The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) chair said his ethnic armed organisation (EAO) has been cooperating with the Burmese and other groups to tear down the military dictatorship and end the Bamar-centric view of Burmese as a superior ethnic group.
“KIO is cooperating with ethnic alliance groups, Bamar (Burmese) and organizations on political and military affairs to systematically fight the Burma Army (BA),” Gen N’ban La said in an online speech on Kachin Martyr Day.
The military junta has been committing massive human rights abuses including killing, arresting and torturing civilians, the KIO chair said. As well as raiding and torching homes. He explained these are the same violations Kachin nationalities have endured for over 70 years. The Kachin leader said members of KIO and its military wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), must work hard to defeat the military dictatorship while not committing any human rights abuses.
Gen N’ban La thanked the brave medical professionals providing health care in KIO’s territory during the country’s third wave. Because of the pandemic, no one was allowed to gather for the annual event.
Kachin Martyrs Day is commemorated on August 10, 1975. On that day, KIA soldiers assassinated Kachin leader G.O.C Lahtaw Zau Seng for allegations of corruption on the Thailand-Burma border. Maran Seng Tu (or Tu Bung), the personal secretary and closest aide of Lahtaw Zau Tu, vice chief of staff, led the execution.
Later the KIO alleged General Ne Win’s Burma Socialist Programme Party masterminded the assassination and that Maran Seng Tu was a secret spy of General Ne Win.
KIO started observing Martyrs Day in 2004 when the EAO signed a ceasefire with the regime.
In 2011, the Burma Army broke the seventeen-year peace agreement.
Since the military coup happened seven months ago, fighting between KIA and BA has increased in Kachin and Shan states and Sagaing Region.