The Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) calls for the immediate release of Saw Phoe Kwar, an MPI alumnus, who was arrested in Myanmar after the military coup d’état that took place on 1 February 2021, and for all who have been detained due to their involvement in national protests and civil disobedience, seeking a return to the rule of law and democratic governance.
Saw Phoe Kwar participated in MPI’s 2016 Annual Peacebuilding Training where he joined other peace advocates and practitioners in a training to hone their skills in conflict transformation and peacebuilding. When applying for the Annual Peacebuilding Training, Saw wrote, “My work and my wish is to serve the community, nation and all people from the whole world through peace messages from my reggae music. I have two simple messages: ‘Stop the hate’ and ‘Love one another,’ inspiration for which I distilled down from my reading of the Bible.” Saw joined the Annual Peacebuilding training so that he could develop strategic approaches to peacebuilding through music and football in conflict-prone regions in Myanmar. His goal has been to create an “artists’ community for peace” and unite artists and celebrities to work for peace.
MPI urges peacebuilders from around the world and in particular its alumni, network partners, colleagues, and friends to sign the petition demanding the release of Saw Phoe Kwar, and to support other campaigns and efforts calling for the release of all of those detained since 1 February 2021 and a return to the rule of law and democratic governance that can be found at these links:
Let us show our solidarity and concern for the people of Myanmar at this critical time in its history!
MPI provides a space for community development workers, academics, humanitarian relief workers, social workers, teachers, indigenous peoples, police and military officers, and others from diverse backgrounds and faith traditions to learn together in an open and safe environment to respect differences, embrace diversity and seek justice and peace for their communities through nonviolent means.