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Published on Friday, 18 January 2013 21:10
The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy party has called on the Union government and the Kachin Independence Army to immediately end fighting in Kachin State and work towards peace.
In a strongly worded statement issued on Wednesday the party noted that the conflict was escalating and that media reports confirmed that the military had launched airstrikes.
Innocent civilians, including mothers and children, are suffering as a result of the fighting, the statement said. Tens of thousands of ethnic Kachin people, most of whom are Christian, spent Christmas Day in refugee camps while the event was celebrated worldwide, it added.
The Shan party also criticised President Thein Sein and his government, the Kachin State chief minister and his government, the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to end the conflict.
It pointed to the lack of a constitutional provision granting full autonomy for internal administration of ethnic minority states, saying this was
at the root of the conflict. The 1947 Panglong agreement promised “full autonomy” in internal administration of “Frontier Areas”.
The Shan party stressed that the government needed to clarify its stance on implementing policies that affect ethnic minorities and seek political solutions for political issues.
An immediate end to the fighting in Kachin is necessary to protect the interests of the entire union, the Shan party said.