Monday, June 22, 2009

KIO campaigns over 'known-result'

by KNG

The 'Known-Result' --- where the people of Kachin State have rejected the Burmese junta’s proposal of transforming the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed-ring of KIO into a battalion of 'Border Guard Force' is being widely spread in a campaign by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), one of largest ethnic ceasefire groups in the country.

Lajawng Hkawng Lum, head of Department of General Administration (DGA) of KIO.

The special campaign has been launched by the KIO to explain the pressure by the junta on the KIA to transform at both the organizational level and among the Kachin public in Kachin State and Northeast Shan State since early this month, said KIO leaders.

The people in the political-wing of the KIO are taking the responsibility of presenting the campaigns which is month-long and will be concluded this month.

The campaign is also being organized not only in the areas controlled by KIO/A--- Eastern, Northern and Western regions of Kachin State and Southern region in Northeast Shan State but also in the areas under the administration of the junta in Kachin and Shan States, said KIO officials in Laiza headquarters on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State.

On June 15, during the campaign in Tang Hpre village, 27 miles north of Myitkyina under the administration of the junta, the people were not allowed a question-answer session with KIO presenters. They were asked to send their written suggestions to the KIO central committee, said local participants.

The KIO-sought suggestion is only about facts which may help the KIO during the dialogue between the junta and KIO delegates over the question of transforming KIA as a battalion of a 'Border Guard Force', added participants.

The campaign was joined by over 60 people including local elders, pastors, preachers, and ordinary residents in Tang Hpre and villages between Nawng Nang, 10 miles north of Myitkyina and Tang Hpre, said local villagers.

In the Tang Hpre campaign, the three KIO presenters are being led by Salang Kaba Lajawng Hkawng Lum, head of Department of General Administration (DGA) of KIO.

Dr. Manam Tu Ja, Vice-President No. 2 of KIO said suggestions will be garnered from the people in the organizations (KIO/KIA) and from the Kachin public in the country and abroad. The KIO central committee will decide whether the KIA will be converted to a guard force or not based on the suggestions.

Dr. Tu Ja said that the KIO/A has always sought the Kachin public's suggestion as much as possible throughout the political history of KIO/A.

He said the KIO/A sought suggestions first from the Kachin people before they started an armed struggle for secession on February 5, 1961; before changing its stance to the demand for a self-determined state without seceding from the Union in 1976; before signing the ceasefire agreement with the junta in February 24, 1994 and before the KIO attended the junta-convened National Convention on drafting the country's new constitution in 2004.

Now, the KIO/A is asking for suggestions from all Kachins before the central committee arrives at a decision on the transformation of the KIA proposed by the junta, Dr. Tu Ja added.

Old Kachin politicians and elders in Kachin State said, the KIO leaders generally ignore the people's suggestion after seeking suggestions from them.

The KIO leaders were condemned by the Kachin people because they whole heartedly supported the junta-led National Convention on drafting the country's new constitution which concluded in 2007. It also approved the new constitution in a referendum in May, 2008 against the Kachin people's wishes.

The Kachin people think that the junta's pressure on the KIA to transform is the result of the KIO supporting the National Convention and the Referendum.

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