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Junta cuts vital Kachin cash source

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burma’s military junta banned yesterday the carriage of goods from areas under Kachin Independence Organisation control, cutting a valuable income source for the ethnic armed group, KIO sources said.

kachin-soldier-laizaBanned were fruit, machinery, machine tools and kitchen utensils imported from China that pass through KIO headquarters at Laiza on the Sino-Burmese border to Kachin State’s capital at Myitkyina. Some products also usually flow on to other areas in the state through Laiza.

Police and Military Affairs Security (MAS) officers under the army’s Northern Command at the Lajaryan checkpoint, six miles (10 kilometres) south of Laiza, stopped trucks carrying such goods and confiscated them. It is the last checkpoint on Myitkyina-Bhamo highway.

“SPDC troops did not allow any goods imported from China through Laiza. They didn’t even allow apples,” a Kachin official at Laiza’s Wungrawt bus terminal in Laiza told Mizzima, using the abbreviation for the State Peace and Development Council, the junta’s name for itself.

The officers however allowed passengers and vehicles to go through. They similarly checked goods without stamps signifying that import duties had been paid but recently they had been lax in enforcing such checks and payments, KIO sources said.

The ban affected KIO income, he said, declining to give any further details.

An official at the Myitkyina bus terminal confirmed the bans. “The goods are not allowed starting from today … Many goods are stranded there [in Laiza].”

Laiza bus terminal manger said about 40 passenger buses and cargo trucks passed the Lajaryan checkpoint today. About 10 vehicles were also halted at the customs checkpoint in Waimau Township near the Balaminhtin Bridge across the Irrawaddy River last night, a Laiza driver said.

Meanwhile, a KIO source said Infantry Battalion (IB) 242 manning the Lajaryan checkpoint blocked cargo trucks carrying bananas grown at the Shadanpar regional development centre in a junta-controlled area 10 miles from Laiza. The source said the regime had reinforced the existing force with 100 troops from IB 58, Light IB 321 and IB 318 stationed at the former KIO base at Pajau, four miles west of Laisinbwam, in the last week.

Lieutenant Colonel Thet Pone from Northern Command MAS phoned KIO officials a few days ago and ordered them to close their liaison offices. The KIO instructed its units to close the offices no later than November 25. The ban coincides with this deadline.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 November 2010 00:05 )  

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