Laiza Meeting between Kachin public delegates and KIO/KIA



Maj-Gen Gunhtang Gam Shawng, Chief of Staff of Kachin Independence Amry (KIA),
explained the latest military situation between KIA and Burma Army



Two KIA soldiers guarded around the Meeting Hall in Alen Bum military base, Laiza.



Kachin public delegates.



Over 120 Kachin public delegates from Kachin State, Shan State and around country joined to the meeting.



A public delegate suggested KIO/KIA leaders in the meeting.


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – What do you think? Fight? Negotiate? Peace? A public forum on negotiations for a cease-fire between the Burmese government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) took place at the KIO headquarters in Laiza on Tuesday.

KIO chairman Zawng Hra and other top leaders attended the forum. On Tuesday morning, Major General Gunhtang Gam Shawng, the KIO chief of staff, outlined the views of the Burmese government and the recent warfare; in the afternoon, the public expressed their views and opinions.

“Our main objective is to make the people understand about the fighting. Then we listened to their opinions. We will take into account their opinions in carrying out our job,” said Major General Gunhtang Gam Shawng.

A wide range of people, totaling around 130, including representatives from Rangoon Region, Mandalay Region, Mohnyin, Mokaung, Myitkyina, Bhamo in Kachin State, and Muse, Lashio, Kutkhaing, Namphat in Shan State, leaders from Myitkyina Christian Council, members from Kachin Consultative Council and representatives from Yunnan Province in China attended the forum, which will continue on Wednesday.

KIO joint secretary and central committee member La Nang told Mizzima that the KIO would carry out its task in accordance with whatever resolution is approved by the forum.

“Some Kachin people want to fight against the government troops. Some want to achieve peace by negotiating a cease-fire. Most of them want to fight,” said La Nang. “The Kachin people rely on the KIO. Some people whom we did not invite attended the forum too. We found that most people don’t like the government.”

The fighting between KIO and Burmese government troops started June 9 near the Taping hydropower project area in Kachin State.

In a similiar meeting on September 2, 2009, the KIO asked the public for its views on the former junta’s Border Guard Force (BGF) plan. At that time, the KIO decided to reject the BGF plan to avoid the junta’s influence.

The KIO was formed in 1961 to fight for racial equality and self-determination. It signed a cease-fire agreement with the former junta in 1994, but after it rejected the junta’s BGF plan, tension increased between the KIO and the government. Recently, the state-run newspapers have labeled the KIO an “insurgent group.”

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