Friday, July 17, 2009

Saboi Jum brothers to deliver KIO's message to Naypyitaw

by KNG

Kachin State civilian-peace mediator Rev. Dr. Lahtaw Saboi Jum and his younger brother Lahtaw Hkun Myat will deliver a clear message from the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) to the Burmese ruling junta in Naypyitaw, the new jungle capital of the country, said KIO sources.

The two brothers had also helped to achieve a ceasefire agreement between the KIO and the ruling junta in February 24, 1994.

The KIO’s message, without mincing words, states that the "ambition of self-determination of the state" is not on the agenda of the junta-proposed transformation of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed-wing of the KIO, to a Border Guard Force (BGF), a KIO official in Laiza headquarters on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State said.

It is unusual for the KIO to try and make direct contact with the military junta brass in Naypyitaw, by passing the Northern Regional Commander Maj-Gen Soe Win. The Commander has been assigned to talk to KIO delegates on the issue by the junta military hierarchy, said KIO officials in Laiza headquarters on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State.

The KIO said the peace mediators will meet the junta’s Lt-Gen Ye Myint, Chief of Military Affairs Security (MAS) and other military leaders in the capital. They will pass on the message of the KIO's ambition of self-determination of the state, said sources close to the two mediators.

The reasons behind despatching peace mediators to Naypyitaw are that KIO wants to put across its stance and political ambitions to the junta and send the message that both parties and civilians will suffer if there is unexpected military conflict between the KIO and the junta, said a KIO officer in Laiza headquarters.

Earlier, the KIO proposed to the ruling junta through the Northern Regional Commander Maj-Gen Soe Win that the KIA could transform to a Kachin State Security Force (KSF) or a Kachin Regional Guard Force (KRGF). But neither the ruling junta nor Commander Soe Win responded to the KIO's proposal, said KIO sources.

The KIO is increasingly under pressure by the Kachin people in the country and abroad to reject the proposal of transforming KIA into a Border Guard Force (BGF).

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