Resisting Naypyidaw’s Imperialism

The conflict and bloodshed in Kachin State have brought renewed international attention to Burma at a time when it continues to press ahead with its political opening. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the US government have both expressed concern at the worsening situation in Burma’s far north, and have asked the government and Kachin rebels to end the conflict and resolve their differences through dialogue.

The US is “deeply troubled” that the Burmese military is using aerial weapons in Kachin State, said US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Meanwhile, the UN chief said that the government should “desist from any action that could endanger the lives of civilians” or intensify the conflict.

The Burmese armed forces have employed jet fighters and helicopters gunships in the latest clashes, which are taking place in the Lajayang region, about 11 km from Laiza, where the Kachin Independence Army makes its headquarters on the Sino-Burmese border.

The conflict between the Burmese and Kachin armies is reaching a fever pitch less than two months after US President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Burma, during which he highlighted the Kachin’s plight in a speech at Rangoon University on Nov. 19.

Aung Zaw is founder and editor of the Irrawaddy magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]

“You now have a moment of remarkable opportunity to transform ceasefires into lasting settlements, and to pursue peace where conflicts still linger, including in Kachin State,” said Obama.

But no one is listening.

In Rangoon, civil society groups and activists gathered peacefully to urge the government to end the year-and-a-half-old offensive. Former student leaders from the 88 Generation Students group have traveled to Kachin State to mediate. But the war machine in Kachin State continues accelerate.

The signs are not good. Leaders of Burma’s other ethnic groups are quiet. The silence from opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is also troubling. Thein Sein, Burma’s reformist president and soon-to-be recipient of a peace award from the International Crisis Group, has also failed to intervene. Despite being a former general and the country’s ostensible civilian leader, he clearly has limited control over the powerful armed forces.

Political analysts say that the president, who belongs to the 11-member National Defense and Security Council along with his two vice presidents and the commander in chief of the armed forces, Vice Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, is almost powerless against the Defense Ministry and the top generals, who were all handpicked by retired Snr-Gen Than Shwe.

Alleged tensions between Thein Sein and Min Aung Hlaing over the Kachin issue have not, however, prevented the President’s Office from dutifully spreading misinformation about the conflict.

“The aircraft being used are K8 training aircraft not fighter jets—that is the information I got from the military,” said Zaw Htay, a former army officer who is now the director of the President’s Office. “I have no information on the use of helicopters. There is a very difficult situation in Kachin state.”

But video footage of the fighting clearly shows that jet fighters and helicopter gunships took part in the attack. The rebels and reporters on the ground have a better sense of what’s going on in the battlefield and continue to relay the facts.

Realizing that their attempts at propaganda were failing, the military has since acknowledged launching airstrikes against the Kachin rebels, but tried to make it sound as if its actions were merely defensive, aimed at capturing a hilltop post from which the insurgents had attacked government supply convoys.

The attack and the ongoing conflict in Kachin State again raises questions about America’s invitation to Burma to observe annual Cobra Gold exercise in the region next year and the Pentagon’s commitment to provide “non-lethal” training for Burmese officers focusing on humanitarian assistance, military medicine and defense “reform.” The decision to resume military-to-military engagement at this stage is not a wise one.

Some have suggested that the Kachin have been too inflexible in their demands. In fact, the KIA was pragmatic enough to reach a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese government army in 1994, leaving an ethnic umbrella organization based along the Thai-Burmese border in disarray. Nearly two decades later, it is paying a heavy price for that pragmatism.

In June 2011, the 17-year-old truce between the KIA and the Burmese government army collapsed because the former ruling junta had insisted the year before that ethnic ceasefire armies turn themselves into border guard forces under Burmese military command. Almost none acceded, but most managed to avoid the KIA’s fate of a return to open hostilities.

Another issue that has fueled this conflict is Burma’s 2008 Constitution, which was drafted by the military and was never designed to satisfy the aspirations of the country’s ethnic minorities. Like most other ethnic armed groups in Burma, the KIA says it wants a federal system that will give minorities—who together comprise around a third of the total population—greater autonomy over the resources of their respective homelands.

Indeed, the war in Kachin State is not just about politics. The state is rich in jade and other natural resources, and during the truce period, the Burmese army encroached on many areas once controlled by the KIA, bringing in tycoons from mainland Burma and China to remove the jade and other precious stones. Some Kachin leaders and businessmen who collaborated with the Burmese and Chinese didn’t mind, but locals looking at the looting of their natural resources were upset. This is why the Kachin army wanted to regain control over the territory.

