Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Junta pressures KIO to move its liaison office in Tanai

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 22:58 Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The main ethnic Kachin political group is being pressured by the junta to move out of its existing liaison office in the district that governs the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina, sources said.

The Tanai Township Peace and Development Council today again pressed the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) to seek alternative premises for its communication office in Tanai before November.

The KIO and its armed wing has rejected junta’s demands to bring its militia under Burmese Army command within a Border Guard Force (BGF), and has been under increasing military pressure in the past few months, with travel and weapon bans imposed on members.

Its liaison office is located on land owned by a structural engineers’ organisation, and the KIO has used the space since its ceasefire agreement with the junta in 1994.

The engineers’ organisation sent the KIO an eviction notice on Friday and today the township council again pressed it to move, a KIO source said. The instruction failed to say where the office must move but said that it had to be as soon as possible.

Mizzima tried to contact Captain Khaung Lwan, the KIO liaison officer in Tanai, but calls were unanswered or not returned.

The Kachin rebels have opened 67 offices as points of liaison with the junta since the ceasefire agreement 16 years ago. Each office is manned by one officer and between two and 10 staff.

According to unconfirmed reports, the directive was issued by recently appointed North Command chief Major General Zeya Aung, who has never officially met KIO officers because of its rejection of the BGF proposal.

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