Most skirmishes with KIA occurs-in-chinese-investment-areasတ႐ုတ္မွရင္းႏွီးၿမွပ္ႏွံရာလမ္းေၾကာင္းမ်ားေပၚတြင္တိုက္ပြဲမ်ားၿဖစ္ေပၚေနဟုကခ်င္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးကြန္ရက္ယူဆ

The Kachin Peace Network said yesterday that most of the skirmishes with the Kachin Independence Army have occurred in areas that have been invested by China.

The organisation’s coordinator May Sabai Phyu told the media that most of the skirmishes between the government and ethnic armed groups in Kachin State and Shan State within two years have taken place near the Sino-China pipelines.

“We can only assume that these conflicts have been occurring to protect this China pipelines and obtain the areas for the pipelines to pass through,” said May Sabai Phyu.

Although the KIA and the government’s Peace Working Committee held a peace talk in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina from Oct 8 to 10 and have agreed on seven points, skirmishes broke out ten days later in Mansi township.

KIA FROMTLINE

While the government blamed illegal logging as the reason for the skirmishes, the Kachin Peace Network said illegal logging may only be an excuse and not the real reason for the skirmishes because they have occurred near the Bhamo-Mandalay railway, which will soon be connected with the railway from China.

The peace activists pointed out that the government had been only trying to capture the illegal loggers in the KIA controlled areas instead of other routes for illegal loggings including Mandalay and Sagaing townships.

They claimed the skirmishes should not be extreme for a single route while there are many other routes for illegal loggings.

The government and the Kachin Independence Organisation signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994 and the war resumed after 17 years only due to the government’s protection of Chinese investment in Kachin State, May Sabai Phyu said.

“The skirmishes started on June 9, 2011 with the construction of Dapein hydroelectric dam. It started after there were disagreements between the staffs from the Chinese company and the local villagers and the skirmishes broke out with the intention to protect the people from the Chinese company. What I want to say is that it started with the aim to protect Chinese investment. Actually, Dapein hydroelectric [dam] is very small compared to our Myitsone dam,” she said.

International experts have systematically drawn a map of the areas where the skirmishes have occurred and based on their studies, they have all agreed that the conflicts and skirmishes have taken place in the areas which are connected to foreign investment, according to Kachin Peace Network.

“No matter whatever reasons there are, if one takes a close look, the areas where the skirmishes broke out always coincide with those that have been surveyed by foreign investors including Chinese investors.   We found that newer skirmishes have been breaking out along the routes passed by foreign investment,” May Sabai Phyu added.

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