Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) Chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra, in a message commemorating the 54th anniversary of the founding of the organisation on Saturday, urged all party members to stay vigilant as there are many unexpected troubles, palpable tensions, unsettled political problems and possible battles that lie ahead in the future.
Lanyaw Zawng Hra said KIO came to the negotiating table with an honest hope that Burma’s decades-old political problems will be solved but the Burmese government has its own agenda and wants ethnic armed groups eliminated.
Learning lessons from the past, ethnic armed groups’ NCCT firmly stands on the principle that a nationwide ceasefire agreement guarantees future political dialogues for ethnic rights. We want a continuous process to achieve political settlements not a nationwide ceasefire that is an end in itself, said Zawng Hra.
“Major attacks on groups that have signed ceasefire agreements and increased military deployment in ethnic areas clearly suggest that Burmese government and its army are not yet willing to solve political problems with political means through negotiations,” added Zawng Hra. “We ourselves have to be prepared.”
KIO chairman also urged all Kachin nationals to actively participate in drug elimination campaigns and encouraged IDPs to continue to endure their present hardship until genuine peace returns.
Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) was founded on 25 October 1960 at Lashio in northern Shan State by 19 founding members. Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an armed wing of KIO, was established the following year at Du Dawng village in Hsenwi (Thein Ni) on 5 February 1961.
On 26 September, 1958, then Burma’s prime minister U Nu addressed to the nation in political turmoil that the head of the army General Ne Win was called upon to handle the disturbances and placate the situation necessary for conducting a free and fair general election. Gen. Ne Win took the power from elected government and forcefully ruled the country from Oct 28, 1958 to Feb 6, 1960.
Clean faction of AFPFL led by U Nu again won the election in Feb, 1960. U Nu-led democratic government proclaimed Buddhism as state religion and handed three Kachin villages (Hpi Maw, Gaw Lam and Kam Hpang) that encompassed about 58 square miles over to China.
Changing policy of Burman-led government, gradually losing inherited rights to govern their own territories and manage their own affairs compelled Kachin leaders and university students, who had endured broken Panglong promises made by AFPFL leader General Aung San, to begin an armed revolution as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and injustice.
Kachin, tribal peoples occupying parts of northeastern Myanmar (Burma) and contiguous areas ofIndia (Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland) and China (Yunnan). The greatest number of Kachin live in Myanmar (roughly 790,000), but some 150,000 live in China and a few thousand in India. Numbering about 1012,000 in the late 20th century, they speak a variety of languages of the Tibeto-Burman group and are thereby distinguished as Jinghpaw, or Jingpo (Chingpaw [Ching-p’o], Singhpo), Atsi, Maru (Longvo), Lachid, Nung (Rawang), and Lisu .
The traditional Kachin religion is a form of animistic ancestor cult entailing animalsacrifice. As a result of the arrival of American and European missionaries in Burma beginning in the late 19th century, a majority of the Kachin are Christian, mainly Baptist and Roman Catholic. Among the Kachin in India, Buddhism predominates.