Is the terrorist attack on Kachin people propagating disciplined democracy?
Branch of Political Policy
November 22, 2011
By The Kachin Think Tank Society (KTTS)
One never-ever dreamt of the Kachins becoming victims of a terrorist attack given that such things are associated with the Talibans, Iraqis, Arabs, Pakistanis, and so on. The N’Jang Kawng, or Thida in Burmese attack in Myitkyina on November 13, 2011 publicized for the first time that Kachins are in the midst of war of terrorism. In fact, locals have been shocked by the serial and powerful bomb-blasts in several government and public areas in Myitkyina, Waimaw and Mogawng since June though powerful explosions have taken place several times in Myitkyina on November 12, 2011.
The terror attack on Dayau Tang Gun’s plot in N’Jang Kawng Quarter at night in Myitkyina was atrocious. The head of the household, Mr. Dayau Tang Gun is into several community services as a leader of the Kachin cultural Band Baja team, of the Kachin Martial Art (Jinghpaw Jauchyen), and of the Red Cross. The house was a multiple-center for orphans, for Band Baja, for IDPs altogether hosting above 40 regular members, apart from some on rent. In this analysis the critical observation on the attack is made within the framework of the ongoing civil war between the Burman troops and KIA. The incident points to the retaliation by Burmans by launching a “terror attack on Kachins.”
Critical overview on the scenario of the attack
The attack left 14 dead and 27 injured in the house of Dayau Tang Gun. The blast in Dayau’s house started a fire which soon spread to adjacent houses of Hpaga Naw Ring and wife Hla Ngwi, Mr. Lashu Naw Awng and Mashaw. The incident caused the loss of two-wheeled Chinese motorcycles, money, four main buildings and property. The details and exact examination of the incident cannot be ascertained on the basis of scientific data due to the high security. However, the possible hypotheses depends on several and different groups of eyewitnesses such as the injured family members, neighbours and local sources. Due to the powerful blast a big two storied house was completely gutted in just 30 minutes. Rescue of the victims was tardy by fire fighters and putting out the fire caused was difficult.
The attack was by unidentified people. A two feet deep crater was created where the explosion occurred and victims were hurled 50 yards away killing most people who were on the second storey and injuring those on the ground floor. According to locals of Thida Quarter a “big and unusual bomb” was hurled. It seemed to have been set off by remote control, may be from the Northern Military Quarter, Myitkyina. The second possibility is also drawn unanimously here where the incident was due to “multiple bomb blasts followed by an inferno at Dayau Tang Gun’s house which spread to the adjacent buildings, according to local fire fighters. Locals said “the blast occurred after two unidentified men on their D.T. motorbikes arrived near the house and left a package.” It is clear that “the attack was planned targeting of innocent Kachin students and children, which is nothing less than inhuman.”
Analysis of the attack: Ethnic war by Burman leaders
This has been the grisliest incident when it comes to innocent civilians so far. Therefore, the major analytical examination is focused on the relationship between the Kachin Independence Organization and its armed wing Kachin Independence Army (KIO/A) and the Burman troops “before and after the attack” by Burman troops of the military backed civil government under the leadership of U Thein Sein. Of course, although there might have been certain personal antagonism between Tang Gun and the Burman authority this can never be a sufficient reason for his family to be targeted in such a way at a time when the new civilian government has propagated promotion of civil values across the country.
Against international military law of the United Nation, the Burmese troops are using an Unidentified Mass Destructive Weapon (UMDW) for the first time in its offensive against the KIA in Lungzep Kawng, Gara Yang and N’Tap Bum since November 9. Such UMDW seems to be in use as the major weapon in their operation in every battle namely in Hkawan Bang, Lawdan, Sang Gang and so on. It seems Burman troops are extracting revenge because of their high casualties. It is obvious that the government troops are killing every Kachin on frontline zones, condemning “all Kachins as KIA who needs to be wiped out.” Such a wild and uncivilized attitude of Burmese troops is reflected in the incident in which innocent Kachin civilians are becoming targets.
In fact recently, in the Kachin state level meeting, there was an altercation between Chief Minister Duwa Lajawn Ngan Seng and Northern Commander Maj-Gen. Ko Ko Naing regarding the issue of “civil war and Kachins.” When the Commander said “… all The Kachins are to be uprooted … this time.” In response, hitting the table Duwa Ngan Seng said, “Why don’t you say only they instead of including all the Kachins? Do you mean to terminate even me since and I am also a Kachin …” From this account it is sure that “Burman troops are targeting all Kachin civilians while ostensibly fighting KIO/A.” In fact the underlying plot of the military campaign is Kachin ethnic cleansing policy of the new civilian government. It is also on the other hand a public denial of the Kachins as not co-inhabitants of the Union of Burma (Myanmar), rather an enemy of the Burman majority. Thus, it can also be noticed that the name of the government is changed according to time, condition and space as today it is under the civilized garb of “democracy” yet the internal system and plot against non-Burmans particularly on Kachin Christians has remained the same as before. The attack on civilians for the first time seems to be connected with the policy of Kachin extermination declared by one Burman military backed leader after the other. Because, the mission of the Burman troops and the theory of the Burmese government from the standpoint of Burmans as the rulers and the Burman troops as its protectors, is that all non-Burmans are their enemy the Kachins being the foremost.
