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Burmese activists organize peace committee

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A peace committee will meet in Rangoon on Saturday to seek solutions to armed clashes in ethnic areas, particularly Kachin State.

The committee chairman, Bauk Ja, said the committee has invited experts and scholars to exchange views and search for solutions.

Opposition activist Bauk Ja has organized a peace committee to look at ethnic issues and propose possible solutions. Photo: MizzimaShe said about 70 people have been invited including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, NGO members, economists, ethnic leaders, religious leaders, peace activists, artists and writers.

After the Rangoon meeting, follow-up meetings will be held in Kachin State, she said.

Such a meeting is urgently needed, she said, because the government has reinforced troops in Kachin State and because of the ongoing human rights violations.

“First, we will seek advice and suggestions from the scholars. Then we will take them to locations where refugees live,” Bauk Ja said.

Referring to the halt in construction of the Myitsone Dam project, she said that people’s efforts to find peace could also have an impact on government policy, if more people know of the situation in Karen State.

The peace committee was formed on November 11 with members representing Kachin, Chin, Mon, Arakan, Karen, Karenni and Shan ethnic political parties

Bauk Ja chairs the committee. The second chairwoman is Kam Khant Dame and the secretary is Shein Tun. There are 11 committee members.
On November 15, the committee, called the Peace Poneyeik Committee, urged the government to stop reinforcing troops in Kachin State, and to allow NGOs and civil organizations to enter the area and provide aid to the war refugees.

Because of the fighting that began in June between the government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), there are more than 32,000 war refugees in the area, according to figures compiled by the KIO.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 December 2011 22:19 )  

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