Online discussion launched for war anniversary

Seng Htoi Zin / June 7, 2020

Woi Chyai IDP camp near Chinese border / Naw Seng

The Kachin State based Kachin National Consultative Assembly (KNCA) has launched an online panel discussion for the commemoration to the 9th anniversary of renewed war between Burma Army and Kachin Independence Army (KIA), trying to replace the public gathering amid COVID-19 lock down.

The online panel-discussion is intended to let everyone know about the feelings and the sufferings war refugees had in the nine year period, Tang Gun a spokesperson of WMR told The Kachin Post. “No one knows how long the war will last and what will happen next,” he exclaimed.

The discussion is especially focus on resurfacing the feelings and experiences of internally displaced persons during the nine years period and paying attention to the all levels of government authorities to respond the needs and struggles of the Kachin war refugees.

Kachin National Consultative Assembly (KNCA), also known as Wunpawng Mungbawng Rapdaw (WMR), is responsible for holding war anniversary annually at the Manau Park in the State capital Myitkyina. KNCA hosted recently an online discussion with the selected elder, youth, kid and adult.

The online panel-discussion is posted recently via KNCA Facebook page. The main participants of the discussion are Damau Tu Mai from KNCA, Dabang Hkawng Naw from Janmai Kawng IDP camp, Maji Lu Htoi Pan from Bethlehem IDP camp, Labram Mung Awn Seng from Jaw Masat IDP camp, Catholic Father Noel Naw Lat from secretary of Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC), Hpauyam Hka Li from Kachin Baptitst Convention and Moon Nay Li from Kachin Women Association of Thailand.

There has been growing numbers of mental health problems among the displaced people who need to deal with the mental heath specialist, Mine Nar IDP camp resident Nhkum Gum Ja Naw told The Kachin Post. Most displaced persons feel distress, unjust and inferior because of losing everything during the war and hopelessly living in the IDP camp. “I’d like to cry sometime when i think of horrible experiences,” he expressed. The nine year period is as destroying a life of child, he said. “I’m not able to say that I want to go home,” said Gum Ja Naw.

Over a hundred of Internally Displaced Person Camps hosted as an temporary home for over a hundred thousands of Kachin war refugees.

On June 9, 2011, Burma Army unilaterally breached the 14 years-old ceasefire agreement with Kachin Independence Organization, an political wing of KIA, by killing one of KIA’s liaison officer Chang Ying at the Sangang village near Chinese border.

Since 2011, over 400 Kachin villages, 300 Christian Churches, 120 schools, 130 childcare centres, 260 clinics were destroyed or abandoned, according to the KIO. Almost 4000 big and small clashes had been took place between KIA and Burma Army during this period. Hundreds of civilians were tortured and killed and dozens of Kachin women were raped and killed by the Burma Army.