Thirdly, the first attack on civilians could be examined connected to the political standpoint of the civil body of the Kachins. Indeed, the ruling Burmans have monitored the Kachin masses dissecting from the body of the KIO/A in various ways as it had been smoothly run for KIO/A’s splitters namely the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDAK), Lasang Awng Wa’s Militia Groups, Kachin Defense Army (KDA)-Kawng Hka and others such as Ah Dang Militia Groups, Tangbau Hkut Myat and three more groups from Kutkai. All these groups actually do not represent the Kachin polity which is realized by themselves and the Burman-led government. However, the new government has intentionally used them as its cursors propagating the 2008 constitution and under which the Kachins are to surrender. In fact it is clear that the policy is that all ethnic nationalities are located in positions of subalterns and its peripheries just to support the Burman centers, of religion, education, politics, culture, history and literature among others. In this regard the only and last Kachin stronghold which has clearly declared and stood for the so-called Federalism and Kachin’s freedom from Burman’s oppression is the KIO/A.
In the process, the those who split from the KIO/A, have timely given their input in monitoring the Kachin public under the supervision and pressure of their master, the Burman Generals especially former Brig-Gen Thein Zaw. Prominently, NDAK militia head Zahkung Ting Ying and Gwi Htu militia head Lasang Awng Wa organized the Kachin Public Conference at Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)-Myitkyina on November 12, 2011, intending primarily to collect signatures and unanimous opinion to urge the KIO/A into an immediate ceasefire with the Burmese Army as if looking at the welfare and prosperity of the Kachin public. Even though, the effort was made up to the highest level of pursuing Kachin public’s opinion, the conference ended the opposite way due to “the representatives pressure in co-operation with their plan for insisting on the KIA to quit war for ceasefire.” They had boldly expressed their role as Kachin public seeking genuine ceasefire and peace talks within the guaranteed framework of democracy under the supervision of any third party from abroad.” It shows that the Kachin public today has adopted its own political stand irrespective of pressure and oppression. This also in turn has revealed the political standpoint of the Kachin public regarding the federal spirit. Not only because of the KIO but it is the original public opinion for justice, equality, ethnic federalism in the Union of Burma. It indicates that the Kachin political stand of federal value regenerated since the Panglong agreement will never permitted to be compromised with any “alien and made up political policy which diverts from any value of the Panglong Treaty” today. Today, this attack on civilians coincidently created so far, for the first time after came one day after “the Kachin Public’s rejection of Zahkung Ting Ying and Lasang Awng Wa’s insistence on the 2008 constitutional means of a political solution and the public declaration on genuine federalism.”
The factors reflecting the scenario after the attack could be highlighted extensively in the eyes of the Kachin public. It is obvious that the authorities miserably failed to rescue the victims and lacked equipment to put out the blaze. Meanwhile, the hospital was totally under high security which restricted people from visiting the hospitalized victims and to keep the media in the dark. No individual and public inquiry is being allowed and investigation is wholly controlled by the authority’s agents. The victims are infuriated. There was an arrest of a local Kachin yesterday who expressed his opinion on the attack on innocent orphans and students saying “who else will commit such a heinous crime but the Burmans…”. Meantwhile, it is reported that Tang Gun, has been arrested on his mission campaign in Kahta without any investigation. All these point to the perpetrators of the attack as the Burman authorities.
Another consideration which needs to be examined is the arrest of five members including Dayau Tang Gun of the attacked family being accused of “the multiple bomb blast on the ground floor due to lack of skill while training was being given to…” Obviously, this intense inquiry is the key to all the arrests by the authorities in order to bring out the perpetrators of the attack publicly. Consequently, a blogger of kachindailynews.com (KDN) on November 13, blames Tang Gun’s secret relationship with the KIO/A’s top leaders. It points that his residence has been available to the KIO/A. Since there is no point of accusing like this in public, such propaganda intends to have meant that “the attack is due to such intimate relationship between Mr. Tang Gun and the KIO/A.” Then, the perpetrator of this attack could be nobody except “the military backed Burmans.”
This analysis defines that the first attack on civilians is a terrorist war on Kachin people. Because the attack speaks to the Kachin masses much louder than any incident in the history of the Kachin people and has the characteristics of a terror war on the Kachin people. Firstly, the attack is systematic and intentional on innocent orphans, family members, band members, children and students. This attack is a “crime against humanity.” Secondly, all the four families who were the victims are Kachin ethnics, which shows that the attack fulfills “the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kachin people” violating the rights of ethnicity. This attack fully reflects the Burman policy over non-Burmans in Burma. Thirdly, all the victims are Christians belonging to different denominations. By the attack exclusively on Christians the perpetrating group is violating the UN declaration of religious rights. Fourthly, since most of dead and the wounded are all children under 18, the attack reflects the systematic extinction of a group of people and their future. Having violated all civilized culture of humanity, the attack has not just defined the first terror attack on Dayau’s orphanage and students but also a terror war on the Kachin people by the ruling Burman. The mission today of the Kachin should be to fight the policy of terrorism of the ruling groups, by bringing all races, groups and leaders from the Kachin soil to the International Criminal Court without delay. The Thein Sein’s government is fully responsible for the deaths of innocent Kachins.
Note: The Kachin Think Tank Society (KTTS) is organized by Kachin social and religious researchers.