Sunday December 17th 2017

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WLB New Year Appeal Letter: Thein Sein Government and All Parties to Work Towards Genuine Peace

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PDF: Burmese

Women’s League of Burma (WLB) wishes for the people of Burma to be free from danger and violations of their rights and their dignity, and to gain eternal peace, commencing from this Burmese New Year of 1375.

Today, Burma is transitioning from a dictatorship to a system of parliamentary democracy. Undoubtedly, some positive changes have occurred but they have not gone far enough in achieving the development of a true democratic state. Therefore, all parties, including President Thein Sein’s government, other political and democratic forces and all citizens of Burma need to be aware of and pay attention to this.

Importantly, all parties and stakeholders in Burma must pay heed to challenges and the actions of nondemocratic forces that threatens to obstruct these sensitive transitional political reforms and the ongoing peace process.

We believe that all parties and stakeholders, including the Thein Sein government, political parties, the ethnic armed groups and citizens of Burma, need to join hands to work together towards the achievement of truth reforms and genuine, lasting, peace. All parties must overcome their differences so that Burma’s political challenges will be solved with political, and not violent, means.

Although some positive changes have occurred in the country, there are concerns with regards to the continued imprisonment of political prisoners, the detentions of activists in violation of the rule of law, the commencement of development projects in violation of human rights and the continuation of other human rights abuses, such as forced displacement and illegal land confiscations, and sexual violence against women and girls.

We are very concerned about the failure of President Thein Sein’s government’s peace negotiations to reach nation-wide ceasefire, and about the rumors regarding the forced reparation of refugees and Internationally Displaced Persons. Also, people are frustrated with the current government and the ruling party for its failures to bring the perpetrators of recent racial and religious riots in Burma to justice.

When the people of Burma continue to suffer from these abuses of their human rights and as victims of the ongoing civil war, President Thein Sein’s government and other stakeholders such as the Burma army, the ethnic armed groups, political activists and the people of Burma must build trust in order to achieve a lasting, genuine peace and true democratic development. It is imperative that President Thein Sein’s government adheres to democratic principles in order to enable all stakeholders to work towards sustainable peace and prosperity in Burma.

The WLB therefore urges the President Thein Sein government and the Burma army, the ethnic armed groups, all political parties, activists and citizens of Burma to work peacefully together to leverage the momentum for peace and democracy. We also urge all stakeholders in Burma to include women from all ethnic groups at all levels of the peace process in order to achieve a genuine and lasting peace.

 

By Women’s League of Burma (WLB) Member organizations:

Burmese Women’s Union (BWU)

Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)

Karen Women’s Organization (KWO)

Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNOW)

Kayan Women’s Organization (KyWO)

Kuki Women Human Rights Organization (KWHRO)

Lahu Women’s Organization (LWO)

Palaung Women’s Organization (PWO)

Pa-O Women’s Union (PWO)

Rakhiang Women’s Union (RWU)

Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN)

Tayoy Women’s Union (TWU)

Women’s Rights & Welfare Association of Burma (WRWAB)