02/22/2021, 13.01
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Bishops of Myanmar: Appeal to all parties for peace and reconciliation

10 bishops issue a message: calls for no bloodshed and a return to dialogue and hope for democracy. A pressing invitation to reconciliation, in unity with Buddhists.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - In the escalation of violence by the junta and rising resistance from the population, the bishops of Myanmar released two days ago - after the death of Mya Thwate Thwate Kaing and other demonstrators in Mandalay - a message signed by all of them and dated February 21, 2021. It asks that there be no bloodshed anywhere and that the violence in the streets stop. The appeal is aimed above all at "those in power", to return to dialogue and still give the nation the hope of peace and democracy. The letter is strongly aligned for non-violence - also in support of the appeals from the Buddhist side - and for democracy. Three weeks ago, an open letter from Card. Bo had been judged by priests, nuns and faithful, too "neutral" and good-natured towards the junta. However, the current message follows some aspects of the letter from Card. Bo. Meanwhile, in many events, priests and nuns are present (see photo: today in Myitkyina). Here is the complete text of the message (translation by AsiaNews).

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Myanmar and those in power. Greetings of peace to each one of you.

We, Catholic Bishops representing sixteen Catholic dioceses, spread all over the country, send this appeal to specially those in power, pleading for restraint in the streets and return to dialogue This comes amidst deep anguish and pain of witnessing more blood in the streets. The sad and shocking recent events have brought huge sorrow to our nation.

The heartrending scenes or youth dying in the streets wound the conscience of a nation. This nation has a reputation of being called a golden land.  Let not its sacred ground be soaked in fraternal blood, Sadness or parents burying their children has to stop.  Mothers' tears are never a blessing to any nation.

Just a month ago, this nation held in her heart a great promise: dreams of enhanced peace and robust democracy. Despite the onslaught of global pandemic, the nation held an election. The world admired our capacity for managing our differences. Today the world weeps with us, shattered by the fragmentation of this nation once again. Our youth deserve better.

With prayers in our hearts, we plead with all the stakeholders, return to dialogue. Be a nation known for its pristine spiritual spring, let us invest our energy in reconciliation. Healing needs to start with release of detained leaders.

 We Join with the reverend "Ma Ha Na" monks and urge the leaders to heed their warning: Myanmar can become history and wiped off the map o! the world, if we cannot solve problems in a peaceful way! We concur with their call tor reconciliation through dialogue.

Urgently, the recourse to violence has to stop. The past lessons warn us violence never wins. Seventy-two years after independence, those in power need to invest in peace. The peace dividend will heal this nation. Give peace a chance. Peace is possible, peace is the only way.

With prayers and best wishes for peace.

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