Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hillary Clinton's Yangon arrival on November 30 and the military-junta's hurried plans against the KIO Laiza, November 24, 2011

With the arrival of US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Yangon November 30, President Thein Sein's military commanders are apparently under orders to do something meaningful quickly against the the KIO. The quick victory the Tatmadaw had initially expected is turning out to be more elusive than scheduled. The US had let it be known meanwhile, that any talk of sanction reduction will not occur until war with ethnic nationalities has completely ceased. Meanwhile, President Thein Sein's reform talk has provided the US a cosy corner to occupy in his quarters; yes, the US will support the reform agenda and even help to push it.

Recently, U Aung Min, a Thein Sein minister, met with representatives of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), including the KIO, the proponents of federalism according to Panglong plans, and assured that he came as a minister of Thein Sein's government, not as a hluttaw delegate, a careful distinction intended to assert that the reform agenda is in the hands of Thein Sein faction. He meticulously enunciated that all political power in the Union is in President Thein Sein's hands, including the military. Thus, it seems likely that the rushed agenda against the KIO originated in the President's very own office.

So why this war agenda against the Kachins? There are two obvious reasons. First, Thein Sein cannot survive at this time without the support of the Tatmadaw, and the government based on the military owes big-time debt to China. Second, among China's agenda items is a highway to India through Kachin State. And China, realizing the implications of increasing US presence in Burma's national politics, feels the time to pursue its agenda may soon be in jeopardy.

Hence, there is the pervasive feeling today in Kachinland that the Tatmadaw will try to make major moves against the Kachins, and this means attack on Laiza itself. The predictable outcome will be the decentralization of Kachin armed resistance into the jungles, and as well, into the Kachin population of Yunnan and Tibetan borderlands. Is this what China and Thein Sein really want?

It is critical for the US to let Thein Sein know that any action on his part that has exacerbating consequence in the region will have impact on Secretary Clinton's plans. Meanwhile, Kachins domiciled all over the world may be on the verge on commencing on a massive hungry strike.

SK for OKA News


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