The Archbishop of Mandalay has called for human dignity and property to be respected following attacks on civilians in several villages by Myanmar’s military junta. Source: CNS.
“I am deeply disheartened to learn about the suffering of thousands of people, especially from villages, including Catholics whose homes were burned, properties looted and who have become homeless, displaced and in dire need of food and shelter,” Archbishop Marco Tin Win said in a video message released July 17, UCA News reported.
“Their villages are becoming a land of ashes lacking homes, trees and birds. I am also deeply sorrowful over thousands of our brothers and sisters who can’t live in their own homes and instead live in makeshift camps who are facing acute hunger,” he said.
“Food, clothing, shelter and healthcare are basic rights of all human beings so they need to be prioritised,” he added.
The 60-year-old archbishop appealed to concerned parties “not to burn and destroy civilian homes and respect their properties”.
His message, however, did not mention the military junta or the State Administration Council, which oversees the country.
The archbishop’s appeal came as the military forces escalated attacks on civilians with air strikes and artillery shelling in several communities, including the historic Catholic Mon Hla village in Sagaing region.
The extent of the damage to civilian homes, a church and convent in the village remains unknown. Thousands of Catholic villagers are seeking shelter in nearby forests and other safe areas because they fear returning to their homes.
The military regime has specifically targeted three historic Catholic villages in the Buddhist Bamar heartland of Sagaing in a bid to stamp out growing resistance by people’s defence forces.