As war intensified between the two armed groups, local residents were the ones who suffered most. Tens of thousands of refugees have fled the fighting and many have little access to humanitarian assistance. Before Christmas, US Ambassador Derek Mitchell visited the area and met with local leaders in a bid to improve aid efforts for the displaced refugees, as the fighting continued to escalate. But his visit to meet some refugees not far from the state capital Myitkyina made little impact. The war continued.

Both Kachin soldiers and civilians say they want to see peace but continue to support the KIA. To them, this war was inevitable, and can only end through political dialogue, which must include an open and serious discussion about federalism, ethnic autonomy and the preservation of resources, culture, identity and languages. As much as they they have suffered from this war, they say they hate Naypyidaw’s imperialism even more.


23 Responses to Resisting Naypyidaw’s Imperialism

  1. Could someone please do more research on what is going on within the Tatmadaw on the Kachin war issue? Who ordered the use of fighter jets and helicopter gunships? What is the relationship and decision mechanisms like between the civilian Government, the Defense Ministry, and the Tatmadaw? How much of the anti-Kachin and anti-Rohingya stances, or ignoring of the situation of these peoples, by the Government and by the NLD is due to sentiments of ethnic chauvinism/racial nationalism, and how much is self-serving, or careful, political calculation? These seem to be central questions to the issue.

    • Rhetorical questions perhaps. Your guess is as good as mine, and you probably know the answers already. The NDSC (kar lon) calls the shots no matter who says what. They excel at divide and conquer, and it just happens to be the Kachin’s turn to be isolated and crushed.There’s too much at stake -. profits to share with the Chinese in Kachin State, the natives are interlopers to the imperial mindset. Even the US-ASSK axis doesn’t want to rock the boat too hard – profits for one, power for the other to share with the regime-cronies axis all over the land.

      Can we expect the Pentagon’s commitment to provide “non-lethal” training not to include torture techniques? If Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo are any kind of examples to go by.

      • By unquestioning, or no longer questioning, popular endorsement, this horrid name “nay Pyi Daw” is the clue , isn’t it? It was not long ago people like Aung Zaw would high light villagers killed to loot the land for this multibillion dollar Potemkin village. But they all kill each other now to rush there to pay obeisance to the agent of the “Ye Myae Shin” who is also ” That Oo San Paing” reminding one he is more than the 88’s supported “U Paing”.

        So for people who really are confused or pretend to be so, That-Oo-San-Paing is always and always, always ONE. The rest of the appointed gang work around the circle drawn by him. Thein Sein, a simple pantomime actor, dare not look at Than Shwe’s grandson in the eyes let alone make independent decisions himself.

        But where does all this blatant courage of the Oh- so Honourable Bamar Tatmadaw comes from to kill or at least try to do so in massive scale using not just punching or hitting but spitting, biting, kicking, spraying dirt in the eyes, anything – using Singaporean, Swedish and Russian killing apparatus?

        It after all comes from two main sources. If you are really interested. One is the exceeding favourable opinion of the “International communities” whose bluff ( We so stand by the oppressed populace around the world and especially in Burma. Ha, ha, ha.) is well and truly called by Than Shwe when he decided to share the loot of the land Burma and enslavement of her people for slave labour and consumer goods dumping. So long as the action of the filthy beyond comprehension Sit-tut is to support the business interests of China or any other country, any form of killing is kosher.

        Two and most important thing is the implied support of the large vocal public of Burma and the other armed groups who are simply desperate to get those electricity, roads, etc, as in Thant Myint-U’ book to get rich. They will also support any amount of killing or use of White Phosphorus or anything. In short it is us, the corrupted, greedy, covetous, totally not- worthy- to- be-Buddhist populace who are indirectly cheering this spectacular killing and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people for now two years.

        You either worship Lawba and support Than Shwe ‘s killing or denounce it AFTER denouncing the Lawba first.

        Richest nation in Asia? Yes! If you stand on mountains of dead carcasses of your own brethren. It appears people are keen for it.

  2. True words that ring my heart. Thanks Irrawaddy. Garbage journalism from inside Burma medias know only how to make the problem worse.

