ASIA/MYANMAR - Appeal of Catholic Bishops: peace and reconciliation through dialogue

Monday, 22 February 2021 human rights   dialogue   politics   civil society   local churches   peace  

Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - A heartfelt appeal for "reconciliation through dialogue" was launched by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar in a document signed by all the Bishops of the 16 Burmese dioceses. The appeal sent to Agenzia Fides, disseminated and read in all the Catholic churches of the nation yesterday, February 21, is aimed "at those who are in power so that they resume the path of dialogue", expressing the pain and the deep concern "following the blood shed in the streets" and because of the "sad and shocking events which provoked so much suffering to our nation".
The Bishops cite with bitterness "the scene of young people dying in the streets", considering it "a wound" inflicted on the nation which "was once a land of gold". "Let us not allow the sacred soil to be bathed in brotherly blood", ask the Bishops, hoping that "the sadness of parents who bury their children" ends, while, according to Fides sources, the young people who died in the street during peaceful repressed demonstrations by the military are said to be at least 5 while more than 500 have been arrested.
"Only a month ago - recalls the text sent to Fides - the nation had in its heart the great promise: the dream of lasting peace and robust democracy. Despite the pandemic, the nation held the elections and the world admired the ability to deal with our internal differences".
Today, the Catholic Bishops join the Ma Ha Na monks (see Fides, 20/2/2021) in warning the military: "Myanmar can be wiped off the world map if problems are not resolved in a peaceful manner", and in reiterating with force "the call for reconciliation through dialogue".
The Burmese Bishops conclude with these words: "The use of violence must stop urgently. Lessons from the past teach us that violence never wins. Seventy years after independence, those in power must invest in peace. The capital of peace will heal the nation. Let's give peace a chance. Peace is possible and it is the only possible way".
Encouraged by the words of the Bishops, lay people and Catholic women took to the streets yesterday, February 21 and marched peacefully, in prayer, showing their full support for a journey of reconciliation and democracy. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 22/02/2021)