People in Kachin state capital Myitkyina in northern Burma are going without electricity for a week now because power supply lines to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) territory was destroyed by the Burmese Army, said KIO officials.
The power supply cables were destroyed deliberately by artillery fire in Ga Ra Yang village on Nov. 1 at about 4 p.m. local time by Burmese Army troops during their military offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) under the KIO, said KIO officials.
La Gun, an eyewitness and People’s Army commander under the KIA in Ga Ra Yang battle zone told Kachin News Group, “They (Burmese troops) intentionally damaged power poles between Lung Zep Kawng and Ga Ra Yang with artillery fire. They pretended as though the power poles were destroyed, while fighting the KIA, when actually it was deliberate”.
The government has branded KIO a terrorist group, added La Gun.
On June 12, the KIO ordered the complete closure of its liaison office in Myitkyina and the Buga Co. Ltd. for reasons of security, but the power supply was unaffected to Myitkyina and Waingmaw.
Operated by KIO’s Buga Co. Ltd., the Mali power plant has been supplying 2.4 MW of electricity daily to Myitkyina and Wiangmaw towns since July, 2006, according to a KIO report.
When the plant is fully operational, it can produce 10.5 MW of electricity, said the KIO report.
The Buga Company has not been able to repair the damaged electric poles yet because fighting continues.