Two years have passed since many of those demonstrating against the regime formed the People’s Defence Forces after the dictatorship violently suppressed peaceful protests across the country. During this time, the regime’s troops fired on unarmed demonstrators, prompting many people to go to border areas controlled by the ethnic armed organisations, such as Kachin State, where they’re called PDF – Kachin Region, to engage in armed resistance. The acting president of the National Unity Government, Duwa Lashi La, in a speech on the second anniversary of the PDF on 5 May, explained how they were formed to protect the people from the military junta.
KNG interviewed several resistance fighters in Kachin State for their thoughts about the current situation.
A Hpakant PDF member
“The formation of the PDF means that we choose armed struggle against the military junta. It is our decision. Even though we hate the civil war, we choose the armed struggle against the military junta. Therefore, we will continue to fight against the military junta. The military dictatorship has been rooted in this country for 50-60 years. It’s is the common enemy of our people. We have to fight until the end of the dictatorship in this country. We have to sacrifice our lives for this.”
A Myitkyina PDF member
“We still remember that our blood was spilled on the ground. We will never forget these bloody days of our lives and we’re still determined to fight against the military junta until the end. We cannot retreat from this situation. We will continue until the dictatorship is toppled. We will have to exert ourselves and work hard to fight against the dictatorship. All revolutionary men must work together in the struggle against the military junta.”
A Shwegu PDF member
We have been walking on the path of revolution for two years. Now we are revolutionary men. We have lived for the revolution for two years and I think it will gain momentum in the future and we will win this revolution. Whatever comes our way during the revolution, we are determined to fight against the military dictatorship until it is brought down.
A PDF Bhamo member
“There are almost no clashes in the Kachin region. We have already gone through two years and we have not made it. Sometimes we are disappointed. The KIA (Kachin Independence Army) officials have always told us to be patient during the revolution. We are patient and it’s why we have stayed with the revolution for two years. But some members are confused and disappointed and they want to give up because they feel that they have not achieved anything in two years. Some members are thinking about their future.”
A Hpakant PDF member
“We’ll will cooperate with the ethnic armed organisations to fight against the military regime. The PDF will continue the struggle against the military junta no matter what challenges come our way. We’ll fight until the dictatorship is overthrown. I want to convey the message to our people that one person cannot drive the revolution, so all people must participate, for example as supporters. People needed be disappointed. We’ll win this revolution and soon reach our goal.”