Junta not in favour of KSPP contesting elections

t is becoming increasingly evident after the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) appealed to the Union Election Commission (UEC) for the second time for approval, that the Burmese military junta is not in favour of the Kachin party contesting the 2010 elections, said party sources.

The general secretary of the junta backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has hinted that the KSPP would be barred from contesting the polls despite there being no official announcement from the UEC to this effect.
lasang-awng-waCol. Lasang Awng Wa, pro-Burmese junta who split from KIO in 2004 and transformed to the junta-controlled a milita group in early 2009. Photo: Kachin News Group.

Interestingly, the general secretary of USDP, U Aung Thaung, the junta’s Minister for Industry-1 and Brig-Gen Thein Zaw Minister for Post, Communication and Telegraph have been encouraging Col. Lasang Awng Wa, who split from the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in 2004 and transformed to the regime controlled People’s Militia group in 2009, to form a political party and contest the election when they arrived in Myitkyina capital of Kachin State on June 19.

“If the Lasang Awng Wa forms a political party, we hope it will work for development of the Kachin State because he is also a Kachin,” said former Col. N’hkum Doi La of the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K).

The obvious reason for the UEC denying approval to the KSPP, so far, is the tenuous links the junta believes it has with the Kachin ethnic armed group the KIO, which vehemently refuses to accept the regime’s proposal to transform its armed wing, the KIA to the Burmese Army controlled Border Guard Force, said sources.

The KSPP leader Dr. Manam Tu Ja, who was the former No. 2 KIO vice chairman is still hoping that the approval will come through and is patiently waiting because there is no official announcement to the contrary.

The KSPP leader led three party members and met UEC officials in Naypyitaw on May 7 for a discussion on the approval for the party to be able to contest the elections. The second time around the party general secretary and members took an appeal letter to the UEC on June 16.

The KSPP will hold parleys with its members and the Kachin people if the party is not approved by the UEC and barred from contesting the election, said a party member.

The biggest Kachin political party the KSPP was founded in 2009 by the Kachin State Interim Committee (KSIC) with support from KIO, NDA-K and. It has 60 central committee members, 15 general party workers and over 2,000 party members.

“If they allow Lasang Awng Wa to form a political party then we will have difficulties facing face each other,” said the KSPP member.

Lasang Awng Wa might appeal to Naypyitaw to be allowed to float a political party before the end of this month and their party will obviously be backed by the junta, said the party member.

Former Lasang Awng Wa Peace armed group leader Lasang Awng Wa, former NDA-K leader Zahkung Ting Ying, Rev. Dr. Lahtaw Saboi Jum, mediator between the KIO and the junta and former general secretary of Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) and Dr. Manam Tu Ja have been after KIO advising  it to consider the junta’s proposed BGF.

These leaders are deriving a lot of personal benefits after their alliance and they are working together with the junta. Kachin people are sore with them, calling them traitors.

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