ASIA/MYANMAR - The Bishop of Myitkyina: "Stop violence, which slows down development"

Friday, 17 January 2020 wars   violence   peace   development   human rights  


Myitkyina (Agenzia Fides) - The bloodshed that continues in some parts of Myanmar "is a cause for concern for all, is a brake on development, blocks the construction of a sustainable future": says Bishop Francis Daw Tang, at the guide of the diocese of Myitkyina, in the state of Kachin, in northern Myanmar. Through Agenzia Fides, the Bishop launched a heartfelt appeal, hoping that "the violence and conflicts that still torment the country will be resolved through dialogue: the people of Myanmar aspire to peace and development".
The Bishop recalls that the conflicts with ethnic minorities and the tension between local rebel groups and the regular army have lasted for decades. "This state of affairs marked by a condition of permanent conflict has caused serious problems for the population of all walks of life, creating great suffering among civilians and generating waves of internally displaced persons", notes Mgr. Tang in his interview with Fides.
Among the dioceses most affected by violence and bloodshed are those of Banmaw and Myitkyina, in the Kachin state, and that of Lashio, in the Shan state. The Kachin and the Shan are in fact two of the major ethnic groups that have organized a rebellion - since the days of the dictatorship - and have fought with the Burmese army.
"Ethnic violence and relentless conflict in the North Myanmar region are putting a strain on the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of people, while the conditions for guaranteeing sustenance, education and peace in the region remain critical", notes the Bishop, expressing bitterness for the situation.
In this context, the diocese of Myitkyina is trying to live the year 2020, says Mgr. Tang, "focusing on the challenges to respond to the concrete needs of the faithful, starting from health, education and social development, while taking care of the pastoral aspects related to spiritual growth and administration of the sacraments".
In particular, a challenge that the diocese faces is the situation that affects many young people who "interrupt their studies for various reasons", linked to the unease of the present situation. The Church, through her pastoral workers, tries to limit this bloodshed and "to accompany them in the growth and development of a particular skill, also proposing professional training itineraries, so that they can have an occupation and a social position in society", explains the Bishop.
The diocese of Myitkyina has over 90,000 Catholics spread across 20 parishes, in which 64 priests and 120 nuns operate. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 17/1/2020)