Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two 15 year old girls raped by Burma Army soldiers in Kachin state last week: and I am supposed to keep quiet about it?


Academics and diplomats are largely in agreement: they generally say, now is the time to stop criticizing the Regime in Burma; now is the time to focus on the positive steps that have been made and draw a patient breath, believing that a better future stands up to greet the children of current victims of oppression and violence. They promise that at the rate of change we are witnessing, Burma will be the world’s newest democracy in no time.
Kachin children
When I met these siblings they had run with their village friends while being attacked by the Burma Army. They don’t know where their parents are or if they are even alive. Partners provided food, medical care, and helped with shelter for them and their kin. Should we let their story stay untold so the diplomats can toast to peace in Naypyidaw while they sell away the land of the ethnic people whom they are killing?
The business sector points out that we must let “positive economic engagement” work it’s course. It seems we are supposed to reward the regime for change that has been promised and call them peacemakers when they award energy companies and telecom giants access to the “last economic frontier” of 55 million untapped consumers. Positive economic engagement works eventually, they say.
I am expected to ignore the Shan people who have had the land of their forefathers sold out from under them, creating such desperation to keep food on the table that they resort to selling their thirteen year old daughters to the brothels. Read about it here.
Partners Relief & Development is asked to leave the Kachin displaced people alone and stop helping them. We are told that by feeding and helping them as we do, we enable them to stay in camps of displacement, extending the conflict and creating diplomatic tension and drawing out the time needed to gain new freedoms. Where are they supposed to go anyhow? Don’t our critics know that their villages were burned down? Not in 2012 or even 6 months ago. I’m talking aboutlast week and every week leading up to it in 2013. Whole village tracts attacked, destroyed, and now occupied by Burma Army soldiers who eat their crops, kill their animals, and steal their possessions. Oh, and of course, rape their daughters.
I am expected to keep quite the rapes that happened last week; two 15 year old children raped by Burma army soldiers and a mother. Read the report here. Then keep quiet the fact that the Burma Army is shooting at Karen villagers three days ago in Tha Dah Der during a so called “cease fire.” The torture, the weekly attacks on civilian populations, the burning down of churches and mosques, the ethnic violence that appears to be State initiated in many of the ethnic States, especially against the Rohingya in Rakhine State; these appear as non-issues at the table of diplomacy.
Every single day, people are dying in Burma because of injustice. This is not the sort of thing to wait for the “professionals” to negotiate away and believe it will go away. That logic would never work with me if my family were on the victim end of the violence, nor yours. We don’t wait until a better day dawns to live the golden rule. We do it now.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”      Matthew 7:12
Justice requires that the abuse, murder, and lawlessness that persist in Burma today be called out for what it is. It is a moral outrage. To keep silent, while knowing what is happening, is tacit approval of means that will never accomplish ends appropriate to a moral human being.
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”     Martin Luther King, Jr.
This diplomatic logic, these sophisticated and articulate ways of describing steps towards democracy: I can’t stomach it. Each child that dies in Burma because of injustice is as much a travesty of justice as if it were my own daughter. Don’t tell me to keep quiet. Call me naïve, but our team will keep helping the people the regime is trying to kill. We will keep speaking for those victims of conflict and oppression who don’t have a platform or voice to speak for themselves.
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God
Micah 6:8

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Latest Clashes in Nam Lim Pa village Mansi Township, Kachin State


17 Nov 2013

Severely shooting in Nam Lim Pa village, Mansi Township starting from 7:00 AM this morning on the 17 November 2013. A total of more than 2300 existing IDPs, students, the new IDPs coming from Kaung Lwin (aka Gawng Run) and Saga Nam Hkum villages needed to fled the village and running to different directions. Injured, trapped and killed are unknown.

On the 16th November 2013 evening around 4:30 PM, Myanmar Government troops entered to the village, surrounded all the students from boarding house while their having their dinner, and started shooting in the village. Because of shooting, all the IDPs, the students from the boarding houses running around to escaped. All of them were put in the existing IDP Camp in Nam Lim Pa, which was already too small for the existing 1000+ IDPs and not sufficient the rest 1300+ of native villagers, and the new IDPs coming from Saga Nam Hkum and Kawng Lwin.

A totall of 3 ships full of Government Troops arrive Banmaw jetty yesterday evening (16th Nov 2013) and heading to the direction to Nam Lim Pa.

Nam Lim Pa village is situated in the Southeast of Mansi township, and it was hosting 1000+ IDPs and left without no access by any AID Groups since 22nd October 2013 as the road was blocked by Govt troop. Yesterday, the aid workers from Karuna Banmaw Social Service –KBSS (Catholic Church's Development Desk) arrived there for the first time with permission from Tactic/Strategic Commander and G1 from Banmaw. The shooting started 2 hours after the aid team arrived to the village. The team reported that they were not aware that Govt Troop followed after them. In the mean time, those Aid Workers from KBSS and Aid Workers from Wunpawng Ninghtoi –WPN (Mai Ja Yang based) are trapped together with the villagers.

The villagers and IDPs are running to different directions – some heading to Mai Ja Yang, China Border, Some to Man Wing Gyi – China Border, and Some to Mansi. The churches from Man Wing Gyi and WPN are planning to receive them but there is no resources.

Because of the clashes starting from early October 2013, villagers from a total of 10 villages with 13000 population have abundant their homes and leaving in the 3 new IDP Camps: In Han Htet and Si Hkam Gyi villages in Mansi township and in Hpan Ka Kone village in Banmaw township.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Burma Army Attacks Kachin Villagers; Rapes of 15-Year-Old Kachin Girl and 29-year-old Kachin Mother


[image: Free Burma Rangers] <http://www.freeburmarangers.org>
[image: FBR - Love one another]
Burma Army Attacks Kachin Villagers; Rapes of 15-Year-Old Kachin
Girl and 29-year-old Kachin Mother *7 November 2013* *Kachin State, Burma* *In
this Report:* - *Attacks in Mung Ding Pa and Nam Lim Pa, with
hundreds of new IDPs held hostage in a church* - *Rape of 15-year-old
Kachin Girl* - *Summary of Burma Army Attacks and Activity in Kachin
State in October * - *Kachin mother raped*

- *2 children injured during attack on 15 October.*

On 22 October 2013, Burma Army soldiers from Infantry Battalions (IB) 47,
56, 236, 240, 276, and Light Infantry Battalions 601 and 602, all under the
command of MOC 21, attacked Nam Lim Pa and Mung Ding Pa Villages in Mansi
Township, 3rd Brigade, southern Kachin State. Burma Army soldiers took
villagers’ belongings, and caused 700 villagers from Mung Ding Pa to seek
refuge in a local Christian church. Burma Army soldiers held the villagers
hostage inside the church.

