Kachins’ growing calls for Independence

Growing numbers of Kachins are calling for independence rather than a federal union based on their experiences and relations with Burmese military government for more than half a century. As the name well suggested, the original goal of Kachin Independence Army since its formation on the 5th of February 1961 is to establish an independent Kachin Land that had been handed down by forefathers.

Kachin Land had never been invaded by foreign powers including Burmans before British rule in Burma. The major policy shift had been adopted by KIO’s central committee in 1976 from establishment of an independence nation to build a federal union with all other ethnic groups in Burma according to the changing political landscape.

Public supports for KIA has decreased significantly after 1994’s ceasefire and confusion over the policy and role of KIA over Kachin public. KIO/A has regained highest level of supports from Kachin public since the beginning of recent war.  Because of ongoing repression and the deliberate and systematic destruction of Kachin’s racial, political and cultural heritage by Burmese military, the Kachin public seems well aware that the best and long lasting solution for the Kachin of this generation and future generation is to establish an independence Kachin Land.

The term “Shanglawt”, “Freedom” has been one of the most discussed topic among Kachins inside and outside Burma. Most Burmans are aware that they themselves have not achieved true independence under Burmese military because of colonization to the ethnic regions. The calls for freedom is heard everywhere in Burma from Khakaborazi to Kaw Thaung. Ethnic nationalities in Burma had tried democracy in 1948. It didn’t work out well as it pushed us all to current situation: “One of the world’s poorest nation in many aspects”. Many Kachins are wary of repeating the same mistake again. It is the time for Burmans to seek their own true and long lasting independence as well as Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Let’s honor the right and existence of our fellow ethnic brothers and sisters by letting their public desire reigns and allowing them to choose their own destiny!

Shanglawt Brang

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