Thank you for praying for the people of Burma. We believe prayer has been part of the beginning of change here and we want to keep praying and doing what God has for us in order to be part of a heart change, justice, freedom and reconciliation in Burma. Thank you for joining us in prayer this year. We thank God for all the recent good changes in Burma and congratulate all those who have been recognized for their efforts toward a free, just and reconciled Burma. At the same time, oppression continues. Here is an update on current events in Burma and, especially, how we experience the situation on the ground.
There’s good news:
- Aung San Suu Kyi holds a position in parliament and she, along with others, has received honors on behalf of the international community for her dedication to freedom for the people of Burma.
- Many political prisoners have been released.
- Censorship and travel restrictions have been eased.
- The government of Burma is in ongoing ceasefire negotiations with many of the ethnic groups and there is an overall reduction in fighting.
- Burma Army leaders have signed an agreement to end forced labor and it has decreased in some areas. The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) had the opportunity to meet leaders of the new government.
At the same time there is ongoing oppression:
- Burma Army attacks against the Kachin continue, with over 70,000 Kachin people displaced by over 100 Burma Army battalions in northern Burma.
- In the Shan State, fighting and displacement continue and in the southern Shan State there have been over
- 30 clashes between the Burma Army and Shan resistance this year. FBR medics have given medical treatment to many of those wounded in the fighting.
- In Karen State, the Burma Army has used the ceasefires to supply their camps beyond the normal supply rate and continue to use forced labor. They have also built three new camps in violation of the ceasefire agreement. Border Guard Forces under the authority of the Burma Army have continued attacks in Karen State.
- Currently, at least 311 political prisoners remain under arrest.* Censorship laws such as the Electronic Transactions Act remain in effect as does the threat of arbitrary arrest. *Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
- In Arakan State, 120,000 people have been displaced by inter-ethnic violence between the Rohingya and Arakan. This has been partially fueled by repressive Burma government policies.
- Humanitarian access is still blocked in many areas of Burma.
March 10 was a world day of prayer for Myanmar. Here are more stories and information to feed pray for this nation.