As Myanmar experiences “violence, conflict and repression, ”we need to ask ourselves what are we being called to keep,” said Pope Francis during the celebration of Mass with the Myanmar Catholic community in Rome, on Sunday May 16, 2021. He described three challenges: to keep the faith, to keep unity, and to keep the truth.
With over 366,000 internally displaced people, and 10,000 refugees fleeing Myanmar in just three months since February 2021 due to the violence and deteriorating situation in the country, neighbouring countries in the region are witnessing increasing arrivals from Myanmar seeking international protection.
UNHCR is “calling on countries across the region to offer refuge to all those fleeing for safety. It is vital that anyone crossing the border, seeking asylum in another country, is able to access it. Children, women and men fleeing for their lives should be given sanctuary. They must not be returned to a place where their lives or freedom may be at risk. The principle of non-refoulement is a cornerstone of international law and is binding on all states”.
We unite our voices to Pope Francis: “I too kneel on the streets of Myanmar and say: stop the violence! I too extend my arms and say: let dialogue prevail!”