  3. The inflexibility of the KIO/KIA and their anti-Burman rhetoric have rendered the possibility of a sustained peace dialogue not only difficult but has almost driven away the leaders at the top from becoming directly involved in seeking a mutually acceptable resolution. This Kachin mindset that foreign and international pressure on Naypyidaw will bring the government of Thein Sein and the Military to the negotiating table on their terms is “to put it bluntly” wishful thinking and quite removed from reality when the Kachin is the only one now still engaged in combat with the Myanmar Military perhaps with a misconception that a prolonged fighting on their turf is sustainable. It definitely is not. Maran Branseng, the late KIO Chief lamented to the writer that a huge amount of Kachin treasure and life had to be expended to engage in combat
    while knowing full well that it will not lead to any resolution.

    He also had the moral and intellectual courage to admit that for a land-locked Kachin State, regardless of the resources, the longer the conflict the more our Kachins suffer as we are facing a “National Army” that has a proven capacity to take on more than 20 armed groups at the same time in different parts of the country. Branseng said he would sue for peace and he did accomplish that. One can only trust that the current generation of Kachin leaders will seriously reflect on its recent past and look at the realities rationally and sue for peace.

    Naphetchun MaungSein

    California, USA

  4. “Political analysts say that the president, who belongs to the 11-member National Defense and Security Council along with his two vice presidents and the commander in chief of the armed forces, Vice Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, is almost powerless against the Defense Ministry and the top generals, who were all handpicked by retired Snr-Gen Than Shwe.”
    “Some Kachin leaders and businessmen who collaborated with the Burmese and Chinese didn’t mind, but locals looking at the looting of their natural resources were upset. This is why the Kachin army wanted to regain control over the territory.”
    Please, mention the names of the 11 member national defense and security council and opportunistic above some Kachin leaders and businessmen. They are the forever criminals in Burma and would be wiped out their roots. We, Burmese will keep their names in mind for dead sentence on them. I am very sure that than shwe is the leader or responsible of this existing of council. They have no tempo for survival and they can not be escaped to China.

  5. At the end of the day, it is a lose-lose situation. The only victims are the people who have been displaced and forced to leave their homes and properties and live in worse situation with very limited supplies. Kachin is an integral part of Burma and Kachin people are after all our brothers. And we have an obligation to them. But KIO/KIA is an entirely different story. They are an armed rebel group led by warlords who shook hands with military Junta once upon a time and reached to a business agreement. And many political analysts know that their so-called revolutionary war against all burmans are a ted more than about politics and autonomy in the states, it’s also about the resource-rich lands and strategic locations and trade routes along the Burma-China frontier. We Burmese people do not owe anything to KIO/KIA. We have to be very clear about that.

    I’m not siding with the government but KIO/KIA has given the government a reason to launch military operations against them when they blew up buildings and railways and seized the police station. Because a country’s military is obliged to engage with such hostile elements as part of their job to protect the country. So, the government can still take the stand where they’re politically righteous to gain control of the region. They can always say “hey, when the confederates tried to secede from the Union, President Lincoln didn’t get the States back by asking them nicely. They went to war with the Confederates. And that civil war cost many lives thousand times more” and it makes perfect sense. What I’m saying is sometimes when the KIO/KIA are portrayed as rebels or terrorists who sabotage and blow up railways, the government has every right to respond militarily. (I think that’s exactly what they’re doing as I see more and more of news on the state-run papers and TV about KIA’s recent activities.)

    Moreover, there is a question we should always ask KIO/KIA – Do they want a true federalism or they simply want to secede? Because there’s a thin line between these two definitions. Federalism is theoretically achievable provided that the generals are willing to lose their imperialism and truly bring reforms. But the demand for secession – meaning they want their own republic nation (which will likely be a proxy for China) will meet with strong disagreements from majority of the people, and then there will be more of ethnic hatred. General Aung San and the martyrs didn’t pay the price with the lives and blood for the our country’s independence so that there would be a republic of Kachin. This is not a nationalism, this is a patriotism which is shared amongst majority of Burmese. So, we need to grasp every opportunity to avoid ethnic hatred between Kachin and Bumar people. And the Army should make clear of their military agenda that their fight is only with KIO/KIA, not with the entire kachin population.

