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Palpable tension between junta and KIO

Chaing Mai (Mizzima) - There is palpable tension between the Burmese ruling junta and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).

On 17 March, the KIO’s central committee meeting, attended by 20 members  decided not to have any further discussion on the Border Guard Force issue if the junta does not respond to the demands submitted earlier.

"We have been waiting for a response. We will not meet them unless we get a response from the junta," said a central committee member on condition of anonymity.

The KIO was founded on February 5, 1961 for self-determination of the Kachin people and reached a cease-fire with the junta in 1994.

KIO delegates handed over a letter that detailed KIO's demands to Maj-Gen Soe Win, the Northern Regional Command kio-manaw1Commander of the Burmese Army in the country's new capital Naypyidaw on 12 March.

The KIO letter said that it did not want to transform its armed wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) into the Border Guard Force proposed by the junta, but wanted it as a separate Kachin force to be inducted under the federal army of Burma. KIO's counter proposal was addressed to Lt-Gen Ye Myint, the regime's chief negotiator and the chief of Military Affairs Security (MAS) in Naypyidaw.

KIO wishes to maintain the ceasefire and wants to have further political negotiations with the new government after the elections, the letter added.

"We will transform the whole of KIO if our proposal is accepted, which is all the KIO's departments such as health, education and administration. But the junta wanted only the  KIA to be transformed so we could not agree. If we go for transformation, it must be all. KIA must be the last to be transformed," a member of the central committee told Mizzima.

"We do not want to do anything which will stop the upcoming election and we also do not want to destroy the Union. We are just willing to discuss  the political concerns," a member of the seven-member committee established by the KIO  for discussing the BGF issue with the junta said.

Lt-Gen Ye Myint, in charge of negotiation from the junta side with the KIO had fixed 28 February as the deadline for KIO to respond to the BGF issue.

Meanwhile, with mounting concern of imminent outbreak of conflicts between the junta and ceasefire groups, there are more security checks on the road from Myitkyina (capital of Kachin State) and Laiza (where KIO is based), especially on  the bridges, from early this month, a local resident from Laiza told Mizzima.

"Intense checking is done on the Myitkyina-Bamaw-Laiza road. It was not like this  earlier," he added.

Similarly one of the ceasefire armed groups the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and its leaders had a meeting with Maj.Gen Thet Naing Win, commander of the junta's Southeast Regional Command on 16 March for a response as to whether the New Mon State Party accepts BGF, said an official of the New Mon State Party.

Five representatives of the Central Committee including NMSP's Vice President met the junta representative.

The New Mon State Party which signed cease fire agreement with the Burmese military government in 1995 had rejected the 2008 constitution and junta's proposal of transforming the cease-fire groups into the BGF.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 April 2010 18:08 )  

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