In the News
Bangkok, Thailand - Six months after fighting erupted between troops from Myanmar (also known as Burma) and ethnic Kachin separatists, international relief is finally trickling in for over 30,000 people who fled their homes near the snow-capped mountains north of the country. The United Nations-led relief effort began distributing "essential household items" on December 13 in Laiza, a town deep in the mountainous terrain under the control of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
In the News
The villagers scattered as machine guns raked the darkness, fleeing from the Burmese troops into the thick of the jungle. When day came they crept from their hiding places to find each other.
Calls from eight Kachin groups on visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press the government to draw to a close months of heavy fighting in the northern Burmese state have been welcomed by rights groups. PHR released a report detailing ongoing human rights violations by the Burmese army against Kachin civilians and further applauded Clinton’s request that the government drop its blockade on aid reaching the thousands displaced by fighting since June.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she saw the start of a “new future” in the country, a day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the nation’s leaders the U.S. is open to lifting sanctions if they grant more political freedoms and promote internal peace.
Following PHR's calls for Secretary Clinton to make the plight of ethnic minorities in border areas of Burma a priority in talks with the government, she called for an end to violent campaigns against Burma's ethnic minorities.