ASIA/MYANMAR - The Archbishop of Mandalay: "It is a real tragedy. We are grateful to Pope Francis for the support"

Monday, 21 June 2021 peace   pope francis   civil war   violence  

Mandalay (Agenzia Fides) - "We are very grateful to Pope Francis. When the Pontiff speaks, the people of Myanmar feel very encouraged and moved. Not only Catholics, but also people of other religions. It is a very important support for all of us, in this tragedy", says Archbishop Marco Tin Win, at the head of the Archdiocese of Mandalay, the ancient Burmese capital, to Agenzia Fides, commenting on Pope Francis' latest appeal. At the end of the Angelus yesterday, June 20, the Pope joined the appeal of the Bishops of Myanmar where, after the coup d'état of February 1, the civil conflict is spreading in many areas of the nation. Pope Francis stressed the "heartbreaking experience" for the population, displaced, frightened and one step away from famine and asked to protect the humanitarian corridors in the conflict areas, to respect the sacredness of places of worship and to safeguard the safety of civilians, especially the elderly and children. "May the Heart of Christ touch the hearts of everyone, bringing peace to Myanmar!", concluded Pope Francis.
Archbishop Marco Tin Win repeats today: "We ask everyone wholeheartedly: listen to the voice of the Pope, put an end to all violence!" and confirms the situation of "immense suffering for the people in the diocese of Mandalay and in other territories: women, children, sick elderly are displaced, they are exhausted and suffer from widespread violence. The army has also burned humanitarian aid and this is a great cruelty to innocent people".
The Archbishop comments favorably the news of the universal arms embargo decided by the United Nations against Myanmar saying "The Burmese population was waiting for this decision. We hope it will be a first step to stop the violence and resume a path of peace".
On the protest of young people, the Archbishop says: "We see that violence and clashes are increasing. The protest had begun peacefully and was fiercely repressed. Today especially young people see no other option than to defend themselves with arms. The Church preaches and always asks for peace and today we live and witness the tragedy of the blood of our own people shed on Burmese soil. It is a real tragedy and for now there is no way out because dialogue is at a standstill and is rejected by both sides. We can only raise our arms to heaven to invoke the Most High Almighty saying: listen to us, save us. Our last refuge is prayer. The Church in Myanmar is helping the poor, vulnerable, defenseless population by all means and continues to pray intensely". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 21/6/2021)