Hundreds march for Kachin, Shan states peace in Mandalay
AS civil war between the military and ethnic groups in Kachin and north Shan states heats up, about 200 people marched for peace south of the Mandalay moat on October 15, calling for peace.
“Our participation in the peace rally is not about ethnicity, religion or politics,” said Daw Lamai Htoiya, who is of Kachin descent and marched in the rally. “We are requesting that our children, women and elderly, who are being impacted by war, be allowed to live in peace. There are people who are suffering within the war zone. The children lose their dreams.”
“Stop the wars,” she said. “Wars have no benefits. Both sides lose. The civilians who take refuge from the war are frightened. They lack food. Therefore, we want the war to end quickly.”
Poets recited peace poems. Ethnic people spoke on behalf of those in areas of conflict.
“Education, the economy and race relations are being damaged by the wars, which have been ongoing for many years,” said Ko Aung Thein, who participated in the rally. “This damaged country will be rebuilt again if the civil war is stopped. Civilians want peace very much.”
According to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Tatmadaw escalated fighting in the area on August 16.
Earlier this month, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Kachin State capital Myitkyina to decry the military action.
– Translation by San Layy