Some of these troops positioned themselves between Je Kham and Kawng Ja and
at 1:05 pm they began firing 60mm mortars at Mung Ding Pa village. At 2:05
pm, Burma Army soldiers attacked the village.

The commander of Burma Army MOC 21 arrested 8 male villagers from Kawng Ja
villages, KIA Battalion 12 territory in Brigade 3, ranging in age from 30
to 78. Their names are:
Maran Tu, 30 years old Laya tang, 43 years old Ndau Brang Tawng, 48 years
old Nhkum Mai, 45 years old Lahpai Zau Gam, 78 years old, Lahya Tu Ring, 32
years old Zinwa Naw, 35 years old

They were sent to Man Ta village the next day. As of the latest field
updates, these men were still held in Burma Army custody.

The day before, 21 October 2013, Burma Army troops from IB 60 and LIB 323
ordered villagers from Gawng Run, Nam Kahn and Je-U villages to remain
within their villages, and the soldiers closed the road between Gawng Ru
and Nam Lim Pa, which is in Kachin Independence Army’s 3rd Brigade

After the attack on the villages on 22 October, fighting broke out at 10:30
am between Nam Hkum and Awng Nan villages. 200 Burma Army troops from MOC
21 fought KIA battalion 12 troops. Fire exchanges lasted until 4:00 pm the
same day.

On 25 October 2013, KIA troops from Battalion 12, Brigade 3, exchanged fire
with Burma Army soldiers from MOC 21 when Burma Army troops arrived at Saga
Nam Hkaum, which is located in Mansi Township.

On the same day, at 4:00 am, 500 Burma Army soldiers from MOC 21 came to
Mung Ding Pa village, which had been attacked 3 days prior, and took 10
Kachin male villagers.

Also on the same day, the area under the control of KIA 4th Brigade, saw
fighting between KIA troops from Battalion 34 and Burma Army troops from
LIB 502 from 8:00 am until 11:30 am.
*Burmese Army Soldiers Gang Raped a 15-Year-Old Girl*

At 9:00 am on Wednesday 30 October 2013, Sumlut Roi Ja, a 15-year-old girl
from Lu Htawng Village in Kachin State, was gang-raped by several Burma
Army soldiers. The attackers were Captain Thet Hpyo Aung (also known as
Captain Zaw Htet Aung), and two soldiers from LIB 116. Lieutenant Colonel
Min Kyin San commands LIB 116, a mobile battalion under the Sagaing-based
33rd Light Infantry Division, which is commanded by Colonel Myit Maw.

Later that evening, Sumlut Roi Ja was handed back to her parents.
This rape report was relayed to FBR by Kachin Land News. *Kachin mother
raped; Villagers tortured*

On 2 September 2013, 200 Burma Army soldiers arrived at Nhka Ga village,
forcing KIA troops stationed there to decamp. Mr. Lahkyeng Hkaw Tup and
Yung Hka Hkyen, both from Nhka Ga village, were tortured and killed by
Burma Army troops from IB 137. Reverend Ram Me and 10 villagers were
arrested and tortured after being questioned by Burma Army troops. John
Seng Awng, son of Nhka Ga Village, was tied up and badly tortured. Burma
Army soldiers raped his wife, 29-year-old Nhtung Hkai Nang Htu, right in
front of him. They have one child.
*Summary of Burma Army Attacks and Activity in Kachin State in October*

During the month of October the Burma Army continued its campaign against
the Kachin people in Northern Burma. In a series of operational movements
government forces imprisoned civilians and forced them to work for military
purposes, carried out attacks against villages, and according to a local
newspaper (Kachin Land News), at least one officer and two soldiers
gang-raped a 15 year old girl.

In the course of operations, the Burma Army encroached on Kachin controlled
land, reinforced and strengthened existing positions, and disrupted
civilian activities throughout the area. Much of the fighting took place in
Mansi Township of Kachin State, but conflict was present throughout other
areas of southern Kachin and northern Shan states as well.

Between 9 October and 31 October at least six clashes took place. The Burma
Army shelled two villages, resulting in three civilian casualties, two of
which were children. Over the same time period, more than 700 civilians
were temporarily detained in a church.

The following is a summary of daily military activities conducted by the
Burma Army troops stationed in Kachin State.

*9 October 2013*

At 5:00 pm, government troops from Light Infantry Division (LID) 101
arrived at Nyawng Pin Ta village with four trucks. The village is in an
area controlled by KIA 26th Battalion, 2nd Brigade.

*10 October 2013*

An estimated 30 Burma Army soldiers from Myitkyina travelled in 2 boats to
reinforce Infantry Battalion (IB) 37 at Hu Kat village.

Burma Army IB 251 relieved IB 257 under LID 101 command, which is
positioned at Lung Tung village. The village is controlled by KIA
26thBattalion, 2
nd Brigade.

From 8:30 – 9:00 am, Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) Unit 256 and
forces from Burma Army LIB 505 and 506 clashed between Bang Hkalawk and Hu

*11 October 2013*

At 8:00 am, around 100 Burma Army soldiers from IB 105 arrived at Mogoung
from Samaw by train, and then continued to Hpakant by truck. This area is
under KIA 11th Battalion, 2nd Brigade.

Government troops from LIB 438 set up positions for security at Numlang and
Pangsak. The area is controlled by the KIAs 25th Battalion, 5th Brigade in
Sub-Dawhpum Yang township.

Burma Army LIB 522 was operating near Han Htet.

*12 October 2013*

At 9:30 am six trucks carrying troops and one truck carrying horses
departed Kuthkai for Namhkam, via Muse. The area is controlled by KIA
2ndBattalion, 4
th Brigade in Kuthkai township.

Government troops from IB 51 arrived at around Moda Ji and Mat Tai, and
troops from IB 236 led by Colonel Hpung Myat from MOC 21 arrived at Sin
Hkan and Nat Hkuk villages in KIA 5th Battalion 2nd Brigade area, within
Shwegu township.

At 5:00 pm, around one hundred Burma Army soldiers from unknown units
entered Manwing with five trucks in KIA 27th Battalion area from Namhkam in
KIA 3rd Brigade area of Mansi township.

*13 October 2013*

Burmese army troops led by Lieutenant Colonel Chaw Htik from LIB 259
relieved troops led by Lieutenant Colonel Hpu Myint Ting from IB 235
stationed around Sanghka which is in an area controlled by KIA 6thBattalion, 2
nd Brigade in Hpakant Township.

At 11:00 am six military trucks went to Sinli from Lashio, and two trucks
transporting artillery and one truck carrying soldiers entered Kuthkai in
northern Shan State.

Mixed troops from the Burma Army’s LID 33 and LIB 321 were gathering to
make an operational movement at Mada Bum, located near Ga Ra Yang and Nang
Zaw Yang, controlled by KIA 3rd Battalion under 5th Brigade, Waimaw

Burma Army IB 105 operated around Njang Yang, and IB 298 operated around
Hka Garan Yang and Tayang Zup. This area is controlled by KIA 4thBattalion, 1
st Brigade in Njang Yang township.

