Burmese Consulate in Thailand refuses to accept Shan CBOs’ anti-war statement

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Both the Myanmar Consulate General and U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai refused to officially accept an open letter delivered by a delegation from a coalition of Shan community-based organizations (CBOs) demanding an end to Burma Army attacks in central Shan State, said Ying Harn Fah, the group spokesperson, on Friday.

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Ying Harn Fah said that the consulates did not accept the letter because the CBOs did not adhere to the formal process for delivering messages: statements must be sent via post.

“They [the Consul] are not available to meet with us,” she said.

Embasscy CM_001The delivery date of the open letter marked one month of of Burma Army offensives in central Shan State, which began on October 6. The use of heavy artillery has displaced more than 6,000 people from 22 villages in Kesi, Mong Hsu, Mong Nong and Tan Yan Townships.

The groups said that those displaced are now sheltering in makeshift camps, and are in urgent need of humanitarian aid and protection. The Burma Army is reportedly continuing to launch attacks close to the camps, and has begun blocking humanitarian access to the displaced.

“The indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, including during sacred Buddhist festivals, makes it clear that Naypyidaw has no respect for human rights or humanitarian law,” the statement read.

The attempted delivery of the letter also occurred two days before Burma is set to hold elections on November 8.

“It’s closed for voting,” said Ying Harn Fah of conflict area. “The villagers want to vote, but because of the ongoing fighting, they cannot,” said Ying Harn Fah.

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In order for the letter to reach the consulates, the group plans to send them by email and post.

“We will send it not only to these consulates, but also to other consulates,” Ying Harn Fah said.

The groups also urged the international community, particularly those coming to monitor Burma’s election, to publicly denounce Naypyidaw’s ongoing offensives against ethnic populations.

“The immediate ending of these offensives must be a benchmark for any further engagement with Naypyidaw,” the statement read.

By SAI AW / Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N)

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