Hun­dreds march for Kachin, Shan states peace in Man­dalay

The Myanmar Times - - News - KYAW KO KO kyawkoko@mm­times.com

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

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