Burma Army IB 241 troops were operating around Ta Ku Ti which is controlled
by KIA 9th Battalion, 4th Brigade, Kuthkai Township.

Burma Army LIB 336 set up positions and camps at Shadan Pa Junction, which
is an area controlled by KIA 23rd Battalion, 5th Brigade, Waimaw Township.

*15 October 2013*

At 9:00 am, two trucks coming from IB 58 military base dropped one
truckload of soldiers at Lamyang and one at Sailaw, in an area controlled
by KIA 3rd Battalion, 5th Brigade, Waimaw Township.

At 4:00 pm, troops from LID 99 with ten trucks went to Myo Tit, and a truck
with military supplies and two trucks carrying soldiers entered Dawhpum

Burma Army IB 69 and LIB 323 departed In-Gyi, making separate operational
movements at Je Hkam and Prang Tai Maw. At 5:30 pm, Burma Army troops
advanced on Namhom, firing artillery at the town.

Two children, 14-year-old Nyi Nyi and 3-year-old Zaw Myo Chit, were
injured. Nyi Nyi is the son of U Win Tin and Daw Te Te. KIA soldiers
stationed at the village defended. This town is controlled by KIA
12thBattalion 3
rd Brigade in Mansi township.

Additionally, troops from IB 56 and 236 and LIB 602, commanded by MOC 21
Colonel Hpung Myat, were positioned at Nat Hkuk and Sin Hkan villages. This
area is controlled by KIA 5th Battalion, 2nd Brigade in Shwegu Township.

An estimated 120 Burma Army soldiers from unknown units arrived as
reinforcements at the base held by IB 145 at Ngaw Nga village – territory
controlled by KIA 8th Battalion, 4th Brigade in northern Shan State.

Burma Army LIB 505 strengthened fortifications at their base in Mung Yin,
in KIA 8th Battalion, 4th Brigade area.

Burma Army IB 240, which had been operating around Han Htet Man Wing Lay,
returned to Mansi Township, in the area under KIA 27th Battalion, 3rd

From 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, three fighter jets from Myitkyina Nampawng Air
Field flew drills over Myitkyina city.

From 8:00 pm – 8:15 pm, Burma Army soldiers from an unknown unit and the
TNLA clashed at Manlum near Nam San, which is controlled by KIA 34thBattalion, 4
th Brigade in Namtu Township.

*16 October 2013*

At 10:45 am an explosion occurred at Bang Poi in the center of Namhkam

At 11:00 am, 13 trucks full of troops from MOC 7 arrived from Dawhpum Yang,
and rotated into positions at Laja Yang, Nalung, Shadan Pa, and Nam Ngau.
At 2:50 pm, 13 trucks carrying troops who were rotated out left the area.

An estimated four hundred soldiers from IB 47, 56 and 236, and LIB 602
operated around Pin Chying in the KIA 3rd Brigade, area of Mansi Township.

At 6:00 pm, 11 trucks carrying troops from unknown units entered Namhkam in
KIA 8th Battalion, 3rd Brigade territory from Mung Wi before continuing on
to Lashio.

*17 October 2013*

At 7:00 am, a bomb detonated at Bang Poi in the center of Namhkam Township,
killing a civilian who was passing by. At 7:30 am, a second bomb exploded
at Bang Poi. One ethnic Shan civilian was injured in the blast.

IB 142, stationed at Namsan Yang, blockaded the Manmaw – Myitkyina – Laiza
road and searched the civilian population.

Approximately thirty Burmese soldiers from LIB 567 operated around Hka Lum
and Hpai Kawng – territory controlled by KIA 36th Battalion, 4th Brigade in
Muse township – and entered Mung Gu at 9:00. Troops from IB 142 and MOC 7
and 21 set up positions between Num Lang and Namsan Yang.

At 3:00 pm, more than 200 soldiers from IB 63 and 98 approached Nam Hkyi
village (a gold mining area) and a site where KIA Tactical Regiment 101 was
positioned in territory controlled by KIA 5th Battalion, 2nd Brigade,
Shwegu Township.

35 soldiers from LIB 309 and their commander operated around Uk Shi.
Another 33 soldiers operated around Nying Chan, and 20 soldiers led by
Captain Aung Kyaw Soe set up positions at Myo La village controlled by KIA 5
th Battalion under 2nd Brigade in Shwegu Township.

Troops from IB 253, Division 101, set up positions for security between
Ginsi and Lawngh kang, which is controlled by KIA 6th Battalion under
2ndBrigade in Hpakant Township.

Around 100 soldiers from IB 69 and LIB 323 operated at Kung Ting and
Manwing Lay, and around 80 soldiers from LIB 522 arrived at Mansi base,
controlled by KIA 27th Battalion, 4th Brigade, Mansi Township.

At 5:30 am, six trucks carrying troops and one truck with four horses
arrived at Kuthkai. They then departed for Laisho with the eleven trucks
witnessed the evening before entering Namhkam.

*19 October 2013*

At 2:00 am, a group of Burma Army soldiers from an unknown unit arrived via
two motorboats at BhoMo in BhoMo Township, controlled by KIA 1st Battalion,
3rd Brigade. Meanwhile, around 90 soldiers from LIB 323 arrived at Kung
Ding Kawn Man Hpa in Mansi township, which is in the area of KIA
27thBattalion, 3
rd Brigade. Approximately 25 soldiers from LIB 321 were operating between
Jang Wawm Kawng and Nawng Si Paw in Wai Maw Township, 5th Brigade, Kachin

*20 October 2013*

At 8:00 am, around 100 soldiers from LIB 522 were operating around Madan
Yang in the 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade KIA area. By 1:00 pm more than 100
additional soldiers from IB 69 and LIB 323 had also arrived at Madan Yang
village, Mansi Township. Soldiers from LIB 323 and 522 were also operating
between Man Hpa and Yi Hku Man Kham. Soldiers from MOC 16 arrived at Man
Hpa and soldiers from IB 69 were continuing to operate west of Chawng Htawk.

*21 October 2013*

The soldiers from IB 69 and LIB 323 had moved from Madan Yang to Kai Htik
in the 27th Battalion, 3rd Brigade KIA zone by 9:00 am. These soldiers also
ordered villagers from Gawng Run, Nam Khan, and Je-U villages not to go to
outside of their villages and blockaded the way to Gawng Ru to Nam LimPa

*22 October 2013*

Around 200 soldiers from IB 69 and LIB 323 arrived at the road of Madang
Yang village and Ngau Hkaraw Lawa Yang village. This area is under
69thBattalion, 1
st Brigade of the KIA.

