Three members of the peace group walking from Yangon to Kachin State’s Laiza were hospitalised in the state’s capital, Myitkyina, earlier this week, but the rest of the 128-strong group continued.
The three were sent to hospital after being unable to continue walking, about 100 kilometres short of the capital. One suffered a hernia, a second had a gastric infection and a third, a monk, could no longer walk with the aid of crutches as his swollen ankle had become inflamed. A doctor had told the monk a week ago to stop walking and rest his ankle, but he persisted with the aid of crutches, a leader of the group said.
Changes in weather were causing some people to get sick, especially after the group reached Nabar in Kachin State, the peace walk leader said. However, he added that members of the group were getting accustomed to the cooler temperature in Kachin State and were doing better.
The march began on January 21 when fighting between government and rebel troops were near its peak. About 60 people left Yangon for the nearly 1,300 kilometre walk to Laiza. Their number doubled soon after.
The group comprises members of different nationalities and religions. They are on the final section of the walk which will end at a refugee camp near the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organisation and could arrive at their destination next week.
Audience watching the video message of NLD chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi at the NLD’s Union Day ceremony held in Yangon (Photo – EMG)
National League for Democracy (NLD), the main opposition party in Myanmar, will help sponsor a second ‘pinlon conference’ aimed at bringing unity among national races, Tin Oo, the party’s patron, said on February 12.
Pinlon conference, also known as Panglong Conference, convened national races and brought unity among them in Myanmar 66 years ago. People are now willing to hold it again to obtain national reconciliation, though no concrete plan or formal statement on it have come out from anybody yet.
NLD’s stance to help bring about the 21st century ‘pinlon conference’ had been declared by its chair Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to the party members, the patron addressed the attendees at the celebration of the 66th anniversary of Union Day in Yangon.
The meeting between delegates of Kachin Independence Organization and Burmese government’s union peace making group was held in China-Burma border city of Ruili on Feb 4, 2013 from 9 am to 4:15 pm. KIO delegation was led by Salang Kaba Sumlut Gam, head of Education department and accompanied by KIA’s vice chief of staff General Sumlut Gum Maw and government’s negotiation team was led by President’s office minister U Aung Min. Government’s delegates include former northern commander U Ohn Myint, U Hla Maung Shwe and Dr. Kyaw Yin Hlaing of Myanmar Egress and U Min Zaw Oo, who was a research director at Democracy International.
The meeting was arranged and facilitated by Chinese government. Chinese government officials were present at the talks between the two sides, said a local source.
A joint statement was issued at the end of the meeting that said the meeting was witnessed by Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui, KNU Chairman General Mutu Say Poe, KNU General Secretary Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, Brig. Sai Lu of Restoration Council of Shan State and two other Shan officers, U Han Yawnghwe and U Victor Vet Lian.
The statement said line of communication between the two sides, reduction of military tensions, and the presence of outside observers and witnesses in future meetings were discussed in the meeting.
Both sides agreed to meet again before the end of February after KIO’s consultation with UNFC and to begin political dialogues. Both sides agreed to work to decrease volatile confrontation and to achieve lasting ceasefire and will discuss to set up a monitoring system in conflict area, said the statement.
Dhaka: Arakan Army Chief Colonel Tun Mrat Naing was released on Sunday from Chinese police custody after he was missing for a few days without any communication with his colleagues, said Lt Colonel Dr. Nyo Twan Awng, the militia’s second-in-command.
“We got re-communication with him on Sunday morning. He was released by the Chinese police after some of our Burmese ethnic ally leaders negotiated with the Chinese police. Now he has arrived at a safety place,” said Dr Nyo Twan Awng.
Colonel Tun Mrat Naing was detained by Chinese police at Kumin airport in Yunan province in China on 25 January just after he arrived from Thailand.
Arakanese politicians from many Arakanese parties held a four day long workshop for the Arakanese future in Chiang Mai where Colonel Tun Mrat Naing attended.
The reason behind the arrest of him by the Chinese police is still unclear.
“We all were anxious for him after he went missing since 25 January. We would like to express thanks here to our alliance leaders who were working for our leader’s release from Chinese police custody. We also are thankful to well wishers and our communities for their anxious thoughts and prayers for our leader” said Dr Nyo Twan Awng.
A group of patriotic Arakanese young people led by the Colonel founded Arakan Army in the area of Kachine Independent Organization in 2008 to fight the central Burmese government to protect Arakan people, and to establish peace and justice and freedom and development.