Joint statement by the Ta’ang Students and Youths Union (TSYU) and Ta’ang Women Organization (TWO) on battles that have been taking place in Mogoke and Mokeik areas from February 2 to 3, 2015.
A synopsis of the statement (Dated February 4, 2015)
1. Attacks by Myanmar Tatmadaw (Burma Army) on TNLA troops, engaged in destroying opium fields, during February 2 and 3, wounded seriously 2 students and 3 villagers and caused 2000 villagers from 5 Ta’ang, one Chinese and one Lisu villages to flee and take refuge in Mogoke Town and nearby jungles.
2. As entire villages have to flee and schools have to be closed, at a time when exams for promotion are only a few days away, education of the children is affected. As the attacks targeted the civilians also, the Myanmar government must take action to stop attacks on civilians, immediately.
3. As Myanmar Tatmadaw employed over 1,000 troops from units based at Mogoke, Momeik and the foothill of Mandalay Hill, 2 helicopter gunships and one jet fighter, both sides suffer many dead and wounded.
4. The use of war helicopters, heavy weapons and excessive number of troops in the civil war would easily maim and kill the civilian populations, it is a failure to abide by the Geneva Conventions, and we strongly protest it.
5. While President Thein Sein is declaring for signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on February 12, Union Day, as the launching of such massive offensives is detrimental to the signing of NCA, the TWO and TSYU absolutely protest and condemn it.
Demands: We call on the government –
- To immediately and unconditionally halt massive military offensives;
- To immediately cease bombardment and rocketing by the use of war helicopters and jets in the civil war;
- To regard narcotic problem as a national issue and resolve all problems relating to narcotic drugs together with the people;
- To take mainly the responsibility for resolving all the problems relating to war refugees and impairment to education.
TSYU & TWO
1. DD Po-kyein (TWO) 09-6718218
2. Lway Po Kyein Kee (TWO) 09-252325799
3. Mai Myo Aung (TSYU) 09-91051695
4. Mai Thein Zaw (TSYU) 09-47214717