News / Asia

    Japanese Foundation to Send Aid to Burma

    Burmese refugees from Bhamo city at a rescue camp in the Chinese southwestern border city of Ruili, Yunnan province, February 9, 2012.
    Burmese refugees from Bhamo city at a rescue camp in the Chinese southwestern border city of Ruili, Yunnan province, February 9, 2012.
    VOA News
    A Japanese philanthropic organization says it is sending $3 million in aid to ethnic groups in Burma, some of which are still engaged in armed conflict with the Burmese government.

    The Nippon Foundation made the announcement Thursday in Tokyo after meeting with representatives from the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition of Burmese ethnic groups who are seeking peace talks with the government.  Foundation officials say the first shipments of food and medicine will be sent in the coming months.

    Khun Myint Htun with the Pa-O Nationalities Liberation Group was at the meeting as part of the UNFC and says the deal will make an immediate impact.

    "The aid provided is primarily urgent humanitarian aid to be given as soon as possible," said Pa-Oh Nationalities Liberation Group spokesman Khun Myint Htun.  "The first phase of the Nippon Foundation Aid is $3 million."

    The Burmese government does not recognize the UNFC but the Nippon Foundation says the aid deal has the support of Burma's leadership.  

    Officials in Tokyo say the Burmese government sees the aid as a way of speeding up the peace process as it negotiates with the individual groups.

    The UNFC includes the Karen National Union and the Kachin Independence Organization.

    Fighting between the Burmese army and Kachin rebels broke out last year near some China-backed hydropower and oil-pipeline projects.  

    The exile Kachin News Group reports fighting has intensified since August near Hpakant, where the world's best quality jadeite is mined.

    But the UNFC representatives, including Khun Myint Htun, say the aid will not help fund further fighting.

    "The aid given by Nippon Foundation to the ethnic minorities is not in the form of cash donation but in the form of rice and medicine which are urgently in need," added Khun Myint Htun.  "In providing rice and medicine, the process will be administered by the Foundation itself.  The priority is to deliver the aid to those in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.  For example, among the members of our UNFC (The United Nationalities Federal Council), the KIO (Kachin Independence Organization) is the worst conflict hit area.  The people in that area will get the aid first. Then the IDPs (internally displaced people) from our UNFC ethnic minorities will also get aid in the form of quota system.   Aid will be given to the Kachin area as priority."

    Some Burma activists have criticized other, similar efforts saying so-called "peace funds" undermine peace by prioritizing development instead of lasting political solutions.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora