KIA Willing to Hold Talks: 88 Generation Group

Activists in Rangoon hold an event to call for an end to the conflict in Kachin State.

RANGOON — The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is willing to hold conditional peace talks with the Burmese government, the 88 Generation Students group said on Thursday, quoting a KIA general.

Earlier this month, four members of the group visited the war-torn area in northern Burma where fighting between the Burmese army and the KIA has been escalating since the end of last year, and  met the KIA’s vice chief of staff, Gen Gum Maw, at the group’s headquarters in Laiza.

“Gen Gum Maw said that if the Burmese government slows down its offensive on the KIA and makes a solemn promise to achieve peace through political discussion, the Kachin armed group is willing to join peace talks with the government,” said Tun Myint Aung, who traveled to the area to assess the ongoing situation there.

Fighting resumed in Kachin State in June 2011 after the KIA refused to abandon a strategic base near a hydropower plant that is a joint venture with a Chinese company.

In December, the government ordered the KIA to make way for the delivery of supplies to a Burmese army base at Lajayang, close to Laiza, by Christmas Day. The Kachin rejected the ultimatum for fear of a government attack on its own outpost. The government army subsequently launched airstrikes on the group, in the worst escalation of fighting since the conflict began.

The Kachin are one of many ethnic minorities in Burma seeking greater autonomy from the central government. Despite striking peace deals with other ethnic armed groups, the government of President Thein Sein has yet to reach any agreement to end the war in Kachin State.

The conflict has raised doubts about the reform efforts of Thein Sein’s administration, which came to power in 2011 after almost five decades of military rule. It has also earned condemnation both within Burma and in the international community.

In Rangoon, several local civil society groups held a meeting yesterday to call for the creation of a demilitarized zone in Kachin State for the safety of civilians affected by the fighting. They also said that a person or group qualified to mediate in the conflict should be appointed to help end the fighting.

The United States has also described the use of air power in Kachin State as extremely troubling. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland urged the government and the Kachin rebel group to cease their conflict and begin a real dialogue for peace.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the government and the KIA to work toward political reconciliation.

7 Responses to KIA Willing to Hold Talks: 88 Generation Group

  1. To my dear heros or 88-GSs, please don’t involve too much in politic, particularly in some sensative issues.

    • It’s democracy, they have the right to involve in any politic. Don’t oppress.

    • Yebaw ( means Hero plus Friend in Burmese)
      It is not match your name “Yebaw for giving such kind of suggestion to “88” GS. Please, tell us which are sensitive or nonsensitive issues. The political issues are Killing and raping Kachin, political prisoners , Panglong agreement, poisonous cease fire agreement, Rohingya clash, Chinese and US influence, 2008-nargic constitution, silence of DASSK, democracy, human right abuse, than sein and thein sein defense and security council, military dominated parliament , returnees of political activities economic sanction on Burma and restoring Rangoon university.
      Non-political issues are forming border guard force , police charging peaceful demonstrators on copper mining issue, injured monks, hydro power, sky rising property and industrial price, unemployment, huge gap between rich and poor, faked news for allowing oversea Burmese returnee,corruption, power abuse, arrogant bama army, donation from Ms Clinton and G Soro, Thilawah project, poor education, Health problems, no ethnic language teaching in school, refugee in neigbour countries, human trafficking, prostitution and opium cultivation.
      However, i could not classify which are real political and non political in term of sensitivity.
      If you can not answer those questions , Kyaut-baw=Fear plus friend in Burmese is suit to you. 88 GS should be Yebaw to all Burmese , particularly to ethnics. 88 GS do not care/fear if the next president of Burma is them-self or not as well.
      I cheer 88 GS as YeBaw.

  2. The Kachin want peace, which necessarily means not only the absence of war but also the presence of justice, equality, and self-determination, whereas the barbaric military-controlled regime want peace, which means the absence of war only, resulted in the peace-talk being derailed from the right direction to the dead direction (almost the point of no return).

  3. Like Aung San Suu Kyi before them, 88’s (U Paing Lu, 88 year of age at Monywa funeral cortege at Latpadaung Land Destruction and Poisoning Affair for the Tayoke and Sit-tut) are acting like the monk in a traditional story.

    The monk invited for the Swan-kywe by a poor family wanted to change his mind when rich inviter came up later. He asked the two to pull him from each side. The poorer man sensing the monk pulling himself towards the rich inviter, let go making both to fall.

    Aung San Suu Kyi and all including 88’s did started out with the suffering public, majority poor public, hard working, cultural custodian public, but now coveting shiny lights and fleshy metropolis, they are pulling themselves towards the military conspired multinational corporation for the rape and loot of the motherland and hectoring the public as well to follow suit in this suicide mission which have been played out all over the globe where ruinous devastation of societies, replaced now by dysfunctional crime and drug laced zombies and poisoned lands are evident in all the continents.

    But guess what, for all the trillions of dollars and technology or whatever, for Burma, the real power lies with the majority public, Not he gun men, be they Bamar Sit-tut or other groups including Khin Shwe’s private armies, or nominal-pulling-towards-the-enemy “opposition groups”.

  4. Irrawaddy wrote “Fighting resumed in Kachin State in June 2011 after the KIA refused to abandon a strategic base near a hydropower plant that is a joint venture with a Chinese company.”
    The stopping of hydro power construction by thein sein is not the issue of environmental and any other reasons. The only main reason is obviously that Kachin army are based near the Hydro power. CorruptedThan shwe, the concerned bama company and Chinese company does not or did not get agreement from Kachin army for robbing Kachin land for this business project.
    I support Kachin to ask political dialogue as well through the responsible and ethical 88 generation party. NLD should consider to merge with USDP or 88 generation in future. USDP is military base and NLD is surrounded by former military personals. We, all Burmese hates bama military thugs now and then. We need new military leader and officers who must not be involved in political as well as in business during service and after retired. All military coups are illegal.

  5. War is what happens when language fails. Well done 88’s for acting as peace brokers.

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