An estimated 100 soldiers from LIB 522 arrived to Ywa Tit Kung from Madang
Yang village in KIA 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, Mansi Township. Burmese
soldiers from MOC 21 were also taking up a position at Mung Ding Pa village
and LaiKa Sharin School. They collected 700 Students and villagers and held
them captive in a Christian Church.

Burma Army troops were taking up positions at Kawng Dung, Man Wing Ley, Man
Ta, Tan Tada, In Gyi, Prang Tai Ja Ma, Gawng Run, Je-U, Kawng Ja, Mung Ding
Pa, and Hka Gyin Mung Si in the KIA 12th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, Mansi

The commander of MOC 21 led Burmese Soldiers from Infantry Battalions 47,
56, 236, 240, 276 and LIB 601 and 602. One group of soldiers had arrived
between Je-U/Je Kham and Kawng Ja at 11:30 am, and at 1:05 pm the Burma
Army fired 60mm mortars at Mung Ding Pa village before entering the village
at 2:10 pm. These events were in the KIA 12th Battalion, 3rd Brigade area.

*23 October 2013*

Ko Hpung Myat from Burma Army MOC 21 led
    Shadip Jahpang <mrgumzet@gmail.com> Nov 10 01:21PM -0600

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: "叶芳芳" <bungshikasha@gmail.com>
    Date: Nov 10, 2013 10:52 AM
    Subject: Fwd: news

    *Manmaw Mung Ding Pa na anhte a myu sha ni hkrum sha ai lam hpe mazing da
    ga..* hti byin hkra hti ga... ကုမုဒရာ ni interview sa galaw da ai re.

    Date: Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 11:46 PM
    From: Khon Ja Kachin <khonja.kachin@gmail.com>Date: Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at
    11:41 PMSubject: Fwd: news
    To: "khonja.kachin" <khonja.kachin@gmail.com>
    Cc: Nan Lwin <nanlwin6289@gmail.com>, Nan Lwin Hninpwint <

    Dear Myit Rum ni,

    These are articles of Nan Lwin @ Zatang Hkawng Naw, reported from Banmaw
    earlier this week. She and her sister Nan Lwin Hnin Pwint Aung @ Zatang
    Hkawng Nan have gone through extreme challenges together with local
    villagers in the conflict in Kawng Ja, Mung Ding Pa and the area.

    Our deepest gratitude goes to the strong ladies. Please contact them
    directly if you find something/event/incident in your needs to be known by
    wider society.

    Maing Hkawng-Namlim Pa lam de du sa lai wa sai shiga dap na shayi sha Nan
    Lwin ka da ai shiga ni rai nga ai. Anhte a buga shara shagu hta


    Khon Ja

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Laiza Ethnic Armed Organizations Conference Statement


Thursday, October 24, 2013



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Burmese military has granted license to Kill and permission to fire Kachin Civilian to its ... the burmese military aggression and Brutality against Civilian ...


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kachin state is severely under fighting again for 2 days.

The native village of my Dad and mine, Nam Lim Pa, Mansi Township, Kachin state is severely under fighting again for 2 days. We have a family house there, half of the villagers are cousins and close relatives and the rest are friends. The villagers from Nam Lim Pa, Awng Ja, Nam Hpu, Maing Hkawng have to run away again for the second time during the resumed conflict in Kachin. How can I sleep peacefully, and work peacefully in this deep shit???

Whatever the government, the President and MPC said are not realised on the ground, but just air and papers..

Friday, July 26, 2013

This is an Honor for All of Us’

Lahpai Seng Raw, co-founder of the Rangoon-based Metta Development Foundation, sits with her son Brang Lai in front of their home. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

My first role model was the late Maran Brang Seng, who was chairman of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). He encouraged me to become involved in work to improve the situation of destitute Kachin communities along the borderlands of northern Myanmar. Today, I thank him and the KIO leadership for directing me on this path. ..."

An ethnic Kachin woman who co-founded Burma’s largest civil society organization was awarded with this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize, along with four other Asian leaders. Lahpai Seng Raw, a stay-at-home mother turned social worker who helped launch the Rangoon-based Metta Development Foundation, which provides support to displaced people in Burma’s conflict-torn areas, says she was inspired by other Kachin leaders in her 40s. In an interview with The Irrawaddy this week, she said the prestigious award was an achievement that she shared with her colleagues, and added that the honor was a reminder that much work remains to help the people of Burma, also known as Myanmar, as the country transitions from military rule.
Question: First of all, can you share your thoughts and feelings about receiving such a prestigious award, which is the Asian equivalent to the Nobel Prize?
Answer: I was amazed when I first heard about it on July 12, while I was traveling to Lashio [in Shan State]. I am deeply honored by this award, but also humbled in the knowledge that I owe it all to the host of wonderful friends, colleagues and partners at home and abroad who have sustained me in my work with their wise counsel, help and encouragement. So I accept this award not as a personal honor, but as a celebration of our collective achievement.
I handed over the Foundation’s leadership role to a new generation two years ago. This honor is a force for our foundation, to the new generation, to keep up the work we are doing. There are many displaced people all over our country, including in my state, Kachin State. As you know, tens of thousands of Kachin refugees are among those who have been displaced in Burma due to unstable ceasefires. As the president [Thein Sein] said, only after negotiations are made and sustainable peace is built can the refugee issue be solved. I reckon the honor comes at just the right time, while our country is on the path of reform. It also highlights that much still needs to be done.
Q: What is your role in the Foundation, after leaving your leadership position in 2011?
A: I have been working in social development for more than 20 years, since 1987. I will keep supporting those individuals or groups who I have been helping. For our country’s reforms, our civil society group must be effective. We still have to keep up a lot. I will serve again on the Foundation’s board of trustees this coming September.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the Foundation and its present work?
A: I began providing assistance for community development in 1987. After a decade assisting people in the communities, the Metta Development Foundation was formed in November 1997, several years after ceasefires were made with ethnic armed groups in Burma. It [the Foundation] provides support for community development for the ethnic [communities] in these areas.
Q: What are the specific activities of the Foundation?
A: We support the community’s needs, which involves agricultural awareness, education, health care, and relief and social rehabilitation works. For example, rehabilitation in the post-Nargis [cyclone] period was not only a matter of building shelters, but also raising awareness among teachers and parents about hygiene as well as environmental issues. … We focus on the community’s proposal to implement a project, based on their decision, which is the most beneficial for them.
Q: When you started the Foundation under the previous military regime, what challenges did you face?
A: We were able to travel to areas where international organizations could not go. The locals also cooperated with us. We did not face huge challenges implementing our projects, except for the lack of international aid. If we had secured more foreign aid or technical assistance under the previous government, we would have done more.
Q: When you traveled, were you be able to work in ethnic areas affected by civil wars?
A: Of course, we were able to work in areas where ceasefire agreements were signed. We have also expanded our reach to help people displaced by natural disasters, not only man-made disasters, since 2004. We provided support to the tsunami victims in 2004, to the 2008 Cyclone Nargis victims in the Irrawaddy Delta, and in 2010 to the Cyclone Giri victims in Arakan State. Our support was not limited to a region. When local residents informed us about their need for help, we would reach them.
Q: Were there any other co-founders?
A: Yes, I am one of four founders of the Foundation. Actually, the four of us, we are all women who share the same commitment—two Karen ladies, another Kachin lady and I started it with US$20,000 in funding. We supported the development of agriculture, health care, education and hygiene development. Now the Foundation has expanded through multi-ethnic collaboration, with ethnic Mon and Shan representatives. My current successor is a Shan man, Dr. Sai Sam Kham. He took the leadership role in September 2011.
Q: Do you have any plans for how you’ll use your cash prize?
A:  In keeping with my commitment to work for sustainable peace and a development process that spreads evenly across the country, I pledge to use the prize money for projects that will protect and preserve the Myitsone area in northern Myanmar and that will provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for communities there. We provided agricultural and breeding support as well as forestry preservation assistance before the residents were relocated to new villages. Today the area is under threat from a dam project [currently postponed], which poses grave dangers to its delicate ecosystem, its cultural and religious heritage sites and its communities, displaced and deprived of land and livelihood.
Q: What was the driving force behind your decision to get involved in social development?
A: I was a stay-at-home mom in Myitkyina [the state capital of Kachin State] before getting involved in the field. Many people impressed me—those who were dedicated to our country and weren’t taking advantage of it for their own sakes. I was working with them, including ethnic leaders, and they inspired me. My first role model was the late Maran Brang Seng, who was chairman of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). He encouraged me to become involved in work to improve the situation of destitute Kachin communities along the borderlands of northern Myanmar. Today, I thank him and the KIO leadership for directing me on this path. I would also like to offer my sincere thanks to the government of Myanmar, for opening the door for me to openly and freely initiate programs that would assist conflict-affected communities after the 1994 ceasefire agreements. The active young people in the communities are also a force that keeps me working in the field.
Q: There are many young philanthropists in Burma. What advice would you give to those who are working with civil society groups?
A: I want to encourage other women as well as the youth to try hard on their tasks, whether they perform philanthropic work individually or with a group. The power of civil society groups is significant in moving toward change in our country. The recognition of the RMAF [the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation]to a Myanmar citizen shows that civil society groups in Burma are capable of change. This is an honor for all of us.
By  Irrawaddy

