ISSN 2330-717X

Burma Needs To End War Against Kachin Ethnic – OpEd

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By Zin Linn

United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) central executive committee issued an ultimatum dated 9 May, warning Burmese military to stop military offensives in Kachin State by June 10, 2012 at Thai-Burma border.

The statement said, “if the Bamah Tatmadaw does not stop its transgression and military offensives in Kachin State by June 10, 2012, UNFC members, who have agreed ceasefire with U Thein Sein government, have decided to review the peace process and future programs, including the preliminary ceasefire agreements reached,”.

The war on the Kachin Independence Organization and its military wing Kachin Independence Army by the Burmese army is basically a fratricide for the sake of protecting foreign business interests, a KIO high ranking official who wants to be anonymous told Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.).

“The (hydropower) project was launched in the area under our control and when it was completed General Thein Sein, who was prime minister at that time, presided over at the opening ceremony,” he said.

Even if Burmese President is often saying candidly that his government is going after a peaceful motherland, combating against Kachn rebels on the ground by his armed forces is a sign of antagonism. After 17-year period of ceasefire, armed conflict between KIA and Burmese military took up again on June 9, last year.

As reported by Kachinland News , severe fighting keeps going unabated in Kachin and Shan State despite calls from inside and outside of Burma to pull out government troops from KIO’s territory. For instance, on June 16, a battle took place between KIA’s 38th Battalion under 4th Brigade and government armed forces in Naw-Gu near Mung-Lung in northern Shan State. On the same day, KIA soldiers of 10th Battalion under 1st brigade encountered a combined force of Pangwa-based BGF soldiers and Burmese government’s troops from 37th LIR and 382nd LIB near Lagwi-Hpare.

According to Kachin News Group, signs of more fighting have come into view in Kachin State after government troops have blocked Stilwell Road, also known as Ledo Road, linking Myitkyina and Danai. On 17 June, the Burmese army blocked the Stilwell Road and controlled the traveling of civilians. Moreover, the government reinforced its military positions in Hpa-kant Township.

Last month, the government suspended all jade mining operations in Hpa-kant Township.  Besides, it warned civilians to return to their homes by May 30.  Since then, severe skirmishing between the KIA and Burmese military take place in the area.

Blockade of the Ledo road and other places in the district generate troubles for residents’ livelihood. Burma Army’s battalions, Infantry No. 86, IB No. 238 and Light Infantry Battalion No. 318, based around Danai Township, have been showing daily military exercises outskirts of the town.

They are practicing small arms and artillery. The government soldiers are also laying land mines in the area.  Martial law has been imposed and residents are not allowed to leave their homes or farms, Kachin News Group said.

In the face of repetitive meetings between the KIO and the government peacemaking team, hostility has been going on a daily basis since the government violated a 17-year ceasefire accord in June last year.

On 30 April, President Thein Sein received the UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw. At that time he said that he has pledged to make more efforts for gaining a full-grown democracy in the country.  He continued telling two processes for peace and stability – political stability and the process for elimination of internal conflicts – in the country.

Alternatively, Burma’s Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi highlights points on Burma’s reform in her Nobel lecture on 16 June.

“My party, the National League for Democracy, and I stand ready and willing to play any role in the process of national reconciliation. The reform measures that were put into motion by President U Thein Sein’s government can be sustained only with the intelligent cooperation of all internal forces: the military, our ethnic nationalities, political parties, the media, civil society organizations, the business community and, most important of all, the general public,”  Nobel laureate said.

On the other hand, Burma’s Union Parliament will start again its fourth session in Nay Pyi Taw on 4 July, according to state media on 12 June. Remarkably, it will be the first to be attended by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi together with 43 MPs of her party.

As President has expressed his two processes for peace and stability in the country, apart from the sectarian unrest in Rakhine State, the topic of ending Kachin war seems to be another pressing issue in the next parliament session. Thus, before 4 July session, Thein Sein should think how he can stop his army’s ongoing war in ethnic areas. Ending war in Kachin State will be helpful to build peace and stability in the nation.

Ethnic people may not trust President if his armed forces may not stop committing crimes against humanity in the undeveloped war-torn ethnic neighborhoods.

Political analysts and observers have been deeply concerned about widespread war in Kachin State. Now, people have been blaming the Thein Sein government for breaking ceasefire agreement with ethnic KIO.

The regime’s miscalculation of handling the Kachin issue seems to be pushing the country into an abysmal gorge of tragedies. Burma’s new military offensives on the Kachin, Karen and Shan armed groups will lead the nation into a severe poverty trap.

Asian Correspondent

Asian Correspondent is an English-language liberal news, blogs and commentary online newspaper serving all of the Asia-Pacific region. The website covers asian business, politics, technology, the environment, education, new media and Asia society issues.

4 thoughts on “Burma Needs To End War Against Kachin Ethnic – OpEd

  • June 24, 2012 at 9:10 am
    Permalink

    “Even if Burmese President is often saying candidly that his government is going after a peaceful….”

    It is called lie. Lie right to the face, habitually. And Aung Min. Cowards kill. Cowards lie.

    “….new military offensives on the Kachin, Karen and Shan armed groups will lead the nation into a severe poverty trap.”

    Wrong. The idea is to keep killing even better with American guns and then ask Coca-Cola and SEZ’s to get the money. Oh, yes, oil and gas..

    Very difficult to quote Aung San Suu Kyi’s ever so distant engagements!!! Good try!

    Reply
  • June 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm
    Permalink

    It is amazing that some Burmese still want to see Burma disintegrate instead of unite. it is a part of Burma’s greater tragedy. any message of sovereignty and unity is always censored by the Burmese media in exile.
    The so-called federalist Burmese fail to understand the calamities that are bound to befall Burma if Burma is turned into a federation.

    Federalism works where a country is bounded by the sea best. Where there is land continuity neighbouring countries that are more powerful go for land grab.

    Besides, even as a unitary Burma the skills to govern are so limited, several parts of disintegrated Burma will be run by warlords and internecine and multi-faceted wars will cause regional instability, the fire that will burn even the neighbours and the rest of Asia.

    Wars can break out most unpredictably.

    The likes of Ohn need to learn history very seriously.

    The Kachin warlords represent no one but themselves. They are simply creating kachin nationalism as an execuse. After all what they are after is power and wealth for themselves.
    They are outlaws. They must be quelled one way or another.

    Ohn is inadvertently treasonous.

    He alos fails to understand, just like the authro does, is that the principal of federalism is unsustainable as there are around 135 ethnicities or tribes. So it simply is not possible to implement it without people of Burma going to war with one another. Historically, the Shans had involved in trading the Kayins as slaves. The practices were stopped when Burma was a unitary kingdom.

    The Burmese federalists are so blind.

    Reply
  • June 25, 2012 at 9:38 am
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    DeVille,

    That was a sound, thorough wagging! Cathartic!

    No promotion of the cause of people to have what they desire rather than Put up with something forced upon by guns or money can possibly treasonous unless one is in a Mafia State. Even though Burma produces just about largest amount of opium and refined little treasure in the whole wide world and those blue tablets with letters on them for economy, the world regards Burma simply as military state -currently faux democratic as per decision by that Saint Aung San Suu Kyi- but not really as a Narco state because there are more problems in Burma- land grab, state planned and managed torture, murder, rape, displacement, burning the food store and so on which the many south American equivalents are way behind to match.

    KIA leaders are definately not certified Saints. But the very aggressive and inhumane acts of the Bamar Rapists Army in defense of their Papa Chinese interest has, at least this time round, enraged enough of the grass root population so that even current Aung Min’s business deals, which bought KNU, is not likely to work.

    None of the armed groups including the said Rapist Bamar Army is democratic by definition. But KIA and KNU would still be more reresentative of their respective population than Than Shwe’s looting, murdering thugs.

    India, for example, is a federal state. Works pretty well. That 135 or whatever number ethinicites is simply a product of definition. Still the number of races one wants to count are likely to be less than India. The issue is devolution of power and it is the duty of the central government with pleural participation to help and sort out the regional problems than to bulldoze all of them to impose the desire of a group of military and non- military elites and their self serving foreign advisors.

    Unfortunately there is more and more chance that Aung San Suu Kyi herself, who seems to make all important decisions all by her self by the way- definately no public discussion and debate of any sort- seems to be in exactly the same mind with the military on all major policy issues but for a few inconsequential wordings. For example the repeal of the onstitution is simply a joke in the sense that there is no discussion, debate or attempt to do any thing about at all for the first priority job of the esteemed NLD.

    Whether it is called Federalism or not, real meaningful devolution of power is not only vital for peaceful progress of the country but it is inevitable however cruel and overbearing the military is or how much Aung San suu Kyi vouch for them or collude with them.

    Of course there may possibly, just possibly a good unitary system. But most definately NOT under this military hegemony which is now stronger and more open and blatantly oppressive with one collusion of Aung San Suu Kyi.

    The line about Shan selling Kayin as slave was a low blow out of place in otherwise cogent argument. Unfortunately the buyers would have been Bamar. But such cupboard full of skeletons are to be put out open and sorted out rather than use as an excuse for perpetuation of the oligarchy dictatorship now with new recruit Nobel Prize Winner.

    Reply
  • June 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm
    Permalink

    By the way, DeVille,your man Min Aung Hlaing and Thein Sein’s annihilation of the Kacin is already overdue with no chance at all.

    Again, Aung Min is a clown, just not funny.

    Liaza WIIL BE Than Shwe’s Waterloo!

    Reply

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