KIO commemorates 52nd anniversary

KIO Chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra

In a statement to commemorate 52nd anniversary of the founding of Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra calls KIO party members, KIA soldiers and Kachin public as a whole to continue to unite until they reach their final destination. KIO’s anniversary celebrations were held at Kachin administrative capital Laiza and in other KIO-controlled areas on Oct 25, 2012.

KIO was founded on Oct 25, 1960 at Hsenwi (Thein Ni) in northern Shan State by 18 founding members. KIO and its central body KIC (Kachin Independence Council) were established in Oct, 1960 after the “Clean AFPFL” led by then prime minister U Nu won election in Feb, 1960. U Nu-led democratic government tried to make Buddhism as state religion and handed three Kachin villages (Hpyi Maw, Gaw Lam and Kang Fang) that encompassed about 58 square miles over to China, added to the disappointment of Kachin who had endured broken Panglong promises made by Burman leader General Aung San.

In the statement, Chairman Zawng Hra said, “Burmese government wants to solve current conflict with its military might as it has done in the past 60 years. One of the reason why Burma has one of the longest running insurgencies is because successive governments believed in its military might to conquer and wipe out armed indigenous ethnic revolution forces. This current quasi-civilian government still believes and holds on to that same policy to defeat ethnic armed forces by its military power.”

He mentioned in the statement that successive Burmese governments did not recognize the existence of political problems and did not want to solve those problems by political means. Successive governments refused to accept indigenous ethnic armed forces as revolution forces demanding their lost political rights, but regarded them as insurgents and terrorists threatening the authority of central government.

Lanyaw Zawng Hra also said, “successive Burmese governments shunned political negotiations and compromises with indigenous ethnic nationalities and tried to shut any doors opened for lasting peace in the country by using its military power and continued to fight against indigenous ethnic nationalities.”

Burma’s ethnic nationalities constantly demanded to form a genuine federal union. The term ‘Union’ is just in name and quite different in practice as a majority race enforced its own rules, cultures and traditions to all other ethnic nationalities. Each ethnic group in Burma has its own history, religion, tradition and culture and deserves to preserve their own, said in the statement.

Chairman Zawng Hra also highlighted the differences between two 3-steps roadmaps proposed by Burmese government and KIO. While government wants to solve ethnic political problems within the framework of 2008 constitution and in parliament, KIO and other ethnic nationalities want to find political solutions outside 2008 constitution and parliament. KIO and other ethnic nationalities demanded to begin political negotiations based on Panglong agreement that establish modern Burma and its spirit of unity.

The statement also exhorted KIO/A members and Kachin public to join together in the fight against drugs. Zawng Hra said in the letter that heroin/drug is a public enemy and everyone has to support and collaborate for the success of KIO’s drug eradication initiatives and programs.