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
    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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora