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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid