“The death toll of civilians taking part in protests is increasing as troops and police open fire at demonstrators; at least 38 people were reported to be killed as the army unleashed a lethal campaign to suppress protests that have swept the country for more than a month,” reads the statement. “The brutal actions against civilians protesting against the military takeover and the killings perpetrated by the military indicate that the generals are returning to the same tactics they had used to crush people’s dissent during decades of military dictatorship in Myanmar.”
The statement notes that citizens peacefully protesting against the military action have been confronted by armed forces using lethal force.
“In order to clamp down on what is essentially a people’s movement, the security forces have systematically targeted, detained, and arrested several political officials, activists, students, medical professionals, and even religious minority leaders,” reads the statement. "In Lashio city, four Kachin Baptist ministers were among 10 people arrested at a church where protestors fleeing the state-sanctioned violence had taken shelter.”
Large-scale participation in demonstrations in towns and cities across the country underscores the broad rejection of the military, the statement continues.
“The democratically elected civilian government reflects the aspiration of the people,” reads the statement. “The will of the people and the outcome of the elections have to be respected and democratic processes must be restored.”
The statement denounces the military coup which has now returned full power to the generals.
“The citizens of Myanmar possess the right to assemble peacefully and express their demands for the restoration of democracy,” reads the statement. “The fundamental rights of people must be respected, and hence the military authorities must immediately halt all use of force against civilians.”
The statement also urges military leaders to refrain from repressive actions against the civilians.
“We believe that democracy has proven to be the only effective political system capable of protecting and upholding the dignity and rights of people as well as ensuring legitimate governance,” reads the statement. “We mourn the loss of life and we stand in solidarity with the peaceful and courageous people of Myanmar who seek democracy and human rights in their country.”
The statement concludes with a call for prayers for the entire people of Myanmar and for peace and justice to prevail throughout the country. "May peace and a spirit of reconciliation return to Myanmar,” the statement concludes.