Ending wartime torture in Northern Myanmar?

Myanmar (MNN) — For a ministry whose mission heart is in Myanmar, a detailed report of the torture that’s occurred there the last three years is a big deal.

Partners Relief and Development works in Myanmar (Burma) to bring relief amid conflict and disaster, promote healthcare and education, and spur development.

The conflicts in Burma have internally displaced 500,000 (Photo by Partners Relief and Development)

The conflicts in Burma have internally displaced 500,000.
(Photo by Partners Relief and Development)

Partners points out that there are 5,000 children in the Burma army. Burma ranks 5th worst of healthcare systems worldwide. Education participation is as low as 4% in some areas, and an estimated 500,000 people are displaced by the ongoing conflict.

Monday marked three years of resumed conflict between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Military after a 17-year ceasefire. The war is focused in the Kachin state and northern Shan state. Radio Free Asia says that 6,000 Kachin marched 10 miles to a prayer meeting to commemorate the anniversary.

The Partners Web site posts, “As sanctions are lifted, foreign investment increases, and media around the world praise the government for its reforms, statistic after statistic and reports from our team on the ground paint another picture: there is a lot that is not well in Burma, and the world must not forget this.”

A report by Fortify Rights, a human rights group based in Southeast Asia, was released Monday proving that Partners is not alone in their concern.

The report claims that Myanmar security forces have “systematically” tortured civilians they claim are aligned with the KIA. It documents testimonies detailing the extreme physical and emotional abuse of 60 civilians by the Myanmar authorities.

Often times, victims of this abuse were intentionally led to believe they were going to die, and then they were set free.

CNN quotes executive director of Fortify Rights, Matthew Smith: “The torture that we’ve documented is not a secret practice.” Quite the contrary, Smith reveals that the abuse is a very obvious message to the Kachin people, who are mainly Christian, not to have dealings with the KIA.

CNN also reports that Myanmar President Thein Sein denied the report’s accusations, saying it is not the government’s policy to torture.

Partners indicates that much of the damage done by these attacks is permanent and that survivors haven’t received adequate medical care.

While the 71-page report can be dark and depressing, it can also be used as a platform from which to raise awareness.

Be a part of the movement to bring the eternal peace of Christ to these people. Join with Partners to make a healthier Burma. Click here for more information.

Our primary prayer may not be for peace in Burma because there is a greater battle going on inside the hearts of all parties involved. Pray for the strengthening of our brothers’ and sisters’ faith, for their protection, and that the country would be transformed by the spreading of the Gospel.

Are you going to overlook this violence like the rest of the world wants to do?

Here is a link to the full report by Fortify Rights, or visit their site here.