Local News

San Diego organization bringing attention to unrest in Myanmar

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego organization is trying to bring attention to the plight in Myanmar, with hundreds of people killed—including children—following the military takeover of the civilian government.

April Moo was born and raised in a refugee camp in Thailand. “Life in [a] refugee camp was difficult,” she said.

Her parents fled Burma, now Myanmar, because of civil war and conflict between ethnic minorities and the military. Moo’s family is Karen, one of the many ethnic minorities in the country.

“We have been persecuted by the Burmese military regime for over 70 years,” Moo said.

Moo said the troubles have now worsened since the military seized control in February. Not only have pro-democracy demonstrators been killed in the cities, military airstrikes have targeted ethnic minorities in the villages. “Thinking about all those lives, innocent lives, that are taken, I feel helpless,” she said.

Moo has now been in San Diego for 13 years. She is currently the student coordinator with the Karen Organization of San Diego.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 570 people have been killed by the coup as of Monday. The organization Save My Children said 43 children have been killed.

“This is a crime against humanity,” said Nao Kabashima, the executive director of the Karen Organization.

“We need democracy. We need a peaceful future for our children. Those people who are not using any violence… are getting killed. The children, who are just being with [their fathers] at home, they were killed. Shot on the head,” Kabashima said.

The organization has helped roughly 2,000 refugees from Burma. About 1,000 refugees seek services regularly.

Kabashima and Moo hope that San Diegans and government leaders do not turn a blind eye to the atrocities overseas.

“I think this is the moment that no one should be silent,” Kabashima said.

“If this your children, your parents, your siblings, how would you feel? This is about human rights,” Moo added.

On Saturday, the Karen Organization is holding a rally to bring attention to the unrest in Myanmar. That starts at 11 a.m. outside of the City Heights Library.