Women Burma Activists launch the campaign “Gain the Goal by Working Together” to promote support for cross border cooperation

Press release by Altsean Burma Interns

For Immediate Release: 26th May2012

Women Burma Activists launch the campaign “Gain the Goal by Working Together” to promote supportfor cross border cooperation

Bangkok:  Alternative Asean Network on Burma’s (Altsean-Burma) women interns arelaunching a video campaign to urge international donors to increase support forBurmaborder groups that have been working inside the country. This is an importantway to ensure that Community Based Organizations (CBOs) inside and outside Burma are ableto achieve sustainable progress on human rights and democracy in all parts of thecountry.

After 2010 elections andthe establishment of a new “civilian” government, reforms started by the governmentmade the international community think that Burmawas truly   starting a democratictransition and that the situation in Burma was changing in a positiveway. In the rush to take advantage of the situation, international donors havebeen pouring resources into central Burma without considering the needsthat border groups have been addressing.

“Even though the government saidthey are reforming, there are still many human rights violations and fightingwith ethnic armed groups in Burma.Because of the fighting, the number of IDPs and refugees has increased. Thegovernment has released political prisoners but according to 401 section of thenational legislation, they can be rearrested any time. Hundreds of politicalprisoners are still behind bars,” said Rosemary, one of Altsean-Burma’sinterns.

“If international donors cutsupport to CBOs along the border, it would be difficult to document humanrights violations in Burma, especially in ethnic areas. Because CBOs insideBurma face difficulties in sharing human rights reports with the international community.Thus, there will be more human rights violations,” explained Poe Jaing, anotherintern of Altsean Burma.

CBOs inside and outside Burmahave been working together for many years within the limited space that they haveeven if it was not visible for the international community due to the securityand restrictions of the regime.

The interns urge internationaldonors to support increased cooperation strengthen and sharing of capacity of CBOsalong the border group and CBOs inside Burma. That’s why we call our campaign‘Gain the Goal by Working Together’ ” added Cho Thae, another intern.

The interns are from differentethnic groups and women organizations including Burmese Women’s Union (BWU),Kayan Women’s Organization (KyWO), Pa.O Women’s Union (PWU), Palaung Women’sOrganization (PWO), Foundation for Education and Development (FED) and KarenWomen’s Organization (KWO).

Today, interns will launch thevideo “Gain the Goal by Working Together,” and a statement. The video features adialogue between women activists inside and outside of Burma thathighlights the important role of CBOs throughout the country to address ongoinghuman rights violations and economic injustice.

This video and statement will be distributed to theinternational donors and NGOs, CBOs inside and outside Burma. It is available on YouTube atthis link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTHkP4qG5tI&feature=youtu.be

Facebook,(AltseanBurma Interns) http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003811706569

and Altsean-Burma’s website www.altsean.org.

The campaign materials can beused by activists freely.

Contact Detail:

Name : Nang Moet Moet and Hser Hser

Email : altseang24@gmail.com

Tel : +668 1387 3312 , +668 04976754 ( 9:00 am- 5:00 pm ThailandTime)

You can find the statement and Press release in pdf version on these links.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/81599444/Statement%2026%20May%202012.pdf

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/81599444/Press%20Release%20_26%20May%202012_.pdf

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About Karen Women Organisation

The Karen Women Organisation was formed in 1949 and has a membership of over 64,100 women. KWO is a community-based organisation of Karen women working in development and relief in the refugee camps on the Thai border and with IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and women inside Burma. Since our formation in 1949 we have expanded our focus from one of purely social welfare to try to encourage an awareness of Women's Rights and to promote women’s participation in the community decision making and political processes. The objectives of the KWO  To assist women in the endeavour to be free from all forms of oppression.  To promote and empower women in all spheres of life, including education and general living standards.  To encourage women to participate in the struggle for freedom, democracy and equality.  To develop women's knowledge, ability and skills, including political and organizational skills.  To achieve the rights of women and equal status with men.  To promote and maintain Karen culture and traditions.  To improve the well-being of women and children and to increase their access to adequate health, education and welfare services. KWO aims to empower women through offering various capacity building trainings to teach skills, build confidence and create new opportunities so that women will be better able to solve problems. We are working hard to educate ourselves and our communities so that we can work more effectively and advocate for our struggle on the international stage. We believe that women’s contribution is an essential factor in the peace-building and national reconciliation processes of Burma.