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bawk Ja, the Candidate of Kamaing Kachin State was arrested by police at Mohnyin


Bawk Ja, the Candidate of Kamaing in Election 2010 against Minister Ohn Myint, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the person who sue Yuzana Company for land grabbing in Hugaung Valley in Kachin State was arrested by police at Mohnyin, Kachin State, this evening. She will be send to Myitkyina tomorrow.

ေဒၚေဘာက္ဂ်ာ၊ ၂၀၁၀ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ေမြးျမဴေရးႏွင့္ ေရလုပ္ငန္း၀န္ၾကီးဌာန ၀န္ၾကီး ဦးအံုးျမင္႔၊ ယုဇန ကုမၼဏီအား ဟူးေကာင္းေဒသတြင္ ေျမသိမ္းမႈျဖင္႕ တရားစြဲသူအား ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႕မွ ယေန႕ညေနတြင္ မိုးညွင္းျမိဳ႕၌ ဖမ္းဆီးသြားပါသည္။ သူမအား မနက္ဖန္ ညေနတြင္ ျမစ္ၾကီးနားျမိဳ႕သို႕ ပို႕ေဆာင္မည္ ျဖစ္သည္။

Shayi Bawk Ja hpe daina de MoHnyin mare kaw rim la mat wa sai. Hpawt de Myitkyina de sa na re. ....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kachin update- China’s involvement with Burmese Army reinforcement and BA attacked the KIA position

Dear Friends, This letter is to provide an update on the situation in Kachinland to the stakeholders who have been involved in the Kachin peace process. We have received very disturbing news reports that Chinese security forces are helping reinforcement and ration supply to a Burmese military outpost in Mu Bum close to Loije and Nongdaofenchang, Dehong, Yunnan, China. This is not the first time we have received such a report. The Embassy of the People's Republic of China clarified that they are not aware of such an incident on the border. The following are the reports we received from our frontlines. 11 JUL 2013, 1235 hours: Myanmar government troops from Infantry 69 entered KIA 27th Battalion area in Maji Kung and attacked the KIA position. No casualty reported. KIA captured 106 MA bullets and 2 PRG ammunitions. 12 JUL 2013, 1910 hours: at the KIA 27 battalion area, Baw Hill between Hu Bung and Hka Pra Yang, Burmese Army (BA) troops from Infantry 69 and KIA troops clashed, 2 casualties from the BA reported. The Burmese Army ended a 17-year ceasefire in Kachin State and this is the stage were we are rebuilding trust for further peace negotiations, but the daily attacks by the Burmese Army question their commitment to the peace process. China’s involvement with Burmese Army reinforcement and ration supply to Burmese Army outpost. Under the security cover of the People's Republic of China, Myanmar government strengthened Mu Bum post with 100 troops and 9 tons of rice yesterday 11 July 2013, taking advantage of the darkness. Mu Bum has been captured by Myanmar government troops from the KIA in 1991 and at the height of the government offensives in January of this year, heinous human rights violations occurred at Mu Bum like the disappearance of rape victim Sumlut Roi Ja, captured and taken to Mu Bum by the troops stationed there. Chinese citizen Zau Lawn has also been murdered by the same troops. Myanmar government Light Infantry Battalion 437 from Northern Command is based at Mu Bum, the new arrival is Infantry 121. Such incidences are ongoing and not the first time such allegations have been raised against Chinese security forces. Chinese security forces must immediately stop providing assistance to the Burmese Army forces conducting military offensives against Kachin people that have already caused the loss of countless innocent lives and a mass humanitarian crisis. We welcome China to play a constructive role towards peace negotiations for political change and peace. However, the Kachin people have questions over the credibility and sincerity of China’s role in future peace negotiations when Chinese security forces are aiding the Burmese armed forces. The Chinese government must stop aiding the Burmese armed forces directly or indirectly causing instability in Kachinland. On the occasion of President Thein Sein official visit to Britain, we urge the British government and the international community to strongly pressure President Thein Sein to immediately stop all military offensives against ethnic populations across the country and pursue a genuine commitment for peace in Burma. Sincerely, -- ----------- Information & Public Relations Email:info@kachinland.org www.kachinland.org www.facebook.com/kachinland

