Myanmar Peace Activists Call for an End to the Country's 60-Year-Old Civil War

International Day of Peace Myanmar (6)

Photo shared by Yangon Youth Network

Various groups in Myanmar celebrated the International Day of Peace on September 21 by marching in the former capital city of Yangon while demanding the release of political prisoners and the resolution of the decades-long civil war in the country.

Organizers of the event explained why it's crucial to end the armed political conflicts in the country:

နှစ်ခြောက်ဆယ်ကျော် ပြည်တွင်းစစ်ပွဲများ ဖြစ်ပွားနေခဲ့သော ပြည်ထောင်စုကြီးအတွင်း စစ်မှန်သော ငြိမ်းချမ်းရေး ရရှိနိုင်ရန် ရည်ရွယ်၍ စက်တင်ဘာလ ၂၁ရက်နေ့ အပြည်ပြည်ဆိုင်ရာ ငြိမ်းချမ်းရေးနေ့တွင် ငြိမ်းချမ်းရေးလိုလားသူ ကျောင်းသားလူငယ်များ ပြည်သူများမှ တစ်နိုင်ငံလုံး ငြိမ်းချမ်းလွတ်လပ် ဟူသည့်ကြွေးကြော်သံဖြင့် ချီတက်ပွဲတစ်ရပ်ပြုလုပ်သွားမည်ဖြစ်ပါသည်။

စစ်မှန်သော ငြိမ်းချမ်းရေးရရှိရန်မှာ လက်နက်ကိုင် ပဋိပက္ခများသာမကပဲ နိုင်ငံရေး ပဋိပက္ခများပါ ပြေလည်ရန်လိုအပ်ပြီး နိုင်ငံရေးကြောင့် ဖမ်းဆီးခံထားရသော အကျဉ်းသား မရှိရန် လိုအပ်သည်ဟု ယုံကြည်သဖြင့် ယခုနှစ်ချီတက်ပွဲတွင် နိုင်ငံရေးအကျဉ်းသားအားလုံး ခြွင်းချက်မရှိ လွတ်မြောက်ရေးကို အထူးအလေးထား တောင်းဆိုသွားမည် ဖြစ်ပါသည်။

In the hope of achieving true peace in our Union plagued with various civil wars for more than 60 years, peace-loving students and citizens will march on the International Day of Peace on 21st September, shouting the slogans of National Peace.

To achieve genuine peace is to resolve not only the armed conflicts but also political conflicts, and we believe that the country should not have political prisoners. Therefore, we will demand for the unconditional release of all political prisoners.

Myanmar was under a military dictatorship for five decades. During this period, civil war intensified between government troops and ethnic armed rebels. The country embarked on a political transition in 2011 towards establishing a democratic government, but it was still plagued by local armed conflicts and communal violence. About 1.5 million internally displaced persons continue to live in makeshift camps due to the lingering civil war and communal conflicts across the country. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), there are still 108 political prisoners who are detained, including some students who are clamoring for reforms.

Take a look at some of the photos of the march from the Facebook pages of Yangon Youth Network and International Day of Peace, Myanmar:

International Day of Peace Myanmar (3)

Peace March in Yangon. Photo shared by Yangon Youth Network.

International Day of Peace Myanmar (2)

The placard reads “To build the federal union is the way towards true peace.” Photo shared by Yangon Youth Network.

International Day of Peace Myanmar

An activist delivers a speech during a rally in Yangon. Photo shared by International Day of Peace, Myanmar.

International Day of Peace Myanmar (4)

The text on the costume: (Wings) “Shed your selfishness and pride.” (Body) “Dear friends, this is the time to shed (your) hatred.” Photo shared by International Day of Peace, Myanmar.

International Day of Peace Myanmar (5)

The banner reads “The whole nation peaceful, free.” Photo shared by International Day of Peace, Myanmar.

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