Monday, May 12, 2014
Thousands line streets to welcome KIO delegation between Waing Maw and Myitkyina on Laiza-Myitkyina road on Monday. KIO delegation led by Sara Kaba Sumlut Gam of Education Department was accompanied by members of Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and All-Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF).
The delegation was greeted by Ms. Mariann Hagen of UN and members of Peace Creation Group (PCG) in Nam San Yang, and subsequently by Church leaders and thousands of local residents in Waing Maw and Myitkyina.
Many carried placards and banners with messages such as, “We love KIO/KIA”, “We support UNFC, KIO/KIA, and NCCT”, “Let’s keep on our spirit”, “Unity is our strength”, “Self-Determination and Equality”, “God Bless Kachinland” and some wore t-shirts saying “We live, we fight & we die for freedom”.
The two-day meeting with Burmese government’s delegation led by U Aung Min will begin tomorrow at Myitkyina’s Manau Compound. Following a turbulent time, it is the first meeting between the two sides since they last hold a bilateral meeting in Myitkyina in last October.
KIO delegates will held a discussion with members of Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) on May 15, followed by a town hall meeting with Kachin public on May 16, said a Myitkyina resident.
Meanwhile, reports from Kachin and northern Shan State say fierce battles continue between KIA and Burmese army troops.
A battle took place between KIA’s 2nd Battalion and a combined force of Burmese army’s 215th & 217th Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) near Loi Lem Bum in Kutkai Township on Monday at 10 am.
Another battle took place between KIA’s 1st Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 103rd LIB troops at 31 miles north of Lawa Yang in southern Kachin State on May 11. A KIA source says at least 4 government soldiers were reported to have wounded in this battle. On the same day, KIA’s 27th Battalion troops fought against an unknown Burmese army unit at Man Awng Bum, located between Man Chyam and Balawng Dingsa, at 7 am.
On May 10, KIA’s 2nd Battalion troops engaged in a half and hour battle against Burmese army’s 217th LIB troops at Nam San village in northern Shan State at 3:10 pm. A local source say four Burmese army soldiers including one Captain were wounded in this battle. KIA’s 36th Battalion troops on the same day fought against an unknown Burmese army unit at Ying La Bum in northern Shan State at around 3 pm.
In southern Kachin State, KIA’s 1st Battalion troops battled against about 100 Burmese army troops under 88th Light Infantry Division (LID) near Lawa Yang village on May 10. KIA’s 27th Battalion troops also engaged in a battle against government troops under 88th LID on the same day at Man Chyam village. No casualties on either side had been reported in the battle that began at 4 pm and lasted for about two hours.