The Kachin State Civilian Movement (KSCM) has burnt down a statue in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, which is supposed to symbolise unity. However, the Kachin demonstration group considers it propaganda for the military regime that violently took control of Burma over 15 months ago.
A KSCM spokesperson told KNG that they destroyed the statue, which depicts a grandfather and his three grandchildren chopping wood, on Wednesday night. “The Burma Army (BA) is using this statue for their propaganda when in fact there’s no unity,” he said, asking to remain anonymous.
The act was to draw attention to the war in Kachin State between the BA and the Kachin Independence Organisation/Kachin Independence Army, which marked its eleventh anniversary on 9 June, he explained.
The KSCM stated on its Facebook group that “people must remember the war victims and the internally displaced people. They need to resist the military dictatorship.” People must continue to boycott the regime and shame civilians who support the armed forces. Citizens must continue to support the civil disobedience movement while encouraging other government servants to join for ”justice and truth”.
An anonymous political activist from the Kachin State capital told KNG that unity is waning and it’s time to rebuild solidarity against the dictatorship.”The military junta has used this statue for many years as propaganda for the unity of ethnic peoples. Burning it down is a kind of boycott against the junta.”
Similar statues also exist in Waing Maw, Tanai, Puta-O, Chipwi and other towns in Kachin State and throughout Burma, but this was the first time one of them had been set on fire.
According to locals, BA tried to repair the statue on Thursday.