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A State of Anxiety


Posted By Min Zin Share

I visited Burma for the first time in 16 years last December. Back then I felt relative optimism about our country's political transition -- despite its deepening poverty, the ongoing war against the Kachin ethnic group, and sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims. The release of hundreds of political prisoners, the emergence of a free press, and Aung San Suu Kyi's electoral victory in the 2012 by-elections gave people reason to hope that the country would soon be free and developed.
Now I've come back, and this time I see a totally different country. The winds of change are carrying a bad smell rather than fresh air. Anti-Muslim hate speech and riots have spread to major cities, and Buddhist monks are aggressively interfering in our multi-ethnic polity by pushing a draft law that restricts inter-faith marriages. The monks are even threatening politicians who refuse to endorse their bill with retaliation when the country holds its next general election three years from now. There's no doubt that elements within both the ruling elite and the political opposition are taking advantage of rising ultra-nationalism by either jumping on the bandwagon or dodging responsibility for tackling the problem. Horrible as this is, it's not just ethnic and religious minority groups that are being attacked. Women, too, are increasingly becoming victims of ideological extremism and political opportunism, as manifested by the draft law on inter-faith marriage. 
But perhaps the most worrisome trend in Burma these days is a widening split between the president and the powerful speaker of the lower house of parliament. Worst of all, part of the responsibility for the resulting anxiety lies with Aung San Suu Kyi, since she has decided to side with Speaker Thura Shwe Mann against the government.
Since the start of the political opening and the initial negotiations between Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein in 2011, observers have noted that a stable relationship among the three leading figures in the country -- the president, the speaker of the house, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi -- is critical to the success of Burma's reform. There has been a constant personal (and to some extent institutional) rivalry between the president and the speaker almost from the beginning of the current transition. But despite everything the two men's relationship has never been as ugly as it is right now.
Most recently, the speaker has challenged the government's approach to peace talks with the ethnic rebel groups, demanding parliament's direct involvement in ceasefire negotiations with the Kachin. "I've been informed by some lawmakers and through public opinion that the peace talks have failed to achieve peace," Shwe Mann told parliament.
He has even called for a meeting of National Defense and Security Council (NDSC), the military-dominated eleven-member body that holds wide-ranging powers, in order to discuss the executive's handling of the peace issue. This unusual attempt to activate the NDSC, which has not met for some time, raised the eyebrows of several observers who once viewed the speaker of the house as a champion of reform. 
It is now clear that Shwe Mann's move was intended to weaken President Thein Sein and his reformist aides from the government think tank, the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC). The president is reportedly being strongly considered as a candidate to win the Nobel Peace Prize later this year for his reforms, and any major fallout from the intensifying power struggle within the troika could damage his credibility and even put proposed reforms off track.
But even before Shwe Mann began his public criticism of the government's peace initiative, Aung San Suu Kyi said in late May that the government's reform measures in recent years "have produced no tangible changes" for the rule of law and peace in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi's unofficial alliance with Shwe Mann against the government, therefore, has become the biggest constraint on Thein Sein's power.
Many people in intellectual circles and the business community worry that Aung San Suu Kyi is in the wrong political camp. Civil society activists are dismayed by her political maneuvering within the elite and her neglect of the population's more immediate problems, ranging from ethno-religious conflicts to dire poverty. It seems that all stakeholders, including the ethnic groups, will be forced to take sides in this escalating power struggle as the 2015 elections approach.
All observers, in any case, tend to agree that the political situation in Burma this year is becoming a serious cause for anxiety. One last thing that could compound these concerns is the lack of clarity about the military's preferences. No one knows whether the head of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, will choose to take sides in this power struggle, or whether he entertains political ambitions of his own. If the latter is the case, it would almost certainly complicate Burma's political transition and perhaps disrupt the reform process. Given the recent events in Egypt, there seems good reason to be worried about the possibility of a fresh military coup in Burma as well. 
Min Zin is the Burma blogger for Transitions. Read the rest of his posts here.

KIO( Kachin )turns military headquarter into a boarding school


Published on July 10, 2013

Opening ceremony of a boarding school was held at Hpung Mai hall in Laiza on July 9 at 9 am. The combined boarding school which accommodates 1725 middle and high school students is located at Alen Bum, the former KIA’s military headquarter, in Laiza. 107 teachers and school staffs are currently serving at the boarding school. The school is administered by KIO’s education department and funded by KIO, NGOs and the parents.
Sara Kaba Sumlut Gam, head of KIO’s education department, urged teachers and school staffs to serve as positive role models for the students during the ceremony. The school’s headmaster Sara Maru Hkawng Lum chaired the opening ceremony and Sara Kaba Lasang Tu San led a prayer of dedication for the school and the students.
Sara Hkawng Lum said, “there are a lot of needs for the students such as clothes, food, and books as most parents cannot provide for their children because they themselves are displaced”. He said KIO plans to provide free education and boarding for IDP children and assistance from other organizations will be helpful.
Another boarding school, Htoi Ningshawng School, which is located at Wung Gau hill and administered by KIO Youth Committee was opened on May 18, 2013. Htoi Ningshawng School currently accommodates 100 students from 3rd-10th grades.
There are about 40,000 war-affected children out of over 100,000 IDPs currently living in about two dozen camps along China-Burma border. The education of those 40,000 school-age children has been disrupted by renewed conflict between Kachin Independence Army and Burmese Army in Kachin and northern Shan State.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Burma’s supreme seat of power


