Burmese Military Leaders Silent On Kachin Proposals

Written by KNG
Thursday, 31 December 2009

There was no response from the Burmese military junta on the latest proposal by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) at the last meeting of the year between the two sides in Myitkyina, local sources close to both sides told Kachin News Group.

Senior KIO and junta officials met at the regime’s Northern Regional Command headquarters (Ma-Pa- Kha) in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina on December 29. No new proposals were submitted by either side, said KIO sources.

Burmese officers questioned the Kachin delegates about the KIO’s consistent rejection of the junta-proposed Border Guard Force over the last eight months but did not care to respond to the recent KIO proposals, KIO delegates said. There was no discussion on the BGF discord at the meeting. However, both sides agreed to meet again at an appropriate time in the New Year, Bangkok-based KIO’s Deputy-in-charge of Foreign Relation James Lum Dau told Kachin News Group today.

During the brief meeting, a seven-member Burmese military delegation was led by the Northern Regional Commander Maj-Gen Soe Win, whereas the eight KIO delegates were led by Vice-president No. 1 Lt-Gen Gauri Zau Seng, said the KIO officials’ sources.

The KIO and junta officials met on the contentious Burmese Army-controlled BGF transformation issue at least eight times between April and September without a positive outcome.

During this period there was palpable military tension between both sides near the KIO’s controlled areas in Kachin State and Northeast Shan State.

Initially in July, the KIO proposed to the junta that it would like to transform its armed-wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to the Kachin Regional Guard Force – KRGF with no change in military status without being controlled by the Burmese Army. However, this was rejected by the junta, KIO officials said.

KIO views the junta’s BGF proposal as one mainly concerned with its armed wing and has nothing to do with politics. The KIO would like to solve the imbroglio by political means through genuine dialogue, added James Lum Dau.

The KIO/KIA, proposed to the junta in early October that it would surrender arms if the junta accepts and implements the Panglong Agreement where the Burman majority leader Gen Aung San and ethnic minorities like Kachin, Chin and Shan leaders agreed to form a multi-ethnic Union of Burma.

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