Junta collects voter’s list in KIO headquarters

A team of officials of the Burmese military junta made a sudden appearance in Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) headquarters Laiza on the Sino-Burma border to collect the official voter’s list and for issuance of temporary national identity cards to residents on March 1, Laiza residents said.

A team of officials of the Burmese military junta made a sudden appearance in Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) headquarters Laiza on the Sino-Burma border to collect the official voter’s list and for issuance of temporary national identity cards to residents on March 1, Laiza residents said.

The junta’s second high ranking military intelligence also called Military Security Unit (Sa-Ya-Pha) officer in Kachin State, Captain Aung Ko Win led the team of 17 from Waingmaw township including U Tint Lwi Oo head of Waingmaw immigration office, police, fire fighters, health personnel and school teacher volunteers, a KIO official in Laiza told KNG today.

The applications are being accepted at the Myulawt Wunli Lu Gawknu, the public hall in Laiza and the team was supported by members of KIO’s immigration office in Laiza, said residents.

According to a KIO immigration office source, about 30 residents who were at least 18 years old came and applied for the temporary national identity card being called the White Card which is a special card for the people of KIO and other Kachin ceasefire groups.

The KIO migration officer quoted the team members as saying today, that the White Cards are being issued for the ensuing referendum.

And all White Card holders have been promised that they would be issued the real national identity card (red colour) after the referendum. The team told all residents who were born in 1990 and will be 18 years old in April, that they are eligible for the white coloured national identity cards, Laiza sources said.

The White Card holders cannot travel inside and outside Kachin State without travel recommendation letters from concerned local authorities of the junta, the immigration officers said.

According to KIO immigration officers, the White Cards will be issued within three days of the registration and the holders will automatically be included in the list of the people who want to participate in the referendum. At the same time, the team has also collected the list of about 500 real national identity card holders who would like to vote in the referendum.

However, the majority of residents are not registered yet and unwilling, including the non-Laiza residents like Chinese, Indians and Shan businessmen in Laiza, a KIO official said.

A KIO officer in Laiza told KNG, “Most Laiza residents are afraid to vote in the ensuing referendum and elections. This is because they seem to think that the junta is trying to legitimize military rule in the country through referendum and election.”

Meanwhile, the junta’s immigration teams have been blocked from entering and making White Cards for the people in the KIO controlled areas of 1st, 2nd and 3rd brigades in Kachin State as well as 4th brigade in Northeast Shan State except Laiza Headquarters by the KIO, officials said.

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