Columbans Ireland

Feb 21st
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Home News Burma


Burmese Visitors

At the end of May, we were very honoured in Dalgan with the visit of Bishop Raymond (Bishop of Banmaw, Myanmar) and Dr. Richard Win Tun Kyi (National Director of Karuna Myanmar Social Solidarity). They were also the guests of Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath and Trocaire. It was an opportunity for Bishop Raymond to meet up with Colm Murphy and Dvaid Wall, who had served in Bhamo for many years.

Both Bishop Raymond and Dr. Richard Win Tun Kyi gave short presentations on the challenges facing Myanmar today and the Church. Those present to hear the presentation included Columban Priests, Columban Sisters, Lay Missionaries and four Chinese Priests studying in Maynooth. All in all around fifty attended

Blood and Gold

Columbans first went to work in Burma, now called Myanmar, over 70 years ago.
The country has had a turbulent history in that time, and the joy at the release from years of house arrest of the leader of the pro-democracy movement Aung San Suu Kyi has been replaced by a sense of the many daunting challenges that face the Burmese people as they strugggle to find peace and democracy.

Bishop on Hopes for Peace in Myanamar

A delegation of EU ambassadors went recently to Myitkyina in Myanmar (Burma)to hear first hand from the priests and humanitarian workers of the situation in Kachin State.
Bishop Francis Daw Tang spoke to the the assembled Ambassadors and other diplomatic staff about his assessment of the current state of peace negotiations and the many challenges posed by the ongoing conflict in the regions .
In the address Bishop Francis spoke of the importance of achieving a peace based on justice and had this to say about the importance of keeping the outside world informed about the situation in Myanmar.

Appeal for peace from Myitkyina Diocese

Appeal for peace from Myitkyina DioceseCall from the Catholic Church in Myitkyina to all parties in Conflict in Kachin Region to halt hostilities and begin the Journey towards Peace Based on Justice (picture shows Bishop Francis on a visit to the Columban Sisters Motherhouse in Magheramore, Wicklow)

We the Catholic Faithful, guided by the Bishop of Diocese, Rev Dr Francis, Priests and religious of Myitkyina Diocese, urgently release this message to all parties in the ongoing conflict in Kachin Areas :

We uphold the principle ''Church and State are separate” and has no political agenda in its structure and function yet called to collaborate in peace and justice and the human development of all. Church is Catholic – that is open to all people, their needs, their aspirations and their desire for human dignity, 

A Woman of Courage and Hope

The cry for democracy and human rights by the people of Burma is one that has challenged and touched me for many years. The plea of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s National League for Democracy leader, “I hope the world will not forget us” is something that has deeply resonated with me.  This was vividly brought home to me during her recent visit to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace prize bestowed on her in October 1991.  In her speech she said that “I now begin to understand the significance of the Nobel Prize.  It has made me real once again and has drawn me back into the wide human community.  And what is more important it has drawn the attention of the world to the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma.  We were not going to be forgotten.”

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