Our embassy staff in Rangoon are not granted direct access to Karen State to confirm reports of increased military activity but there is a history of fighting between the Burmese military and Karen groups. This only increases the humanitarian crisis facing the thousands of displaced people living near or on the Thai-Burma border.
The continued violence in Karen state is regrettable and highlights the need for a comprehensive and just settlement of Burma's ethnic conflicts. Stability and territorial integrity are important to all nations and the continued neglect of the needs of the people of Burma by the regime is at the root cause of conflict in many parts of the country. We regularly emphasise to the Burmese regime, and to countries in the region, the need for the full and fair participation of ethnic nationalities in the political process as key to a durable solution to Burma's problems. There can be little prospect of national reconciliation without genuine recognition of their political, economic and social rights.