Fri 4 Jan 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,International,Military,News
A group of 16 NGOs has written to the International Crisis Group (ICG) urging it to reconsider its decision to present Burmese President Thein Sein with its highest peace award in April 2013.
In a January 4 letter to ICG President and CEO Louise Arbour, the NGOs say: “Given the worsening war situation in the Kachin area in northern Burma, and the recent brutal crackdowns in Rakhine State and the Letpadaung copper mine, for which the president bears direct responsibility, we feel strongly that it is highly inappropriate to award him with this prestigious peace award at this time.”
The letter concludes: “We therefore strongly urge the ICG to revise its award decision in order to avoid besmirching the ICG’s reputation by honoring a president whose government has yet to demonstrate that it is different from its previous brutal and devious military predecessors.”
Twelve of the 16 signatories represent Kachin communities or Kachin rights either inside Burma or abroad, including the Kachin National Organization.