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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Peace marchers set off from Rangoon to Kachin State


Peace marchers set off from Rangoon to Kachin State


About 30 Burmese activists set off on Monday morning from Rangoon on a 1,300-km journey by foot to the besieged town of Laiza in Kachin State, calling for an end to the ongoing conflict in Kachin State.
Peace activists set off from Rangoon on January 21 on a 1,300-km march to Laiza in Kachin State. (Photo: Bo Bo/ Mizzima)
Peace activists set off from Rangoon on January 21 on a 1,300-km march to Laiza in Kachin State. (Photo: Bo Bo/ Mizzima)

According to a report in Radio Free Asia (RFA), the peace marchers said they expect to cover the 800-mile walk in about two months, during which time they hope to gather more participants and step up their peace campaign.

The Burmese government announced a unilateral ceasefire on Friday, following widespread condemnation from the international community, including a severe rebuke from Beijing after at least four bombs or artillery shells fell on the Chinese side of the border.

Kachin military sources, however, accuse the Burmese forces of flouting their own ceasefire, and say the Burmese army continues to launch offensives around the Kachin rebel headquarters of Laiza. 

“We are marching in an effort to stop the fighting as the people, including ethnic groups and Buddhist monks, want no war in this country," activist Ko Khine Nay Min told RFA's Burmese service as he set off on the long walk to Laiza.

"We want to request the government to stop fighting,” he added. “We also would like to ask the Kachin armed group to stop fighting if they are concerned about the casualties of the war.”

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