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Resentment expressed against Myanmar Red Cross Society

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Resentment expressed against Myanmar Red Cross Society
10th April 2021 | GetinLamka by our correspondent.

Guwahati: Over 400 civil society groups of Burma (also known as
Myanmar) on 9 April 2021 condemned Myanmar Red Cross Society  (MRCS)
for attending the  Armed Forces Day of Tatmadow (popular name of
Myanmar Armed Forces) recently alleging that it was against the
fundamental principles of neutrality and conflict sensitivity pursued
by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) and the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
(IFRC).
“We call on  ICRC, IFRC, and other MRCS partners to ensure that the
Myanmar counterpart upholds the principles of neutrality, ethical
conduct and do no harm to its founding spirits. MRCS and its partners
must be fully committed to their duty to promote and respect
international humanitarian law and not legitimize the illegitimate
military junta which might lead to a serious loss of confidence among
Myanmar civil society and the public at large,” said a statement
issued by the organisations.
Those in attendance at the lavish celebrations at Tatmadow Day on 27
March 2021 lend much sought after legitimacy to the brutal military
junta. It is a shameful act of tacit endorsement for a military that
has inflicted untold suffering and daily attacks on the common people
of Myanmar since the unlawful coup on 1 February last, added the
statement.
Within these days, the military  regime has engaged in targeted
killings of over 641 people, while nearly 3,000 individuals are
currently detained (or sentenced), in relation to the brutal military
coup. Tragically, number of fatalities includes at least 47 children,
who were killed in deliberate attacks. Simultaneously, the military is
continuing its decades-long civil war in the ethnic borderlands of
Myanmar.
In Myanmar, many vulnerable communities repose faith on  the Red Cross
symbol as a sign of hope, assistance and protection, but the recent
action of MRCS leadership (while attending the Tatmadow function) has
betrayed the trust and confidence. The focus of MRCS’s efforts should
be concentrated on maximizing the on-the-ground response to the
junta’s inhumane and murderous acts.
Additionally, attending an event celebrating the accomplishments of a
military that has perpetrated genocide, war crimes and crimes against
humanity (including sexual and gender-based crimes, torture and
destruction of properties) is a disgraceful display of disloyalty to
tireless efforts of MRCS volunteers and healthcare workers working on
the ground. Many MRCS operatives are even facing arbitrarily arrests,
intimidation and injuries by the junta.
It is essential for maintaining the independence and neutrality of the
Red Cross and Red Crescent that MRCS is not aligned with the military
junta, stated the groups adding that at the ongoing crucial time in
the southeast Asian nation, the IFRC, ICRC and their international
partners must alleviate the suffering, and assist the Burmese people
and definitely not the illegitimate and murderous military regime in
NayPieTaw.

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