Colorado Burma Roundtable Network (CBRTN) is organizing this fundraiser. CBRTN has been serving the persecuted at home and in Asia since 2007, focused on relief, development and transformation in Burma, Thailand and Colorado.Since we heard about the military coup in Burma that started Feb. 1, 2021, we have been praying about a way to help the people there in a tangible and secure way.
In the news we read:
Violence has riddled Myanmar since military forces overtook the nation's elected government officials during a February coup, and air attacks this week forced large portions of the population to flee. A majority of Karen refugees pursuing safety in Thailand were turned away upon arrival, with 2,000 redirected back to their original residences in Myanmar, according to the Karen National Union.
"The KNU strongly condemns the Burmese military who sent airstrikes targeting villages and a school in our Karen area. Villagers, including under aged children, have been killed by air strikes on the 27, 28, and 29th March 2021. Many are injured," the union wrote in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday. "As a result there are around 10,000 newly displaced IDP's [International Displaced Persons]
"A further 3,000 people fled across the border to avoid attacks. However, more than 2,000 were forced back by Thai authorities," the statement continued. "The villagers don't dare to return to their homes because of the threat of airstrikes. This inhuman and excessive use of military power used on innocent civilians is totally unacceptable."Thailand's prime minister denied that his country's security forces had forced villagers back to Myanmar who had fled from military airstrikes over the weekend, saying they returned home on their own accord.
But the situation in eastern Myanmar appeared to be getting more, not less, dangerous.
Saw Taw Nee, head of the foreign affairs department of the Karen National Union, the main political body representing the Karen minority there, confirmed that new raids Tuesday left six civilians dead and 11 wounded. Dave Eubank, a member of the Free Burma Rangers, which provides medical assistance to villagers in the region, provided the same information.
The attacks by Myanmar's military led the KNU to issue a statement from one of its armed units saying that the government's "military ground troops are advancing into our territories from all fronts," and vowing to respond. "We have no other options left but to confront these serious threats posed by the illegitimate military junta's army in order to defend our territory, our Karen peoples, and their self-determination rights," said the statement, issued in the name of the KNU office for the district that was first attacked on Saturday.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking before the latest air attacks, said his country is ready to shelter anyone who is escaping fighting, as it has done many times for decades. His comments came a day after humanitarian groups said Thailand has been sending back some of the thousands of people who have fled the air attacks by Myanmar's military.
Pastor Rocky Martin, a Karen pastor who has lived in Colorado over 15 years and in the states more than 30 years, contacted us with a safe way to help the refugees coming into the refugee camps on the Thai border. Pastor Rocky works closely with the Thailand Karen Baptist Convention (TKBC) in Chiangmai, Thailand. The Thailand Karen Baptist Convention, founded in 1955, has been assisting refugees along the Thai border for many, many years. The director of the Evangelism Department of TKBC is willing to provide food and medical care for those fleeing into the camps.
Please contribute whatever you can to alleviate the hunger and pain of these refugees. All funds will go directly to Prachan Patipattananan, director of the Evangelism Dept. of Thailand Karen Baptist Convention who will distribute the funds to buy food and provide medical assistance to the injured. This fund has been requested and approved by the director of the Evangelism Dept. of TKBC. We have a secure way of sending funds to the TKBC account.