Ethnics Join Protests
covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Ethnics Join Protests

By Saw Yan Naing Monday, September 24, 2007


Ethnic parties in Burma have joined the protesting monks and Burmese general public in the nationwide demonstrations, according to some top ethnic leaders.

The chairman of the Zomi National Congress, Cin Shing Htan told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the protesters speak for all the people of Burma: “We (the ethnic minorities) also support the movement and we have decided to join the monks.”

Cin Shing Htan added, “We welcome [the protests] and thank the monks. We will follow the flag of the Buddhist monks. We have showed by marching with the demonstrators that we support the monks.”

Aye Thar Aung, Secretary of the Arakan League for Democracy, said that the country is facing a political crisis. He agreed with what the monks had asked for and had decided to join the protests.

“We are now ready to cooperate with the monks. We have shown our agreement and support by joining the protest and marching together with the monks today,” said Aye Thar Aung.

The Arakanese politician said that he had organized three physicians, including Aung Tin Oo who is an ethnic Karen politician, to follow the demonstrations in case protesters needed medical treatment. He added that he and his group will continue to cooperate with the monks in the coming days.

Aye Thar Aung urged all ethnic peoples, government staff and soldiers to join the protests, demand their rights and help change Burma into a democratic nation.

Other ethnic politicians also joined the demonstrations, such as Thar Ban from the Arakan League for Democracy, Htawng Kho Thang from the United National League for Democracy and Naing Htun Thein from the Mon National Party.

Mahn Sha, General Secretary of the Karen National Union, said, “The regime is not only the enemy of the Burmese people, but it is also the common enemy of all ethnic people. It is necessary for all ethnic groups to cooperate at this time. If the general public, the monks and the students work together, the regime can’t treat us as slaves.”

He said that KNU is ready to cooperate with the protestors politically as well as opposing the regime in armed conflict.

Mahn Sha also urged members of the armed forces to join the protests. He said that senior leaders also treat the soldiers as slaves. “So, lower ranking officers need to join hands with the public to fight against the military brass,” he added.

Col Yord Serk, leader of the Shan State Army (South), based along the Thai-Burmese border, also expressed support for the protesting monks.

The Alliance of All Burma Buddhist Monks released a statement on Monday calling for national reconciliation, the release of all political prisoners, and relief from the hardship in people’s daily lives.

However, while many people and political groups inside and outside the country are supporting the growing protests in Burma, some members of ethnic groups have reportedly said that this is a fight “between Burman and Burman” and is not a concern for ethnic people.

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