The Burmese military junta imposed night curfew in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in the country’s north since August 27, the day Burmese troops and the ethnic Kokang armed group clashed in northeast Shan State, said residents of Myitkyina.

A resident of Myitkyina told KNG today, that townspeople are prohibited from going out from their homes after 10 p.m. local time. People who flout the law will be punished by the town military authorities.

Every night, policemen are on the prowl in the town including Buddhist monasteries, in jail-trucks, said local eyewitnesses.However, the people have been authorized to cross the Irrawaddy River Bridge known as Balaminhtin, the key bridge which joins the capital Myitkyina and China borders east of the town, only during the authorized period from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Myitkyina’s residents. At the same time, the military authorities are also forcibly demanding two copies of the Family Document (Ing-htaung-su in Burmese), a list of all family members from each household in the town. One copy is meant for the Town Administrative Office (Ma-Ya-Ka) and another copy for the Kachin State Administrative Office (Pa-Ya-Ka), according to residents.

The military authorities did not give any reason for collecting the Family Documents. The households have been warned that names of family members in the document, who are away will be deleted, said a resident of Shatapru quarter in the town.

Last Saturday (August 29), the residents of Shatapru were summoned and told about the latest night curfew and the collection of two copies of the Family Documents by the quarter administrators, said residents.

Some Kachin Christian churches in the town were also told to again explain the latest laws to their followers by the town administrative office, local Kachin churches’ said.

In Myitkyina markets, prices of rice and food are going up for people are stocking rice after rumours spread that war may resume between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the ruling junta, added residents.

Some families of KIO officers in the town are moving to the China border as a precaution in the event of resumption of civil war between the junta and the KIO, said insiders.

Sources said the KIO has put its armed-wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on high alert and told it to shoot Burmese troops, who intrude into KIO/KIA’s territories in Kachin State and Northeast Shan State after the junta’s troops overran the Kokang capital Laogai on August 24.

Col. Thet Pung from Myitkyina-based Burmese Army’s Northern Regional Command met some KIO officials in the organization’s headquarters Laiza last Saturday with an urgent message from Naypyitaw and the Northern Regional Command commander Maj-Gen Soe Win that the KIO should not get involved in the Kokang conflict and that the KIO need not be concerned over the Kokang incident.

Col. Thet Pung’s message was rejected in principle by KIO officials and he could not meet the KIA’s Chief of Staff Maj-Gen Gunhtang Gam Shawng, as he had originally requested. He met other KIO/A officials — Vice Chief of Staff Brig-Gen Sumlut Gun Maw, Dr. Lahkyen La Ja, General Secretary and Lt-Gen N’ban La Awng Vice Chairman, said KIO officials in Laiza.

The KIO is concerned about the junta violating the ceasefire agreement between the ethnic Kokang group and taking control of their territory following clashes between August 27 and 29 because the KIA’s 4th brigade is based near Kokang territory, said KIO officials.
Kachin news

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