Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Burmese government and KIO meet in China

Tuesday, 29 November 2011 22:49 Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A Burmese government peace delegation and top Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) leaders met for two hours on Tuesday in Shweli in China’s Yunnan Province to seek a cease-fire.

No details of the talks were disclosed, but KIO officials said it was noteworthy that the KIO chairman attended the meeting.

KIO chairman Zawng Hra. Photo: KNG
A spokesman, Hting Nan Aslos, said: “Our chairman went to the meeting because we would like to show that we want a political dialogue. We’re showing that we want to hold peace talks.”

On the other hand, KIO spokesman La Nang said that government troops on Tuesday set fire to 60 houses in two Shan villages in Daw Phung Yang sub-township in Kachin State.

Meanwhile, the government has reinforced its troops in Kachin State, said KIO officials. Nearly every day, fighting breaks out in Mansi and Momauk townships in Kachin State and the areas controlled by Brigade No. 4 of Shan State Army-North, officials said.

There were 709 clashes between the KIO and government troops from June until November 28, according to La Nang.

The government peace delegation included Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min; Thein Zaw, the chairman of the Lower House National Race Affairs and Internal Peace-making Committee; and Aung Thaung, the chairman of the Lower House banking and financial development sub-committee. They met with a KIO delegation of six leaders including KIO chairman Zawng Hra at a hotel in Shweli in Yunnan Province.

Upper House Speaker Hkyet Hting Nan of the Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State (UDPKS), who is also a member of the Kachin State Peace and Stability, accompanied the central government delegation.

Also attending the meeting were representatives of the Kachin people including Jade Land Company owner Yup Zaw Khaung, Iamai Gum Ja, Ing Sin San Aung and singer Hkabya Hkung Aung.

KIO officials said that they hoped U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Burma, which starts on Wednesday, would change Burma political climate.

“The U.S. government should recognize our ethnic people. I would like to tell the U.S. government to put the Burmese government under pressure to protect ethnic people’s rights and to hold a political dialogue,” La Nang said.

On November 19 and 20, Minister Aung Min met with three KIO leaders as a preliminary step in Mae Sai, Thailand.

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