Kawnghka residents lit a thousand candles for peace

Kawnghka faith leaders and Burma Army’s LID 99 commander Brig. Gen. Hla Moe in the middle/ RCM Kawnghka

Tu Ja / June 14, 2020

The residents of Kachin militia-controlled Kawnghka village in Burma’s northern Shan State lit a thousand candles and prayed for peace, after the local faith leaders met with Burma Army’s commander of Light Infantry Division (LID) 99 last week.

A thousand candles were lit by the Kawnghka residents at the village Christian prayer mountain on last Sunday night. The event was organized by the Roman Catholic Mission of Kawnghka (RCM-Kawnghka), intending to end the recent struggle between militia leaders and Burma Army, and praising the Burma Army’s LID 99 for making donation to renovate the prayer mountain.

The local religious figures, which comprises of the leaders from Kawnghka Roman Catholic Church and the Kachin Baptist Church, met with Brigadier General Hla Moe, thanking the Burmese generals for his charity work at the village’s religious sites. General Hla Moe reportedly sponsored the renovation of Kawnghka’s prayer mountain, Manau ground at the Baptist Church compound and the village’s Buddhist pagoda, according to village residents.

Kawnghka village became a global news headline in recent months as over a hundred of million dollar worth of narcotic drugs and its precursor chemicals were seized around the village. At the end of last March, Burma Army subsequently disarmed Kawnghka People’s Militia Force (KPMF) and some of the militia leaders were charged with drug related cases. Burma Army’s LID 99 is solely responsible for seizing the illicit drugs and disarming the Kachin militia, which is the largest one in northern Shan State.

However, Kawnghka religious leaders held a KPMF flag-raising ceremony in the middle of last April at the militia’s headquartered building, raising the militia’s flag again a month after it was took down.

Kawnghka village became the militia’s headquarter since January 1991, after the KPMF’s predecessor Kachin Defense Army (KDA) reached a ceasefire deal with the Burma Army.

Kawnghka village is situated 10 miles east of Kutkai Township and 52 miles north of northern Shan State capital Lashio.