Burma (MNN) — The government of Burma is calling for individual peace talks, but rebel leaders are rejecting what they call a face-saving move. The United Nations Federal Council has said the talks must include ALL minority groups represented by the UNFC.
Vision Beyond Borders has been working in the region, helping the Karen people who are being murdered by government forces. VBB's Patrick Klein says the government is "listening to the criticism from the international community, and they're trying to save face."
However, the military junta-led government isn't budging from individual peace talks. A key part of their latest peace offer is dependent upon the rebels laying down their arms, which is unacceptable to many rebel leaders.
Klein says, "They're calling for changes with the constitution because ethnic minorities make up about one-third of the population. They've been marginalized by the Burmese politics. They want to be treated like decent human beings."
What's interesting about this latest move is the involvement of political dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. Klein says, "Aung San Suu Kyi just met with the president of the country. And she is trying to talk to the government, trying to change things in the country. She even made a call to Burmese nationals to come back to the country and help rebuild the country."
However, Klein says rebel groups are warning her, "Be careful. Don't get sucked in by the government and by their lies and deception."
Despite the suspected deception, Klein is encouraged. "I believe this is an answer to prayer that this is coming to the forefront. More and more people are talking about what's going on in Burma."
Klein says many of the Karen people are Christians. He's praying that their testimony is an example to the rest of the Burmese people, who are "losing hope in their own religions. They definitely have lost hope in the government. They are very open to the Gospel. And that's what we see is very powerful: that the Holy Spirit penetrates their hearts and shows them the only hope is in Jesus Christ."
Klein is asking you to pray for the situation in Burma. You can get specific prayer points at http://www.VBBonline.org. Click here to listen to Patrick Klein's complete interview.