As the military has increased its offensive attacks in Kayah State, with firing heavy weapon shells and dropping bombs over the villages, the Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) issued an essential 9-point statement on 4 March that includes building bunkers for the people.
Interview with KSCC Chairman U Aung San Myint discussed these issues and the ongoing humanitarian needs for the internally displaced persons from battles in Kayah state.
TLT: What is the underlying reason for the statement to build up bunkers and bomb-proof shelters?
KSCC: The battles have intensified since early 2023, especially in border areas. At the time even without armed conflicts, the junta troops carried out residential areas every day. When the battles took place, the military used fighter jets in bombing. So, we made a warning to the public about the needs of bunkers and bomb-proof shelters, as the junta is preparing for fierce battles.
TLT: Which advise will be given to the civilians and IDPs while the conflict is escalating?
KSCC: The number of IDP is very high. They have considerable needs in education and health sectors. So, we are providing assistance to them as possible as we can, although have many difficulties. While KSCC and other CSOs are giving assistance, people should have patience and understanding. Moreover, they should follow our occasional warning and statements for their benefits.
They should abide by our restrictions to the prohibited areas. No one is safe at the moment. Some people in urban areas are the pro-military and some others are anti-military who support and provide assistance to our revolution.
Both IDPs and ordinary people have been oppressed by the dictatorship over 70 years. So we need to urge all the people to fight against illegitimate ruling and administration of junta regime.
If we could not root out military dictatorship this time, we would not secure ethnic rights, equality and self-ruling. And then we will continue to suffer these oppressions for next many decades.
We will have to cross the scorching sun before we reach a cool shade. So, I am asking for unity among all the people.
TLT: How is KSCC making protection to the IDPs, and what are your difficulties?
KSCC: People are in needs of security, food, clothe and shelter, education and healthcare. We are protecting them from the enemies with taking their security. If the enemies reached the IDP camps, they will surely commit atrocities there.
So, we are helping in their access to humanitarian assistance, education and healthcare services. We have to live in makeshift tents on the ground. We have no sufficient medicines while we are trying to survive ourselves amidst frequent changes of weather conditions.
We need more assistance. Although we are living in deficiency of basic items, we help each other and we promote our unity.
TLT: Why did the junta intensify attacks in Kayah State.
KSCC: The State of Emergency was extended, and the martial law was imposed on 27 townships of Kayah state in February. Then, the military has prepared to increase their offensive attacks. Such orders have restricted human rights.
The military shall point out the state of emergency for their humanitarian crimes in these offensive attacks.
TLT: What do you expect from international community to take actions against human rights violation and war crimes committed by the junta in Kayah?
KSCC: We have frequently asked international community for taking actions against Myanmar junta for these crimes. For example, they burned over 40 civilians to death one day ahead of December 2021. We collected concrete evidence for their crimes. However, the military is still subjected to the exemption from international action.
The military is committing atrocities in Karenni state, and other areas. They are violating 2008 Constitution. So, international community should not recognize them. The ASEAN countries and the world powers should not neglect Myanmar military’s inhumane acts. In consideration of human lives, international community should take immediate urgent actions against Myanmar military in breaking the country’s deadlocks.