A prominent Australian security academic who has advised one of Myanmar's largest armed rebel groups says the military continues to inflict grave human rights violations on ethnic groups in the country.
Professor Des Ball, who was recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday honours for services to international relations, has made a special plea for an end to violence against minority groups in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
Scandalised by the brutal treatment of the Karen people by pro-government forces, he began to advise the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) on military tactics a decade ago.
"A couple of particular guys were involved in taking large numbers of young girls, raping them, mutilating them and when they had finished with them, putting them in the bark and thatched huts and then burning the girls alive or just machine-gunning them," Professor Ball said.Read More+++
Kachin, tribal peoples occupying parts of northeastern Myanmar (Burma) and contiguous areas ofIndia (Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland) and China (Yunnan). The greatest number of Kachin live in Myanmar (roughly 790,000), but some 150,000 live in China and a few thousand in India. Numbering about 1012,000 in the late 20th century, they speak a variety of languages of the Tibeto-Burman group and are thereby distinguished as Jinghpaw, or Jingpo (Chingpaw [Ching-p’o], Singhpo), Atsi, Maru (Longvo), Lachid, Nung (Rawang), and Lisu .
The traditional Kachin religion is a form of animistic ancestor cult entailing animalsacrifice. As a result of the arrival of American and European missionaries in Burma beginning in the late 19th century, a majority of the Kachin are Christian, mainly Baptist and Roman Catholic. Among the Kachin in India, Buddhism predominates.