Amid an ongoing civil war in northern Burma, some are on a different “front lines,” of sorts — facing legal consequences for protesting the conflict, or otherwise working to bring an end to the fighting.
Anti-war protesters on Wednesday urged government leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take action against police who this month broke up a peace rally and arrested them, and raised new concern about freedom of speech.
Two Kachin youth activists facing criminal defamation charges after staging a protest calling for the evacuation to safety of civilians displaced by conflict in Kachin State will appeal to the regional court, seeking to have those charges dropped.
The Kachin State government intends to begin the process of rescuing hundreds of civilians trapped in Injangyang Township by broader regional conflict, with the Burmese military blockading the road linking it to adjacent Myitkyina Township to the west.
Criticism has emerged over remarks by Kachin State’s social affairs minister after he said the state government did not know the location of many people displaced by recent conflict, professing ignorance amid reports of hundreds trapped in the jungles surrounding Tanai Township’s Awng Lawt village.
Although the Burmese military doesn’t want camps established for those recently displaced by clashes between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army, a cabinet official for the government has insisted that camps should be set up if necessary.
Thousands in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina joined a rally on Monday demanding safe passage for displaced civilians trapped amid clashes between the Burmese military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
The military has announced in Kachin State’s Tanai town that civilians who abandoned their homes to avoid clashes between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army must return, saying KIA forces had retreated from the affected villages in Tanai Township.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has advised unlicensed gold and amber miners to vacate the sites of their operations as the ethnic armed group plans to launch guerrilla attacks against Burma’s armed forces in parts of Tanai Township from 10 April.
Burmese authorities on Friday visited a suspected shallow grave in the country’s north that residents said contained the bodies of two ethnic minority men who were detained by soldiers in January, a police officer and a community leader said.
Three political parties staking their appeal on claims to represent the interests of the ethnic Kachin population in northern Burma are closer to a merger this week after they agreed on a rough policy platform and name for the combined political factions.
The Kachin Independence Army’s objective in recent attacks launched by the ethnic armed group against government troops was limited to attempting to “disrupt” the military, not to “overrun” the bases it has targeted, according to a KIA spokesperson.
“Despite the fact that intense hostilities are continuing between the two sides, I believe that this informal meeting could pave the way for a shift from armed conflict to political dialogues,” Naw Bo told DVB.
Three political parties who stake their appeal on claims to represent the interests of the ethnic Kachin population in northern Burma have agreed to merge, after none of them managed to make much headway at the polls in the country’s 2015 general election.