Rome Newsroom, Mar 24, 2021 / 07:00 am
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo committed Wednesday to ongoing support for Burma’s protest movement, provided that it remains ‘non-violent and peaceful.”
In a statement issued by the archdiocese of Yangon on March 24, the Burmese cardinal appealed to democracy protesters to “remain determined and disciplined in non-violence.”
“Heartbroken and frustrated by the violence that you face and by the rising death toll, you wonder if armed struggle may be the better response to the daily repression and brutality that you face. … However, I caution you from going down the part of violent struggle,” Cardinal Bo said.
“I appeal to you to be peaceful and strategic to avoid confrontation and loss of life. I continue to support and remain available for all non-violent and peaceful efforts and interventions. I am fully committed at all levels to reduce violence in the streets and for the protection of lives,” he said.
The archbishop of Yangon’s comments came the day after a seven-year-old girl was killed in the city of Mandalay amid the military crackdown on democracy activists and protesters. The girl, Khin Myo Chit, was shot after security forces kicked down the door of her house while conducting searches of houses in her neighborhood, according to the BBC.
“I unconditionally condemn all acts of violence against unarmed civilians,” the cardinal said, while telling protesters that violent retaliation would likely only result in “greater violence.”
At least 164 people have been killed in the protests in Burma, which began in response to Burma’s military coup on Feb. 1. Local activist groups claim that the death toll exceeds 260.
“Myanmar’s struggle is already too long and bloody. There are no easy solutions. Hate cannot be dispelled by hate but only by love; darkness is never dispelled by darkness but only by light,” Bo said.