News / Asia

Burma’s Kachin Conflict Escalates

Burma’s Kachin Conflict Escalatesi
X
January 13, 2013 8:59 PM
In Burma’s north, an 18-month-long battle between Kachin rebels and Burmese troops has escalated in recent weeks, with the military’s use of airpower. While the fighting continues, Burma's ethnic leaders are gathering to discuss whether the peace process can continue.

Burma’s Kachin Conflict Escalates

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
— In Burma’s north, an 18-month-long battle between Kachin rebels and Burmese troops has escalated in recent weeks, with the military’s use of airpower. While the fighting continues, Burma's ethnic leaders are gathering to discuss whether the peace process can continue.

Burmese air strikes on Kachin military positions mark a significant escalation in the battle with the Kachin Independence Army, which is fighting for greater autonomy.  Few reporters are on the ground. This footage was released by a humanitarian organization called Free Burma Rangers.

Some worry the attacks could derail peace talks for the country’s last ongoing armed rebellion. A group of ethnic leaders, United Nationalities Federation Council, met in northern Thailand to discuss prospects for a unilateral ceasefire. David Tharkabaw is the vice president of the UNFC. “Very heavy artillery, very heavy bombardment, so we may even consider the possibility -- the probability of suspending the talks," he said.

In Bangkok Friday, some 50 protesters gathered in at the Burmese embassy calling for an end to the war in Kachin state. No Burmese embassy officials met the protesters, who called for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take up their cause.

“I want Aung San Suu Kyi to work harder and speak for Kachin ethnics and all ethnic groups in Burma and stand for us we trust in you," said one protester.

Newly democratic Burma has seen a surge in tourism in the past year. The Kachin conflict threaten to damage its reputation among visitors, such as tourist Jeneane Paxson, who happened to visit the embassy for a tourist visa during the protest. "Obviously there are some underlying issues going on that could very well affect my trip," she said.

President Thein Sein has been lauded as a reformer by international rights groups, and is slated to receive the International Crisis Group's highest honor, the Pursuit of Peace Award in April 2013.

ICG's Southeast Asia project director Jim Della-Giacoma says via Skype that despite the fighting, there could still be a peace deal. “These airstrikes are not happening in isolation they've happened at a particular point in time when peace talks haven't been going well and there is on both sides distrust, an attempt to fight it out on the battlefield but at the same time continue to talk. There is interest from both the Kachin and the military to have a deal to end this conflict," he said.

More protests at embassies around the world are scheduled to take place over the next few days.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid