Kachin Diaspora Communities Convene First World Kachin Conference 

Photo: Kachin Alliance

In the US in Washington D.C, members of Kachin diaspora community came together to hold a crucial meeting in the country’s capital City from May 18- 19. This was the first ever World Kachin Conference held in the historic City named after the revolutionary general and the First US President, George Washington.

Contingents of more than 60 Kachin community leaders from 14 US states and representatives from Europe, North America and a handful of Southeast Asian countries attended the conference. Absent with apologies were several country-level representatives who could not make it due to some difficulties.

An attendee said, “there was an overwhelming attendance by the Kachin community members who came from all over the world to show their solidarity. Many put aside their differences and personal responsibilities to come to this important event which lasted for two entire days.” He added, “the event was a true success as Kachin nationals from diverse age, career and gender backgrounds brainstormed and debated on the urgent issues affecting Kachin people within and outside of Burma.”

At the conclusion of the conference, a statement was released by the newly formed World Kachin Congress. The following is a translation of the statement by KLN:

–  Kachin people from many parts of the world have come together to convene the first World Kachin Conference in United States’ capital, Washington D.C from May 18-19.
– Brainstorming  sessions at the conference have enabled us to collect invaluable insights from attendees to create a better future for Kachin people.
– “World Kachin Congress (WKC)” has been founded to network and collaborate on a global scale focusing on Kachin affairs.
– The newly formed Congress (WKC) will also strive for freedom of Kachin people while also raising their standard of living as a whole.

There has been a surge in the number of Kachin IDPs as the Burmese Army(BA) continues to deploy more troops in their Kachin region frontlines. The BA is and has been running a military campaign aimed at eliminating ethnic nationalities in what can be considered a State organized ethnic cleansing that has not only swept through villages but is now felt in cities across the country.  In the midst of these intensifying battles, many innocent Kachin civilians have been trapped by Burmese troops who have also blocked their access to food supply and humanitarian aid. Less than a month from now, this war will be in its 7th year since it broke out after the end of a 17-year ceasefire in June 2011.