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KIO leaders meet MAS chief over BGF issue

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A meeting between top leaders of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Burmese military junta’s representatives was held yesterday, where the KIO persisted with its refusal to accept the junta’s proposal of transforming its armed wing into the Border Guard Force (BGF).

The junta delegation led by Military Affairs Security (MAS) Chief Lt. Gen. Ye Myint and the eight-member KIO team led by Vice-Chairman U Gauri Zau Seng met at the junta’s Northern Command headquarters in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina.

“We discussed the ‘transformation’ issue again. The meeting started at about 9 a.m. and concluded at about 11 a.m.”, a KIO official who participated told Mizzima. But he declined to give further details as he was yet to brief higher officials at the KIO headquarters.

The military regime is mounting pressure on ceasefire groups to transform their armies into the BGF but KIO has told Naypyitaw since July this year that it is not ready to accept the proposal.

But the junta is adamant on the controversial BGF issue and has directed the KIO to take a final decision not later than October.

The mass rally held on September 5 and 6 at Laiza town in Kachin State, attended by 324 representatives of the Kachin people and KIO leaders, also flatly rejected the junta’s transformation proposal.

The rally demanded a free and fair 2010 general election, and wanted to discuss later, reforms between KIO and the Kachin State government, which will be formed after the 2010 election.

It also passed a resolution on the participation in the Kachin State government by the KIO without contesting the election but by way of reserved seats. Moreover KIO’s armed wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) will be transformed to the Kachin Regional Guard Force (KRGF) under the command of the Kachin State Government, the resolution said.

Another meeting between Lt. Gen. Ye Myint and the KIO was first scheduled on September 6, but the junta postponed it for non-inclusion of the KIO Deputy Chief of Staff Col. Guan Mau in the KIO delegation. They met yesterday, a source close to KIO said.

Lt. Gen. Ye Myint also met former KIO Vice-Chairman (2) Dr. Tu Ja on Thursday morning, the latter said. Dr. Tu Ja, earlier this week, announced his resignation from his post to contest the election.

Five other KIO high ranking leaders joined Dr. Tu Ja in resigning from their posts on September 2 to contest the election. The resignations were in accordance with the KIO’s constitution and rules, which forbids its members from involving in political parties.

On August 29, Lt. Col. Thet Pone of the junta’s northern command came to the KIO headquarters in Laiza and briefed KIO leaders on the reason behind the recent attacks against the Kokang.

He said they had to attack the Kokang because they were into narcotic drug and arms production.   

Sources close to Wa have said that Lt. Gen. Ye Myint would come and meet ‘United Wa State Army’ (UWSA) leaders at its headquarters in Panghsang soon after meeting the KIO leaders.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 September 2009 20:23 )  

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