Thursday, 21 November 2019

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88-generation students to visit Kachin State

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) –  A group of 88-generation student leaders will visit Myitkyina Township in Kachin State to attend a prayer ceremony to mark the suspension of the Myitsone Dam Project.

    Left to right, 88-Generation student leaders Jimmy, Hla Myo Naung, Htay Kywe, Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Mya Aye, Min Zaya and Aung Thu at a press conference in Rangoon in January 2012. Photos: Mizzima 
The prayer ceremony at Tanhpre village on Friday, near the Myitsone Dam project site, is meant to express gratitude to the government, which suspended the project, and to pray that the project will not be resumed, said Mya Aye, an 88-generation student member.
“We will attend because Kachin young people and Kachin community leaders invited us,” Mya Aye said.
Residents who had to relocate because of the project, young people from Myitkyina and community leaders will participate along with members of all major religions, said organizers.

An organizer told Mizzima that 88-generation students and Rangoon journalists were invited because the two groups were involved in activities urging the government to stop the Myitsone Dam project. While in the area, they may also work to understand the plight of Kachin war refugees, said organizers.
“Their visit will mean that Kachin war refugees might receive their help. They were involved in activities urging [the government] to stop the dam. I hope that they can be involved in activities to try to establish peace in Kachin State,” an organizer said.
Mya Aye told Mizzima that 16 leaders of the 88-generation students group, including Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Htay Kywe, Min Zeya and Jimmy have expressed support and sympathy for the war refugees.
“Our objective is not just to attend the ceremony. Although we don’t have any money or materials to give to the war refugees, we can give them mental support,” Mya Aye said.
Mya Aye said the 88-generation student group is readily available to mediate between the Burmese government and Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) to achieve a cease-fire and establish peace in the country.
“What can we do for the KIO or the government to end the war? We are readily available to mediate. We want peace. If they want us to help mediate, we will do it,” Mya Aye said.
Meanwhile, sources said that the government and KIO would hold peace talks again in China in late February. Clashes between the two armies took place last week, sources said.
Also, National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi plans to campaign in Myitkyina on Thursday and Friday, sources said.
On Saturday, a group of 88-generation student leaders including Min Ko Naing will go to Mandalay and on February 28, seven 88-generation student leaders including Mya Aye, will return Rangoon.
On September 29, 2011, President Thein Sein ordered the controversial Myitsone Dam project suspended after widespread pubic protests against the project, which is financed by China.

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