Kachinland: KIO objects Burmese army’s northern commander’s Christmas ultimatum

KIO objects Burmese army’s northern commander’s Christmas ultimatum (click to view article)

Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) sent a letter to U Aung Min, Vice-Chairman of Union level Peace-making Work Committee and Minister at the President Office on Dec 24 objecting to Burmese army Northern Commander’s order to withdraw KIA troops from Laja-yang which is located about 7 mile from Kachin administrative capital Laiza.

Northern Commander Brig Gen Tun Tun Naung informed KIO through mediator Peace-talk Creation Group (PCG) to withdraw KIA troops from Laja-yang for administrative purpose by giving a deadline of Dec 25.

KIO said government’s Union level peace-making committee and KIO’s delegates have engaged through dialogues to find political solution. The letter said KIO objects Northern Commander’s intention to find solution by military means by ordering KIA to withdraw its troops from Laja-yang by Dec 25.

KIO and Burmese government signed a ceasefire pact in 1994 after 33 years of fighting between two sides. The Kachin arm-struggle revolution began on Feb 5, 1961 during Burma’s early democratic days under U Nu. The then Burmese government ignored the promise of Panglong and asserted the Union in its own term, repressing the ethnic groups and their cultural and religious traditions by banning teaching of ethnic languages at government schools and declaring Buddhism as a state religion.

17 years of ceasefire period ended after government troops attacked KIA’s Bumsen post stationed near Taping hydropower plant on June 9 of last year. KIO asked Burmese government to honor previous ceasefire agreement by repositioning its troops to the level before 1994 ceasefire agreement. Burmese army has dramatically increased its presence in Kachin region after a ceasefire was signed in 1994. More infantry units from lower Burma including units from Light Infantry Divisions have been sent to Kachin frontlines since the beginning of the renewed fighting.