    Lastly, blaming Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will not do any good although it has become a trend for some political opportunists. She has done more than enough throughout her life and I personally think it’s not just logical to tie every single one of problem in Burma to a 67-year old woman every time we cannot solve them. It has become a cliche considering every single problem is hers now . Sometimes, we should think of ways to solve issues without asking/forcing her to “condemn” the government, rely on ourselves and find other resources. (out-of-the-box.) If she could magically stop the war and bring peace to the country, believe me she would’ve done it already. This message is intended to those of keyboard warriors and political pariahs in exile who have never shed a blood in the fight of democracy but enjoyed easy dollars from lobbying in Western countries, and their one and only policy is “to go against the government” – and the opposition in this case. You people should stop blaming her every time you see a business opportunity (in other words, any problem in Burma) and for God’s sake, get a real job. 😉

    The Observer,
    Rangoon, Burma

    • You owe them. You the Myanmars robbed their rights of self-determination guanranteed by the Pang Long Treaty. The treaty was signed but the Myanmars violated the treaty. You owe the Kachins a lot. Getting out of their land, compensating the damage done by the Myanmars and sincere apology indeed. Without Pang Long Treaty, Kachinland is not part of the Union. Let the Kachins people have the rights from Pang Long Treaty, or let the Kachin people live in an independent Nation called Kachinland.

    • …an armed rebel group led by warlords who shook hands with military Junta once upon a time and reached to a business agreement. And many political analysts know that their so-called revolutionary war against all burmans are a ted more than about politics and autonomy in the states, it’s also about the resource-rich lands and strategic locations and trade routes along the Burma-China frontier.

      Isn’t the bottom line just that in all such disputes and conflicts over territory and resources the world over – between neighboring states or internecine wars, national liberation struggles against colonialism/imperialism or apartheid?

      Business partnerships shifting from one party to the next in pursuit of higher profits, Sino-Kachin to Sino-Burman in this case. Oughtn’t it to be trilateral to be fair? The US/EU, India, Russia, Japan, Korea, ASEAN will all be joining in the spoils of Kachin State if they can too. There’ll be an awful lot of interested parties for a piece of the action.

      Of course it’s not ASSK’s fault that they are all at it. She inevitably gets leaned on and sucked into the vortex of stronger currents whipped up by international big business ‘warmly welcomed’ by the ‘newly democratic’ regime, never mind a little local difficulty like the Kachin or any other minority issue. Will she rise up to the challenge and call everyone to account and put their act together? That is the question.

    • Dear Aron cross and Naphetchun maungSein
      Please, answer the following questions regarding to your opinions on “KIA inflexibility” “We Burmese people do not owe anything to KIO/KIA. We have to be very clear about that.”
      (1)Did or does Bama government honor the Panglong agreement which is initiated and signed by general Aung San(GAS)?. GAS’s speech mentioned that if bama has one kyat, each ethnic has one kyat equally in his slogan when GAS requested ethnic unity with him for Burma independence from British colony. It does not mean all ethnics are under GAS according to his Kyat slogan. Each ethnic has a right to be president of union of Burma in rotation according to Panglong agreement.
      (2) Aron Cross wrote “We Burmese people do not owe anything to KIO/KIA. We have to be very clear about that.” Do you know Kachin is the first ethnic to declare the conquer on Japanese invasion with the help of British before GAS betrayed his friend, Japanese occupation for regaining of British rule in Burma again?
      (3) The author, Aung zaw wrote the 2 following paragraphs (a) “Some have suggested that the Kachin have been too inflexible in their demands. In fact, the KIA was pragmatic enough to reach a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese government army in 1994, leaving an ethnic umbrella organization based along the Thai-Burmese border in disarray. Nearly two decades later, it is paying a heavy price for that pragmatism.” (b) In June 2011, the 17-year-old truce between the KIA and the Burmese government army collapsed because the former ruling junta had insisted the year before that ethnic ceasefire armies turn themselves into border guard forces under Burmese military command. Almost none acceded, but most managed to avoid the KIA’s fate of a return to open hostilities.
      If the above is true , I do not see KIO/KIA is inflexible. Do you read those above 2 paragraphs carefully? If so and true and correct , you both (Aron cross and Naphetchun maungSein) might suffer from selective amnesia or both of your opinions in this column is illogical , irresponsible , misleading , naïve and low standard.
      (4) The author , Aung Zaw wrote that “Another issue that has fueled this conflict is Burma’s 2008 Constitution, which was drafted by the military and was never designed to satisfy the aspirations of the country’s ethnic minorities. Like most other ethnic armed groups in Burma, the KIA says it wants a federal system that will give minorities—who together comprise around a third of the total population—greater autonomy over the resources of their respective homelands.
      Do you know KIA is consistently and persistently asking bama military government to honor Panglong agreement for implementation of federalism? In any kind of battle, both sides need to destroy bridge and supports ( building and police station) as well as logistic one. Therefore, what do you want to say in fighting each other in battle fields?
      (5) Aron Cross wrote that “ Kachin is an integral part of Burma and Kachin people are after all our brothers”
      Could you pin point me which part bama government do and did for Kachin people ( e.g. for their Kachin language teaching in the school or any priority for university admission for all intelligent ethnic minorities due to their poor educational access and knowledge in term of their living status, rural or mountainous areas)?
      (6) Aron Cross wrote that “What I’m saying is sometimes when the KIO/KIA are portrayed as rebels or terrorists who sabotage and blow up railways, the government has every right to respond militarily.” Why can you say Kachin are terrorists ? Do or did Kachin kill the bama civilians deliberately ? Do you know both sides are in the battle fields as I have mentioned earlier as above?
      (7) Now, bama military government admits that they use air power to kill Kachin . What is your opinion on this news for your brother Kahin (who is terrorist or unfair fight in civil war)?
      (8) Aron Cross wrote that “They (Kachin) are an armed rebel group led by warlords who shook hands with military Junta once upon a time and reached to a business agreement.”
      In any where around the world , there is and are many opportunistic mindset. Could you pinpoint what and who is and are the warlords who shook hands with military junta? Do you want to say those warlords get a lucrative businesses in Rangoon or Mandalay from than shwe or khin Nyunt? If Kachin warlords get or got the businesses in Kachin areas from the permission of than shwe or Khin Nyunt, so what ? The last bama peace initiator , Khin Nyunt is still alive fortunately so when you mention those facts , be careful. Khin Nyunt is now in the life-threatening situation if he sells the story about his bama military peace with most ethnics. Or Khin Nyunt can get a post in NLD or USDP.(Unethical Sithar-Soldier Disorder Party).
      (9) Aron Cross wrote that “This message is intended to those of keyboard warriors and political pariahs in exile who have never shed a blood in the fight of democracy but enjoyed easy dollars from lobbying in Western countries, and their one and only policy is “to go against the government” – and the opposition in this case.”
      Do you want to say it is necessary for all must shed the blood in the fight of democracy for the eligibility of writing or giving opinion for our own country ( against bama government )? In this case, do you still want to say that solider or military is the only eligible person to give opinion for their country? Are you or military or soldier or DASSK the only eligible ones? You mention about United state former president Lincoln for reference. Do you think Obama is former (blood shed) soldier or military men? Why your respectable United state president , Obama is eligible to talk about democracy and blame oppositional party former president , G W Bush? From my understanding ,Obama ( is not soldier) is law graduate and lecturer in Harvard university. According to one definition, democracy is political system in which all the members of the society have an equal share of formal political power. I never hear and heard that it needs blood shed to be eligible to talk about democracy.
      (10) Aron Cross wrote that “Sometimes, we should think of ways to solve issues without asking/forcing her to “condemn” the government, rely on ourselves and find other resources. (out-of-the-box.) If she (DASSK )could magically stop the war and bring peace to the country, believe me she would’ve done it already.”
      Yes, we want to rely on ourselves and find other resources. However, could you tell me how to overcome the bama military power (bama general imperialism or bamanization) of than shwe and min aung laing? Because we need people elected military power resources from min aung laing to reform everything or change or getting your lovely democracy. Do you think both Nargic-than shwe 2008 constitution and last bama military election are fair or not? If you say all are fair and square from than shwe, what is your educational , social and occupational levels for appearing in this column? Because it makes than shwe to re-control bama military power through his puppet, min aung laing.
      (11) Aron Cross wrote that “If she (DASSK )could magically stop the war and bring peace to the country, believe me she would’ve done it already.”
      You finally admit that even DASSK can not rely on herself and could not find other resources. Do you think you and I are more capable than DASSK, blood shed democratic fighter to rely on ourselves and find other resources for country?
      DASSK fully understand what is the Panglong agreement. DASSK talks about important of rule of law. We, just want DASSK’s lip service for her opinion on Kachin as well as all ethnic issues. We all know DASSK has no bama military power ( just NLD-non-capable lady dynasty).
      (12) If even DASSK could not provide lip service, U Min Ko Naing should take over her role. Ming Ko Naing is also blood shed democratic hero who dares to talk about ethnic issues in Burma. Do you think all Burmese ethnics have right to sell their lands to rich China if the term from than shwe (General imperialism and raping reward) is not good and is unfair?