Published: 3 July 2013
Kachin farmer Dau Lum holds a picture of his wife, who was abducted by the Burmese military more than 20 months ago. (Photo by Edward Chung Ho)
A 17-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and Burma’s military unraveled in dramatic fashion in June 2011, unleashing some of the heaviest fighting to hit the country since the Second World War.
The resumption of hostilities in Kachin state, which began some three months after Thein Sein’s nominally civilian government took office, has brought untold misery upon the more than 100,000 civilians estimated by the UN to have been displaced by the conflict that’s now in its second year.
Dau Lum, a 31-year-old Kachin farmer from Hkai Bang, a small village close to the Chinese border knows firsthand that despite a series of substantial democratic reforms Burma’s military continues to reign supreme.
A potentially precedent setting habeas corpus case filled by Dau Lum in early 2012 accusing the government of having unlawfully abducted his 28-year-old wife was quickly dismissed by Burma’s supreme court, in a terse ruling absolving the infamous Tatmadaw of any wrong doing.
Speaking via a crackling Chinese cell phone from the poorly equipped internally displaced persons (IDP) camp where he now lives on the Sino-Burmese border, Dau Lum recounts the horrific events that took place the last day he ever saw his wife alive. October 28, 2011 started out as fairly normal day for Dau Lum, who with his wife Sumlut Roi Ja and his elderly father were busy harvesting corn on their hillside farm near Maijayang, the second largest town controlled by the KIO.
Despite the fact that fighting had been going on between the military and the KIO for several months, Dau Lum and his family had yet to face the full effects of the conflict which had not yet spread to their area, that is until late in the afternoon when six heavily armed Burmese soldiers suddenly appeared at his farm, surrounding him, his wife and his father.
With guns drawn the soldiers accused Dau Lum and his 70-year father of being KIO soldiers. A bitter irony considering Dau Lum’s father had served in the Tatmadaw in the 1970s. Despite their protests that they were just simple farmers the soldiers tied Dau Lum and his father up and ordered them to carry their corn to the Mu Bum military base located on a nearby hill top. Although she was left untied Dau Lum’s young wife Roi Ja was also compelled to follow, according to Dau Lum.
“Before dismissing the case the court did not take into account the detailed evidence we submitted”
About twenty minutes into the march along the steep mountain path Dau Lam says he and his father managed to break free of their ropes and get away by jumping down a ravine, narrowly escaping a hail of gunfire in the process. Roi Ja who was being closely guarded by the troops was unable to get away, explains Dau Lum, in a heavily Kachin accented Burmese.
“I have many things to say but I can’t speak out. I’ve cried many times since my wife was arrested and I have difficulty sleeping and no appetite,” adds Dau Lum.
Compounding his difficulties Dau Lum’s now two and half year old daughter Lum Nor, has been robbed of her mother. “After my wife was arrested, my daughter cried for her mother to come,” says Dau Lum before adding that his daughter’s first words were “mum”. He remains unsure how he will tell her what happened to Roi Ja, partially because he doesn’t know.
“Whenever my daughter sees some of her friends accompanied with their parents, she asks where her mother is. For me it is very hard to reply. I lie to her and say her mother has gone away to buy a snack,” Dau Lum said.
Life has been difficult since Dau Lum was forced to abandon his farm the day the alleged abduction took place. Thanks to the conflict, his once prosperous cornfield has been transformed into a land mine laden no man’s land situated between two opposing sides who continue to shoot at each other from time to time, this despite a recent series of positive negotiating sessions.
Dau Lum, who for many years served as his family’s main bread winner has the added responsibility of not just looking after his daughter but also his elderly parents and siblings, a task made increasingly difficult by the fact that he’s been forced to take shelter in an IDP camp where he has little means to earn a living. In the camp he lives alongside his fellow villagers who all evacuated from their farms when heavy fighting broke out nearby just days after Roi Ja disappeared.
In the days that followed her alleged abduction several witnesses using binoculars saw Roi Ja inside Mu Bum base, surrounded on three sides by the KIO with the fourth side against the Chinese border. On at least one instance Roi Ja was dressed in a Burmese military uniform and appeared to be paraded around for the soldiers entertainment. The sightings ceased after less than a week giving rise to suspicions that Roi Ja met an unnatural end.
Dau Lum’s attempt to seek justice using the Naypyidaw-based Supreme Court ended without any satisfaction says Mar Khar, a human rights lawyer based in the Kachin state capital Myitkyina. Shortly after hearing about what happened Mar Khar took up the case launching a habeas corpus challenge made possible under the new and largely pro-military constitution.
“Before dismissing the case the court did not take into account the detailed evidence we submitted,” said Mar Khar who has pursued several other high-profile cases involving Kachin civilians detained during the conflict, all with similar outcomes.
In their decision the judges said there was a lack of evidence citing the government’s claim that neither Dau Lum nor his father had taken steps to inform government authorities about the incident immediately after it reportedly happened. This despite the fact that On 4 November 2011, less than a week after the alleged abduction took place, Dau Lum’s father sent three near identical letters to the Kachin state chief minister, the Bhamo District governor and a local military commander who heads Battalion 321, which includes the Mubum base, recounting what he witnessed. The letters, which requested that his daughter in law be released immediately, never received any reply.
The fact that Dau Lum and his father were barred from testifying during the hearings in Naypyidaw, although military personnel from the unit alleged to be involved were given this opportunity, added to the widely held view in Burma that the country’s highest court is not even remotely independent. Part of a judiciary that experts claim has not changed at all since the days of strict military rule.
In September 2012, a leading Kachin advocacy group the Kachin Women Association Thailand (KWAT) wrote an open letter to President Thein Sein urging him to immediately authorise a retrial of the Roi Ja case. This request was also met with no response.
“We have no way, no place to find justice for the person who has suffered human rights abuses or violence committed by the government’s army,” said Moon Nay Li from the advocacy team at KWAT. “[The] military still has the power in Burma.”
Despite mounting criticism of Burma’s legal system has kept with up with pace of reform, Soe Thane, a former general who serves as the country’s investment minister claimed during a panel discussion held as part of the World Economic Forum in Naypyidaw that the country’s judiciary had made great strides as of late. A claim met with scepticism by his co-panelist opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Although the fighting in northern Burma has lessened significantly since January, when military aircraft carried out unprecedented air strikes against KIO positions, things are far from stable in Kachin state.
A coalition of 60 Kachin community organisations and Burma campaign groups based in 21 countries recently held a global day of action to mark the second anniversary of the end of Kachin ceasefire. A joint statement released by the groups involved accused the Burmese military of committing serious war crimes.
“Kachin civilians have suffered from human rights violations, including rape of women and children, arbitrary execution, torture, forced labour, mortar bombing, burning and looting of villages,” the statement read.
During a recent interview with The Irrawaddy, Lt-Gen Myint Soe, the commander who oversees the army’s operations in Kachin state, refuted criticism of the military’s conduct during the Kachin conflict.
“Don’t believe everything you hear. There are many rumors, endless rumors,” he said.
Myint Soe’s pronouncement gives cold comfort to Dau Lum, who faces a very uncertain future.
“I don’t expect to see my wife again.”
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Burma army and KIA battle in southern Kachin state


Clashes between the Burma army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) broke out in the Bhamo district of southern Kachin state earlier this week.

Two separate clashes took place at the abandoned Du Hku village located in an area controlled by KIA Battalion 27 (under KIA 3rd Brigade) on June 18 and 19 when government troops from Infantry Battalion No. 240 entered KIA territory, according to Salang Kaba Doi Pyi Sa, head of the local refugee and relief committee.

The first clash happened on Tuesday evening and lasted about 15 minutes. While the second clash took place Wednesday morning and lasted a little bit more than 20 minutes, said a KIA officer from the group's 3rd Brigade when contacted by the Kachin News Group. Both clashes occurred in about the same place.

“The Burmese troops intentionally made aggressive maneuvers towards the KIA post, so fighting broke out,” said the officer who spoke on condition of anonymity. There were no dead from either sides but troops from both sides sustained injuries, said the officer who requested anonymity.

The troops from IB No. 140 troops were joined by troops from Light Infantry Division No. 99, who had recently traveled to the area from Mansi (also Manje).

