A Kachin youth group erected a stone memorial monument in an internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp to honor Kachin who were displaced by fighting during the ninth anniversary of the war between the Burma Army and Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).
Paw Lu, from Kachin Youth Movement, who led the construction of the monument, told KNG that the group wanted to build three monuments but was only able to make one before the commemoration.
The letters ‘Anhte Galoi N Malap. Na Ga Ai’ (We Will Never Forget) was inscribed in the stone monument that was erected at Jaw Masat IDP camp in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.
Paw Lu says the youth volunteered to build and install the monument. “IDPs have been living in the camps for so long” and the monument will be a testament to what they have endured “for the next generation to know about them” says Paw Lu.
The Kachin IDP community and youth held an afternoon prayer ceremony at the newly erected monument on June 9, the anniversary of the conflict.
Bawm Myaw, deputy in charge of Jaw Masat camp, commended the youth group’s efforts. “Our people lived in many places, but we never erected a memorial. This will be an official record for IDPs,” she says.
The camp was created in 2018 after the Burma Army attacked KIO’s military arm, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Brigade 2 (battalion-14).
The Kachin Youth Movement was unable to make monuments in Ja Mai Kawng and Legone Bethlehem Church’s IDP camps this year.
Fighting between the Burma Army and KIA displaced well over 100,000 internally displaced persons in Kachin and northern Shan states. Many IDPs are tired of living in camps and want to return to their villages.