  6. Without studying the true color of fake civilian government led by former general Thein Sein, the US and the UN have praised the quasi-civilian government of Myanmar too early. Before nothing was firmly transformed, loud applause was made at the White House and at the Capitol Hill. Myanmar is still full with human rights abuses and corruption and killings and assaulting. I don’t know why US and UN are too ignorant to learn. Myanmar cannot hide her color long enough from the eyes of the world which is not blind to see.

    • Too much credit to those US/ UN and and what Capitol whatever. They were and are well seasoned thugs and looters even before soon to be in Awizi Than Shwe was borne.

      They supported and re so, o desperately supporting Than Shwe not because thy are such naive nice kind hearted people but they thought with their invention Aung San Suu Kyi so well accepted by the public and Than Shwe getting sick of greedy Chinese, it was their time.

      Now Aung San Suu Kyi gets lamer and lamer as days go by and the super arrogant conquering Sit-tut getting more and more ruthless and blatant, there is danger that even the oh- we- are- so-so-lucky- we- got- this- multi-award winning -Amay Suu crowd on empty stomach may decide to change the game.

  7. Now I’m confused. Who is in power , President Thein Sein or the Military Generals??/

  8. Dear Chris
    Please, do not be confused. It is so called divide and rule , learned from British colony or than shwe’s outdated psychological book. There are two parties, military chief min aung lain (than shwe puppet) and bama president thein sein ( also than shwe puppet), ruling (playing the game-seek and hide) in Burma.

  9. Congratulations Aung Zaw. Much appreciated for your indedependent insight into the realities and challenges of change in our country today. Unfortunately too many of the people now seeking to work on the ground in the country are failing to see the big picture around them. The silence from many of the “peace actors” is becoming deafening while the Kachin people again suffer.

  10. When the Kachins decided to take up armed rebellion (perhaps the first meeting of KIO/KIA), there was no talk at all about Panlong and a hand fulll Kachins including the two brothers stressed the fact U Nu’s Legislation to make Buddhism the State Religion is aimed at wiping out the “Christians in the ethnic areas” and there was a great amount of expectation that an armed defense of the Christian faith taken up by the Kachins will get all kinds of support from Christian Nations of the West as well as the Chinese Communists will consider the liberated border areas as “buffer zones” like the thais did at that time. This talk of Panlong was never mentioned at that first meeting of the Kachin armed rebellion. Bringing this up now is merely grabbing at straws to justify taking up arms and transforming themselves into “war lords” and again into Kachin paririots. The only Burman present at that meeting was asked to give his frank views. That group of Kachins were told in no uncertain terms to abandon this idea of armed rebellion as it definitely will fail to achieve anything but immense suffering for the Kachin
    population at large. The expected all out assistance from Christian Nations of the WEST will not come excepty lip service. This Burman met the surviving few Kachins 25 years later in the
    border area with Thailand and one Kachin approached and said to the Burman, you told us 25 years ago not to do it, but we did it anyway and the result is as you said then. Branseng had a funny smile on his face as he was not there at that first meeting. Hoe come this Burman was there? So, you young folks keep spewing out preposperous rhetorics need to do your due diligence and don’t talk like lackeys of the WEST.

    But the WEST cannot and will not be in a position to help achieve peace with the Burmese military. The Kachins will have to do it by themselves. There are a great many honourable men within the KIO/KIA but they are not the sole or exclusive representatives of the entire Kachin people. Thein Sein is an honest and sincere man and the Military establishment led by Min Aung Hlaing are a new generation of professional soldiers, (1) generation younger that the Thein Sein government leaders and Than Shwe/Maung Aye are (1) generation above Thein Sein and Suu Kyi. The Kachins must quickly adapt to this scenario and negotiate in good faith
    and not be diverted into “dwelling on the events past” but find a mutually acceptable resolution that will benefit the entire country and peoples of Myanmar.

