After Presbyterian Church in Myanmar (PCM)’s statement condemning the country’s military coup on 1 February, the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) Moderator wrote to the New Zealand Government to express deep concern on 17 February.
In his letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, the Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio applauded the government’s efforts in support of democracy in Myanmar*, and even indicated their “willingness to share information received from their contacts in Myanmar if required”. Due to PCANZ and PCM’s partnership, he is aware that the developments have affected people they personally know such as the Chin ethnic community in NZ who have family members in Myanmar.
Lastly, the PCANZ Moderator urged the government to “monitor this crisis closely and use all diplomatic channels to work with the international community in helping seek a peaceful resolution”. Without international support, Myanmar risks entering another long period under a military dictatorship, which will be devastating for millions of its residents, he said.
*On 9 February, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had announced that NZ has suspended high-level contact with Myanmar, is imposing a travel ban on its military leaders, and will ensure its aid programme will not include projects that are delivered with, or will benefit the military government.
Image credit: PCANZ’s Facebook page