Caritas calls on Myanmar to allow peaceful protests

Vatican City, 27 September 2007 – Caritas Internationalis appeals for an end to the violence in Myanmar as authorities clamp down on the peaceful protests of the Buddhist monks.

Myanmar has witnessed over a month of peaceful demonstrations led by the country’s monks.

The military government has resorted to increasing use of force in response to the marches.

Caritas urges the government of Myanmar to respect the human rights of its civilians, including the right to peaceful protest. 

Caritas urges the international community to use their influence with the Myanmar government in pushing for a non-violent resolution of the current situation. Caritas says China, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could do more to engage with Myanmar.

Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, said, “We condemn the violent response to the peaceful demonstration and stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar.”

“The international community should continue its vigilance in witnessing the events occurring in Myanmar at this moment and in the days after where we fear further repercussions against the monks and the civilian population.”

Caritas welcomes Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s call to the authorities to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. This must translate into action.

The UN Security Council must demonstrate its responsibility and commitment to the people of Myanmar and pursue efforts to find peaceful solutions to the crisis.

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