    Naphetchun MaungSein

    California, USA

    • Dear Nap Maung Sein
      I am very surprised that why the young professional soldier , min aung laing use air power to kill Kachin in civil war. What is the professionalism you mean as a soldier? You want to say it is just obey the order , like to kill all Jews and all Chinese by German and Japan soldiers respectively in world war 2. Than shwe and thein sein are ex-soldiers but if your lovely professional soldier , min aung laing is still listening the order from than shwe and thein sein led rubbish security and defense council or decide to use air power with his own accord.
      Kachin wants panglong agreement at the same time with ceasefire as it is the real Kachin professionalism. Min aung laing should listen Burmese people power and should honor General Aun san’s panglong agreememt, father of bama army. Bama military wants Kachin land and resources for the benefit of than shwe and bamanization for ceasefire agreement. Second panglong agreement has no autonomy and no federalism but has border guard force , controlled by unethical bama ex-soldier , than shwe, the future of father of bama army.
      Do you agree than shwe is the most cruel bama king who orders the rape reward for his poor bama soldiers in civil war on all Burmese ethnics? Do you still trust than shwe and than shwe puppets ( thein sein and min aung laing)? I will trust the documented paper , panglong agreement on condition at the same time with ceasefire agreement. I do not trust the professionalism of than shwe, thein sein , min aung laing and late U nu’s shameful Buddhinisation in Burma, particularly on Christian Kachin ethnics.

    • Nap Maung sein
      Whatever and whenever Kachin fight for Panglong agreement( right , autonomy, their lands, their resources) , their culture, own language use and religious depending on the conditions and situation ( cruelty) of bama governments ( U nu and bama military thugs) , it is understandable, fair, the best ethical and moral characters.
      Min aung laing , than shwe puppet said killing Kachin is for self-defense ( for killing monks), bama rapist army dignity and public trust ( nobody including Monks trust than shwe and min aung laing, war criminals). I never head that Kachin destroy hydro power station and shwe gas pipe lines. Bama army ammunition and mass soldiers’ transport never use public ones. Do you think bombing public transports will win the war on bama army?. The political and military strategy of than shwe and min aung laing are out of date. Accusing of public threat from Kachin and labeling Kachin terrorist are shameful tactics because the world , 20th century is not naive. I do not believe that Communist China will teach you to use those kinds of naive political slogan. Do you want to say killing monks with their peaceful demonstration is self-defense? Min Aung laing should kill than shwe for self-defense. Please, do not sell your another poisonous cease fire agreement , designed by than shwe who wants to be bamanization to replace his name on General Aung San as a future bama rapist hero.

  11. What is Irrawwaddy’s stand on KIA laders when they were happily married to the Burmese genrals and were enjoying the economic harvest while the whole country and Daw Aung San Suu kyi were in prison? The conflict between the KIa and the Burmese government is based on Foreign Investments but not on Human Rights or for the Liberation of the Kachin people. Come on Irrawaddy, wake up and tell the true story to the world instaed of taking sides with the selfish KIA Kachin leaders.The wolrd should know the truith as the KIA leaders are as bad as the Burmese generals. Period!!!

  12. KIA was the only rebel group which has sdupported the 2008 Constitution which gives alot of power to the ruthless generals. KIa was the only armed gropup which had a ceasefire with the Burmese generals and did business with the Burmese generals and China while Burma and its citizens were in prison. They did enjoy thier happily selfish married life for 17 years and what we are seeing now is the break up of a bad marriage between the Burmese generals and the KIA. KIA leaders don’t believe in human Rights as they did show to the Burmese people that
    they did not care

  13. it is quite sad and regrettable that some would respond to actual statement of personal historical facts with shallow emotional rhetorical outbursts reminiscent of March 2, 1962, almost 51 years ago when Ne Win took over the country in a Coup. At that time, the same kind of emotional and degrading remarks bordering on insults were directed at Ne Win and the entire military establishment by the elites of Burmese society and politicians and their cronies. These groups at that time in 1962were convinced beyond any doubt that they (the politicians ~ the 2 factions of AFPFL) were the only ones fit to run and rule the country. And made a bold prediction that the Ne Win government will not last more than a few years.

    So, any one that underestimates, looks down with disdain on the Myanmar military only reveals abject ignorance of it’s “fundamental structure and core values”. Aung San is recognized, revered and accepted as founder, but today’s military establishment has evolved
    And restructured itself into one that Aung San will be proud of. it is about time that today’s generation of Myanmars, especially the expatriates not repeat the needless and harmful emotional rhetorical and denigrating statements and unfounded accusations on those still serving in leadership positions of the government and especially the military. The expatriate media must also be responsible and ensure that such denigrating statements directed by name is not in the interest of the reading public and especially the people’s of Myanmar.

    Naphetchun MaungSein

    California USA

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