June 04, 2013

The KIO and Kachin communities “are one”

Kachin leaders back UN involvement

By Myanmar Times June 03, '13

Members of the Kachin community have asked Vijay Nambiar to help increase international involvement in Myanmar’s peace process during a meeting in Myitkyina last week.

Kachin representatives met Mr Nambiar, the special adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Myanmar, on May 29, during the rest day in peace talks between the government and the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). Mr Nambiar was an observer at the talks, which concluded with the signing of a seven-point agreement on May 30.

At the meeting Myitkyina resident Daw Jar Sai Khum said international help was needed to resolve the conflict in Kachin State.
“I think you can understand very well that this conflict has been running since the country became independent more than 64 years ago,” she said. “Ethnic groups around Myanmar are trying to solve the problems within our communities and regions but we cannot manage all of this ourselves.
“It is clear to me that the international community needs to play a role in solving these conflicts.”
Kachin people urged Mr Nambiar to monitor the conflict until a fair solution was found. They also asked him to raise the issue of Myanmar’s ethnic conflicts in the UN Security Council and encourage other members of the international community to take part in the peace process.
Representatives also told Mr Nambiar that the KIO and Kachin communities “are one”.
‘’We want the UN to help as much as it can,” said 81-year-old Daw Innfan Jar Yar. “The government and KIO have held peace talks many times but so far there has not been any positive outcome.
“We suffer the terrible impacts of the conflict,” she said, adding that a political solution was needed. “We want to get [a] federal [system] at once. We don’t want to wait any more to get it.”
The Kachin National Consultative Assembly (KNCA) published a statement before Mr Nambiar’s visit and this was presented to him at the meeting. The statement included nine points on the conflict and alleged that the government “consistently ignores the ethnic rights that ethnic nationalities have been demanding, or intentionally stalls and gives excuses”.
The statement said that past meetings have not been successful in part because international monitoring groups have not been involved and called for these groups to be involved in future talks.
Mr Nambiar said at the meeting that the UN is supporting and facilitating peace talks and that those talks were being watched closely around the world.
“Every one of you has an aspiration, an expectation … and an experience. But any political solution that comes will not satisfy everybody in all respects,” Mr Nambiar said.
“I have no doubt that the UN and KIO, as well as the Kachin people and Myanmar people, will see the peace process move forward,” he said.

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