Friday, November 21, 2008

KIO TV broadcasts junta-KIO meet

KNG News

In an unusual move the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has started broadcasting recent video recordings of the meeting between KIO leaders and Burmese ruling junta on the group-owned Laiza Television in the KIO's headquarters and business center Laiza, since last week, said residents of Laiza. The KIO is the largest ethnic Kachin ceasefire group in northern Burma.

Starting on November 11 (Tuesday), the KIO's Laiza TV quite unusually started broadcasting the video records about the meeting between KIO leaders and military officials of the ruling junta including former Commander of No (1) Bureau of Special Operation Lt-Gen Ye Myint, former Northern Command (Ma Pa Kha) Commander Maj-Gen Ohn Myint and a new Northern Command Commander Maj-Gen Soe Win. The video is titled in Kachin called-- "Prat dep mungdan de" meaning "Towards modern country."

On the KIO side, the group's senior leaders are mainly seen on Laiza TV such as the chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra, Vice-chairman Lt-Gen N'ban La Awng, Vice-president No. I Lt-Gen Gauri Zau Seng, Vice-president No. II Dr. Manam Tu Ja and General Secretary Dr. Lahkyen La Ja, local subscribers said.

The Laiza TV broadcasts in Kachin language only and it is also distributed only in Laiza through a cable system where about 1,000 households and KIO personnel subscribe with a monthly fee of 25 Yuan (US $3.6), a resident of Laiza told KNG today.

According to residents of Laiza, the people in Laiza are not interested in a new TV programme and speculated about the new programme "Towards modern country" on Laiza TV which normally broadcasts typical video recording of meetings of KIO leaders, repeatedly.

Meanwhile, the KIO is desperately mobilising native Kachins and Red Shans in the state for the 2010 elections in Burma through the Kachin State Interim Committee (Pranwan Komiti in Kachin) which was formed for setting up a big political party and contesting against the junta-backed political party in the elections.

The other option is the KIO will not surrender its weapons and pursue the chances of resolving the political problems between the KIO and the ruling junta through political dialogue with both the winning parties in Kachin state and the country after the 2010 elections.

The TV is broadcasting the programme daily twice from 7 am to 10 am in the morning and 4 pm to 10 pm in the evening (Burma standard time), added local subscribers.

Laiza TV was started in 2005 by distributing antennas but the system has been changed to cable since last year, said residents of Laiza.

The programme and broadcasting policy of Laiza TV are directly controlled by Kachin Independence Council (KIC) under the KIO, said sources close to Laiza TV office in Laiza.

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