Kachin locals protest against Myanmar military actions

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Members of the local Kachin ethnic community held a protest outside the Myanmar Consulate – General on January 5, 2017 to protest attacks by the Myanmar Army against Kachin and Shan States in Myanmar in the past months.

The group also called on the Myanmar government to investigate the disappearance of two pastors in Mong Ko in Kachin State. Nawng Latt and Gam Seng disappeared on Christmas Eve after leaving to meet with army officials at the base to assist in facilitating the release of local people who had been detained. The two men have not been seen since leaving for the appointment. They had been helping journalists report on the situation in Mong Ko where there has been heavy fighting between the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed groups.

Protestors held signs asking for the investigation into the disappearance of two religious leaders who had been helping journalists report on the attacks in Mong Ko.
Protestors held signs asking for the investigation into the disappearance of two religious leaders who had been helping journalists report on the attacks in Mong Ko.

A group of about 30 people led by Tortor Norkam and Hongtong protested in front of the Consulate building and held signs in English and left a letter for the Consul General asking the military to stop their attacks on Kachin people and to investigate the disappearance of the two pastors.

The letter called on the government to stop oppressing ethnic groups and to stop the attacks on people in the state. On September 16, 2016 the army attacked Keeton in Kachin State and Lai Pong on September 27, 2016 using artillery and aircraft to bomb the areas. Thousands of refugees fled but China refused entry and many are now sleeping on the road with no guarantee of safety.

The Kachin community protested for about 30 minutes before disbanding peacefully.
The Kachin community protested for about 30 minutes before disbanding peacefully.

The leaders said the Kachin community condemns the Myanmar Government and Army and called on the to stop attacking and oppressing people in Kachin State and north of Shan State and investigate the disappearance of Religious Teachers and  chaplains in Mong Ko. They called on the Chinese Government to allow Kachin refugees to escape into China and have humanity toward Kachin refugees.

The letter also stated that Kachins have known that the Myanmar Army receives support from the Russian Army to attack Kachin State and called on the Russian Government to investigate the group of people providing help to the Myanmar army in these attacks.

The protest lasted about 30 minutes and disbanded peacefully among a heavy police and military presence.