Thursday, May 21, 2009

KIO promises people it will listen to their voice

Written by KNG

Kachin people’s opinion will be given cognizance and not rejected by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the largest ethnic Kachin ceasefire group in Burma's northern Kachin State, said local sources.

Lt-Gen Gauri Zau Seng, Vice-president I of KIO and the only KIO officer who met junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe in 2005, stressed on the need to take suggestions from all Kachins in Burma and around the world at the public meeting in the KIO's Laiza HQ on the China-Burma border on May 15, "We (KIO) are servants and you (all Kachin people) are masters. So, we will implement what you (all Kachin people) want us to do."

The meeting was held between KIO leaders and over 300 Kachin people's leaders from Kachin State, Shan State and the rest of Burma--- Church leaders, cultural headmen, university students' leaders and delegates from the two groups which split from the KIO--- Lasang Awng Wa Peace Group and the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K), which were specially invited to attend the meeting by the KIO, said participants.

The KIO's call to the public was followed soon after its armed wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) was directed to transform to a Border Security Force with over 300 troops including Burmese Army soldiers by the junta's Northern Command commander Brig-Gen Soe Win in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State on April 28.

Looking back to the early ceasefire period, the KIO signed a limitless ceasefire agreement with the junta on February 24, 1994 without taking the consensus of elder Kachin politicians like Wabaw Zau Rip and Kachin people. Elder Kachin politicians wanted to keep the ceasefire agreement to certain limits, where it could break if there were no political parleys.

Since 2004, the KIO has been rejecting any political suggestions from Kachin elders, politicians and Kachin people. The civilian politicians had been warned to stop making suggestions to the KIO leaders by the KIO, according to Kachin civilian politicians.

Besides, creating personal assets like building fine houses, buying luxury cars and setting up personal business ventures in Myitkyina, Mandalay and Rangoon cities most KIO/A officers have moved away from the Kachin people on the Kachin autonomy commitment, said local sources.

From early this month, the KIO/A has begun garnering consensus regarding the transformation of KIA to a battalion of the Border Security Force from within its organizations, the other Kachin Peace Groups--- Lasang Awng Wa Peace Group and NDA-K and Kachins from Burma and around the world in a meeting conducted by the KIO. It also invited individual or organizational suggestions by way of letters and emails, said KIO sources.

Tomorrow, the KIO delegates will open the will of all Kachin people and its own organizations in front of the junta when they meet for the second time the junta's Northern Command commander Brig-Gen Soe Win in Myitkyina, said the KIO's Laiza HQ sources.

At the moment, the junior leaders in KIO/A and Kachin people in Burma and around the world have completely rejected the junta's proposal to transform KIA to a Border Security Force before Kachins get their self-determination or autonomous rights in Kachin State, according to KIO and the Kachin media in exile.

Dr. Manam Tu Ja, the KIO's Vice-president II said, he believed that both the KIO and the junta will avoid resuming civil war between them on the current issue.

Kachin elders, politicians and all Kachin people believe that Kachins have to fight the Burman-dominated junta both militarily and politically in order to acquire political rights and autonomy for Kachins in Burma.

May 19, 2009

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