The fighting took place near Mai Ja Yang, the second largest town controlled by the KIA's political wing the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). Mai Ja Yang is also home to thousands of internally displaced people (IDP). The fighting did not appear to threaten the safety of the IDPs said Doi Pyi Sa.

“The clashes happened although there is a process agreed to by both parties towards reducing the conflict. The conflict will continue if government forces continue to venture into KIO territory” he added.

The fighting stopped when the Burmese troops retreated from the area and returned to their base located in Kai Htik.

At the end of May a delegation from Burma's government and the KIO signed an agreement in which they both agreed to decrease military tensions and work towards peace. The agreement was not a ceasefire however and some fighting has continued to occur, in particular in northern Shan state.

Kachin peace marchers departed for Laiza from Myitkyina on June 21 carrying a Buddha statue and a Christian cross made of bullet shells collected during their journey to Laiza.

Kachinlandnews Portal at Laiza, Kachin State
Religious symbols made of bullets departed for Laiza
Published on June 21, 2013
Kachin peace marchers departed for Laiza from Myitkyina on June 21 carrying a Buddha statue and a Christian cross made of bullet shells collected during their journey to Laiza. The group included 6 monks and 37 Buddhists and Muslims laymen, said a source in Myitkyina.
The statue is 12-inch tall and made of 13 peittha (about 3.6 lb) of bullet shells and the cross is 12-inch tall.
U Win Cho, a leader of peace marchers, said “Laiza residents agree to keep the cross at Laiza Catholic Church but we are not very sure about the Buddha statue. If the residents are not prepared to accept the statue, we will bring back and deliver it to Maj General Min Aung Hlaing”. He said the intention of making a cross and a statue is to cause repentance by seeing the value of bullets used during the battles and to see their transformation from bullets to religious symbols.
Kachin locals who are mostly Christians expressed their objections to bringing religious symbols to Laiza as they are concerned of political problems in Kachin region turned into a religious one.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kachin Global Day of Action in USA....

Kachin Alliance's photo.
Federalism is key to genuine peace

Statement by 60 organisations, 07 Jun 2013

60 Kachin community organisations and Burma campaign groups worldwide in 21 countries will take part in a Global Day of Action today to mark the 2nd anniversary of military attacks by the Burmese government against the Kachin Independence Army and Kachin civilians breaking a 17- year ceasefire.

It has been two years now since the Burmese Army broke the ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army, which resulted in continuous military attacks on a daily basis and human rights abuses against Kachin civilians. During the military attacks, the Burmese Army targets civilians. This constitutes a war crime. Human rights abuses committed by the Burmese Army documented by the United Nations could also qualify as crimes against humanity. Kachin civilians have suffered from human rights violations, including rape of women and children, arbitrary execution, torture, forced labour, mortar bombing, burning and looting of villages. More than 100,000 Kachin civilians have had to flee from their homes to refugee camps and internally displaced areas. The Burmese government continues to restrict access for humanitarian aid to thousands of Kachin refugees. International humanitarian aid is still needed for the IDPs through local relief organisations.

The Global Day of Action highlights the human rights abuses in Kachin areas including widespread sexual violence against ethnic women used as a weapon of war without any repercussions. They are also calling for the establishment of a federal democratic Burma to guarantee a durable peace.

There will be peaceful demonstrations, letter- writing and events in various countries across the world targeting respective governments to put pressure on President U Thein Sein to stop the attacks against the Kachin and commit to a political solution based on the principle of federal democracy and equal rights for ethnic nationalities.

In Burma, various actions will take place where peace activists will lay wreaths at the Independence Monument and there will be a peace demonstration at Inya Lake followed by interfaith prayer event, organised by the Kachin Peace Network together with other community-based organisations.

In the UK, the Kachin community and Burma Campaign UK will hold a protest outside the British Foreign Office to urge William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, to highlight the issue of rape and sexual violence committed by the Burmese government’s forces, and press for federal constitutional reform in Burma.

Although there have been some peace negotiations, there is little progress from the government side to commit to a genuine ceasefire and negotiate on the political root causes in a meaningful way. While the Kachin and other nationalities suffer under the military-backed government, the international community continues to ignore the horrific human rights abuses and has instead rewarded the government by lifting most key sanctions. We strongly urge the international community to actively participate in any future peace negotiations and political process.

“The root cause of the conflict in Kachin State is the lack of national equality based on the current constitution. Without a political solution which is the formation of a federal democratic Burma that guarantees self-determination for the Kachin and all ethnic nationalities, there can never be a durable peace in the country”, said Gawlu La Awng from the Foreign Department of the Kachin Independence Organisation.

The following organisations support this Global Day of Action:
1. Actions Birmanie (Belgium)
2. All Kachin Students and Youth Union
3. Altsean-Burma
4. ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC)
5. Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC- Philippines)
6. Association Suisse-Birmanie (Switzerland)
7. Austrian Burma Center (Austria)
8. BurmaInfo (Japan)
9. Burma Action Ireland
10. Burma Aktion (Germany)
11. Burma Campaign Australia
12. Burma Campaign UK
13. Burma Centre Delhi (India)
14. Burma Partnership
15. Center for Peoples Dialogue (Srilanka)
16. Chin Human Rights Organization
17. Christian Solidarity Worldwide
18. Dignity International (Global NGO)
19. European Karen Network
20. Forum for Democracy in Burma
21. Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
22. Free Burma Coalition-Philippines
23. Human Rights Education Institute of Burma
24. IMPARSIAL, the Indonesian human rights monitor (Indonesia)
25. Info Birmanie (France)
26. Institute for Asian Democracy
27. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
28. Inter Pares (Canada)
29. Jinghpawland Cultural Exchange Committee
30. Kachin Association Australia (NSW)
31. Kachin Alliance, USA
32. Kachin Canadian Association (KCA)
33. Kachin Community in Europe
34. Kachin Community in New Zealand
35. Kachin Development Group (KDG)
36. Kachin Environmental Organization
37. Kachin Literature and Culture-Singapore
38. Kachin National Organization
39. Kachin Peace Network
40. Kachin Refugee Committee - Malaysia
41. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
42. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)
43. Kayan Women’s Organization (Karenni)
44. Mae Tao Clinic
45. Mon Youth Forum (MYF)
46. Mon Youth Progressive Organization (MYPO)
47. Nationalities Youth Forum (Burma)
48. PaxRomana ICMICA Asia
49. People’s Forum on Burma(Japan)
50. Project Maje, Portland Oregon USA
51. Queensland Kachin Community Inc (QKC)
52. Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee (RARC), Malaysia
53. Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF), Arakan-Burma
54. Shwe Gas Movement (SGM)
55. Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization
56. The Arakan Observer Group
57. The Best Friend Burmese Library
58. US Campaign for Burma
59. WunpawngNinghtoi (WPN)
60. Pan Taung Township Farmers Network