American Baptist Churches, OH, USA
5. Arizona Kachin Community, AZ, USA
6. Australian Karen Organisation Inc
7. Bangladesh Rohingya Student Union (BRSU)
8. Better Burma, CA, USA
9. Burma Action Ireland
10. Burma Advocacy Group, USA
11. Burma Campaign UK
12. Burma Canadian Association of Ontario
13. Burma Task Force, IL, USA
14. Burmese American Community Institute, IN, USA
15. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
16. Burmese Women’s Union (BWU), Thailand
17. California Kachin Community, CA, USA
18. Calvary Burmese Church, Washington, DC
19. Campaign for a New Myanmar, Washington, DC, USA
20. Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. MD, USA
21. Chin Baptist Association, MD, USA
22. Community Rebuilding Centre, Bangladesh
23. Coordination Team for Emergency Relief (Karenni), Burma
24. Crane Center for Prevention of Mass Atrocities, CA, USA
25. CRPH Funding Ireland
26. Dallas Kachin Community, TX, USA
27. DEEKU-Karenni Community of Amarillo, TX, USA
28. Det Norsk Baptistsamfunn, Norway
29. DFW Kachin Baptist Church, TX
30. EarthRights International, Washington, DC, USA
31. European Karen Network, Norway
32. Florida Kachin Community, FL, USA
33. Free Burma Campaign South Africa
34. Georgia Kachin Community, GA, USA
35. Give A Helping Hand, Norway
36. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, NY, USA
37. Houston Kachin Community, TX, USA
38. Human Rights Foundation of Monland, Burma
39. Humanity Institute, Burma
40. Institute for Asian Democracy, Washington, DC. USA
41. International Campaign for the Rohingya, Washington, DC, USA
42. International Karen Organization, PA, USA
43. Iowa Kachin Community, IA, USA
44. Jewish World Watch, CA, USA
45. Justice For All, Washington, DC. USA
46. K’Nyaw Baptist Church, MN
47. Kachin American Community (Portland – Vancouver)
48. Kachin Baptist Churches, MD, USA
49. Kachin Community of Indiana, IN, USA
50. Kachin Community of USA
51. Kachin Contextual Analysis Team, Burma
52. Kachin refugee committee, Malaysia
53. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
54. Kansas Karenni community, KS, USA
55. Karen American Association of Wisconsin, WI, USA
56. Karen Association of Huron, SD, USA
57. Karen Baptist Church, CO
58. Karen Community of Canada
59. Karen Community in Norway
60. Karen Community of Akron, OH, USA
61. Karen Community of Georgia, GA, USA
62. Karen Community of Greensboro, NC, USA
63. Karen Community of Iowa, IA, USA
64. Karen Community of Kansas City, KS & MO, USA
65. Karen Community of Minnesota, MN, USA
66. Karen Human Rights Group, Burma
67. Karen Organization of Illinois, IL, USA
68. Karen Peace Support Network, Thailand
68. Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), Thailand
70. Karen Youth Education Pathways, Washington, DC, USA
71. Karen Youth Network, Burma
72. Karenni Community of Arizona, AZ, USA
73. Karenni Community of Arkensas, AK, USA
74. Karenni Community of Austin, TX, USA
75. Karenni Community of Bowling Green, KY, USA
76. Karenni Community of Buffalo, NY, USA
77. Karenni Community of Chicago, IL, USA
78. Karenni Community of Colorado, CO, USA
79. Karenni Community of Dallas, TX, USA
80. Karenni community of Des Moines, IA, USA
81. Karenni Community of Florida, FL, USA
82. Karenni Community of Fort Worth, TX, USA
83. Karenni Community of Georgia, GA, USA
84. Karenni Community of Houston, TX, USA
85. Karenni Community of Idaho, ID, USA
86. Karenni Community of Indianapolis, IN, USA
87. Karenni Community of Massachusetts, MA, USA
88. Karenni Community of Michigan, MI, USA
89. Karenni community of Minnesota, MN, USA
90. Karenni Community of Missouri, MO, USA
91. Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC, USA
92. Karenni Community of Portland, OR, USA
93. Karenni Community of Rockford, IL, USA
94. Karenni Community of San Antonio, TX, USA
95. Karenni Community of Sioux Falls, SD, USA
96. Karenni Community of Utah, UT, USA
97. Karenni Community of Utica, NY, USA
98. Karenni Community of Washington, WA, USA
99. Karenni Community of Wisconsin, WI, USA
100. Karenni Human Rights Group, Burma
101. Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO), Thailand
102. Karenni Society of Omaha, NE, USA
103. Karenni-American Association, USA, USA
104. Kayan Women’s Organization (KyWO), Burma
105. Kentucky Kachin Community, KY, USA
106. Kuki Women’s Human Rights Organization (KWHRO), Burma
107. L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty
108. Lahu Women’s Organization (LWO)
109. Louisiana Kachin Community, LA, USA
110. Maryland Kachin Community, MD, USA
111. Michigan Kachin Community, MI, USA
112. Milwaukee Myanmar Christian Church, WI, USA
113. Mingalarama Wiharra Monastery, MD, USA
114. Minnesota Kachin Community, MN, USA
115. Myanmar Campaign Network, Australia
116. Myanmar Christian Church of Metro Chicago, IL, USA
117.  Never Again Coalition, OR, USA
118. New York Kachin Community, NY, USA
119. No Business With Genocide, Washington, DC, USA
120. North Carolina Kachin Community, NA, USA
121. NUG and CRPH Supporters Ireland
122. Omaha Kachin Community, NE, USA
123. Overseas Burmese Christian Fellowship, MA
124. Pa-O Women’s Union (PWU), Burma
125. Peace and Justice Committee, KY, USA
126. Pennsylvania Kachin Community, PA, USA
127. Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
128. Rohingya Action Ireland
129. Rohingya Students Network, Bangladesh
130. Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Thailand
131. South Carolina Kachin Community, SC, USA
132. Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO), Burma
133 Tavoy Women’s Union (TWU)
134. Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell, GA
135. Temple Habonim, Barrington, RI
136. Tennessee Kachin Community, TN, USA
137. U.S. Campaign for Burma, Washington, DC, USA
138. Unitarian Universalist Association, NY, USA
139. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, MA, USA
140. Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, WI, USA
141. United States Chin Coalition, IN, USA
142. UU College of Social Justice, MA, USA
143. UU Mass Action, MA, USA
144. UU Society of Oneonta NY, USA
145. Virginia Kachin Community, VA, USA
146. Washington Kachin Community, WA, USA
147. West Virginia Kachin Community, WV, USA
148. Women for Justice (WJ), Burma
149. Women’s League of Burma, Thailand
150. Women’s Peace Network, Burma


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