Slain Cadets Remembered During Rangoon, Sittwe Services

By Yen Saning 26 November 2014

RANGOON — Seven days after an attack on ethnic army cadets in Kachin State, activists and social groups held donation drives and ceremonies on Wednesday to commemorate the 23 soldiers who died in the incident.

A donation ceremony led by Arakan Youths was held at Danyawadi Monastery at the front gate of Shwedagon Pagoda this morning and attended by a cross-section of representatives from various ethnic nationality parties, activist Khon Ja told The Irrawaddy.

Another large ceremony to mark the death of eight Arakanese cadets in the incident was held in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, attended by 5000 mourners wearing black.

Proceeds raised from both events will be given to the families of the cadets, who were slain while training with the Kachin Independence Army near Laiza after the Burma Army shelled their camp with artillery fire.

On Wednesday evening in Rangoon, between 200-300 people attended a service to honor the cadets and to express hope for peace in the country at the Kachin Baptist Church in Sanchaung Township.

The Kachin Peace Network in Rangoon, with collaboration from other civil society groups, plans to provide cash assistance to the families of the dead cadets and hold peacecampaigns in their home townships.

Meanwhile, the Chin National Convention General Agreement Implementation Coordinating Committee released a statement on Monday condemning the deaths, stating that the Burma Army’s actions will complicate efforts to reach ceasefire agreements and national reconciliation. Two soldiers from the Chin National Front were among the casualties.

The Burma Army maintains the deaths were accidental.

Additional reporting by Hnin Yadana Zaw.