Burmese military officials, from the capital Naypyitaw, visited ethnic Kachin churches during religious services, in the country’s northern Kachin State and made donations early this week, local church sources said.
Brig-Gen Lun Aung, Auditor General of the ruling junta, visited to Loije, or Lweje town, in Bhamo District, near the China Border on Sunday, April 4. He donated 1 million kyat (US$1,020) to the local Kachin Roman Catholic Church, during Easter Sunday services, said church followers.He met local people, including members of the junta-sponsored Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and church leaders from both Baptist and Roman Catholic Churches at the Town Administrative Office, also called the Town Peace and Development Council, the local attendees told the Kachin News Group today.
People at the meeting said he spoke to local Kachin Baptists and Catholics about the upcoming elections, for which no date has been announced yet. He also talked about the Kachin Independence Organization, the last remaining Kachin armed group, saying it should accept the junta-proposed Border Guard Force, like other Kachin armed groups have.
The residents of Loije criticized Brig-Gen Lun Aung, his wife and his entourage, because they said the local children crowded around when the visitors threw hundreds of Kyat 200 and Kyat 500 banknotes on the road as they left. On March 30, five days before Brig-Gen Lun Aung visited Loije, Brig-Gen Thein Zaw, Minister of Posts, Communication and Telegraphs visited the Centenary Jubilee and 36th General Mass Meeting of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), in Bhamo City, and donated 4 million kyat (US$4,082) to KBC leaders, to cover “general transportation costs”, according to KBC sources.
The donation was accepted by Rev. Dashi Awng Dun, chairman of the Acting Committee for the KBC meeting, according to the convention’s newspaper, published during those meetings.
The sources said, Minister Thein Zaw, was accompanied on his visit by, U Aung Thaung, Minister of Industry-1 and Brig-Gen San Htun, Vice-commander of the Myitkyina-based Northern Regional Command.
Napyitaw military officials have visited the Christian-dominated Kachin communities in Kachin State with different kinds of donations and offering special grants for mobile phones, landline phones and the internet, since the junta concluded the National Convention for drafting a new constitution in 2007.
Critics say the Kachin churches should not accept any donation or grant from the Burmese junta, one of the most repressive governments in the world, saying the junta is Satan, or Devil, the enemy of God and Christians, according to the Christian Bible.