Monuments to honor Kachin displaced by fighting will be erected in three camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kachin State during the ninth anniversary of the conflict between the Tatmadaw and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Nine years ago, on this June 9, a seventeen-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the KIA’s political arm, and the Burma Army ended. The brutal fighting resulted in the displacement of more than 100,000 Kachin civilians.
Three monuments will be erected at Tatkone Church of Christ camp, Jan Mai Kawng Roman Catholic Church camp, and Legone Bethlehem camp in Myitkyina. The letters ‘Anhte Galoi N Malap Na Ga Ai’ (We Will Never Forget) will be inscribed on each of the stone monuments.
Kachin youth leader Sut Seng Htoi says they wanted to erect monuments in the first and last IDP camp that was built. But there wasn’t enough space at either location. She says the message inscribed on the monuments means IDPs will never forget being forced from their homes and farms by the conflict. In the future, Sut Seng Htoi says they plan to erect more monuments in other IDP camps.
Because of the pandemic, she says they can’t organize a public meeting for the ninth anniversary of the conflict. Instead, they’ll stream a live talk show for three days to discuss the situation of IDPs over the past nine years and “their expectations for the future.”
The live stream will include appearances by the Kachin State Minister of Social Affairs, representatives of the Kachin Humanitarian Concern Committee (KHCC), and Kachin IDPs.