People in Kachin must work together to ensure immediate success in peace process: President

All national brethrens living in Kachin State must work together with Kachin State Government in order to ensure an immediate success in the peace process organised by the Union Government and witness developments in Kachin State, President Thein Sein said in his message sent to the ceremony to mark the 67th anniversary of Kachin State’s Day on January 10.

“In building a new peaceful modern democratic nation, all national brethrens living in Kachin State must make concerted efforts through patriotic and Union spirit,” Thein Sein said.

“Only with the peace and stability, can Kachin State enjoy equitable development. With the hope of achieving success in eternal peace in the whole country including Kachin, the Union Peacemaking Work Committee and the group of representatives of Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) held several meetings in Myitkyina during 2013 and 2014 and reached the agreement. For that reason, KIO’s liaison office was opened in Myitkyina. The conflict negotiation team was also formed by two sides,” Thein Sein said.

“Moreover, the UPWC and armed ethnic oarganisations held a ceasefire negotiation in Myitkyina in order to sign a nationwide ceasefire deal and a joint statement was also issued. Now efforts are being made to sign the nationwide ceasefire deal with armed ethnic organisations including the KIO,” Thein Sein said.

A number of skirmishes broke out between Tatmadaw and the KIO/KIA during the presidential term of Thein Sein, causing heavy casualties and displacing more than 100,000 local people. Up to now, the internally displaced persons are still living at the rescue camps.

The UPWC and the KIO formed the conflict negotiation team with an aim of reducing tension between two sides during May 2014 and held monthly meetings.

However, the government army launched heavy artillery to the KIA’s cadet training school on November 19 in 2014, killing 23 cadets and wounding 20. Consequently the KIA decided to suspend the monthly meeting of the conflict negotiation team.

“This incident delayed the ceasefire process and ensured a breach of mutual trust,” the leaders of armed ethnic organisations said.