Conclusions and Recommendations
The government should halt all offensive operations against the KIO and other armed ethnic forces. Armed conflict will worsen – not resolve – Burma’s ethnic and political crises. The violence contradicts promises to achieve reform through dialogue, and undermines democratic and economic progress for the whole country.
Ethnic peace must be prioritised as an integral part of political, economic and constitutional reform. Dialogue must be established to include ethnic groups that are outside the national political system.
Restrictions on humanitarian aid to the victims of conflict must be lifted. With hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in the ethnic borderlands, a longterm effort is required to ensure that aid truly reaches to the most vulnerable and needy peoples as part of any process of peace-building.
Economic and development programmes must benefit local peoples. Landgrabbing and unsustainable business practices must halt, and decisions on the use of natural resources and regional development must have the participation of local communities and representatives.
The international community must play an informed and neutral role in supporting ethnic peace and political reform. Human rights’ progress remains essential, all ethnic groups should be included, and economic investments made only with the consultation of local peoples.