Violence and persecution against Christians persists in troubled Myanmar as the junta led by the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, burned a village in Kayah state on Christmas Eve, killing more than thirty people including women, children, and elders.
"Condemnation of the brutal attack and murder of 35 Karenni by the military junta in Myanmar. Today the 25th of December, Christmas Day, is an important day of celebration and peace for the world. However, today the genocidal junta made their choice to say clearly that peace is," Sasa said.
Sasa's tweet includes a screencap of his official statement bearing the letterhead of the Ministry of International Cooperation Office of the Union Minister NUG Spokesperson.
Confirmation were also given by a member of the Karenni National Defense Force through an interview with Reuters and by the Karenni Human Rights Group who found the bodies of the victims on Saturday, December 25. Save The Children also confirmed the incident when it announced the suspension of its operations in the region as two of its staffers were reported missing because of the incident, as per NPR.
"We were so shocked at seeing that all the dead bodies were different sizes, including children, women and old people," the Karenni National Defense Force member said.
As per Sasa's statement, the Tatmadaws particularly attacked the "innocent Moso villagers" who are situated at the Hphru-So township of Karenni State, which also known as the Kayah State of Myanmar and is a "Christians majority State." The junta also "stepped up their attacks" the day before Christmas by "launching an aerial strike against Karen state."
The attack on Kayah State took place a day after Min Aung Hlaing publicly showed cutting a Christmas cake with his friends and family and spoke of "peace and goodwill" while "exchanging gifts of money." The incident is said to be not isolated as the junta has burned a village the week before.
The military junta, as reported by Christianity Daily early this month, also burned down churches in the Christian-dominated town of Thantlang, particularly its St. Nicholas Church. The attack on the St. Nicholas Church was preceded by the burning of 300 houses and four other and churches, which excludes towns burned to the ground on November 26.
"In the strongest possible terms, we condemn these barbaric, inhuman and brutal attacks. These acts clearly constitute the worst crimes against humanity, and we expect that all peoples and governments the world over should condemn these acts. With the condemnation, however, should come a commitment that these criminals be brought to justice and held fully accountable for their actions," Sasa emphasized.
Sasa called on the international community "to label the Tatmadaw as the terrorist organization that they are." He called on the United Nations to condemn their actions and to declare a "no-fly zone" for Myanmar and impose "stronger sanctions against the junta and to immediately recognize the legitimacy of the National Unity Government of Myanmar."
Early this month, the Myanmar Court has sentenced the country's former leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four years imprisonment for incitement charges, as well as, violations of COVID-19 restrictions. This sentence would truly prevent Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy Party in continuing a five-year term in office, that was toppled over on February 1 by the coup raged by the Tatmadaws.
In line with these reports, the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the junta's attack calling it "unacceptable" and raised the need for the junta to be held "accountable" for their atrocities.