The Mark of the 5th Anniversary of Radio Free Asia (RFA)-Kachin
The Voice of the Victims: The Solidarity and the Struggle for Existence
“The world cannot always understand one's profession of faith, but it can understand service.” Maclaren
Today we celebrate the auspicious historic fifth anniversary of The Radio Free Asia-Kachin in its Headquarters at Chiang Mai and inside the Kachinland and abroad, along with our committed comrades. We sincerely acknowledge “the causing power” which enables RFA-Kachin to be successful thus far despite various limitations. First, special gratitude today goes to the Creator God, Chyewa Ningchyang, the Source of the creating power, who Himself is the author of “this mission” and who has enabled the office bearers to fulfill the mission under his care and blessing. Second, our gratitude is once again expressed to the Kachin public who have supported our efforts during good times always being positive in responding to the RFA-Kachin, even occasionally playing the role of local journalists, being informers, acting as decoders of the broadcast message, moral and spiritual supporters through prayers throughout the past year, despite the risk in the midst of their struggle for survival during the on-going civil war.
Third, the supporting body is singled out for their unfailing financial aid given with the hope of positive change and political justice in Burma.
And, last but not the least, special thanks and appreciation goes to the Active Office Bearers, including the journalists, the informers based in India, Thailand and locally in Kachinland, the broadcasters and comrades who have committed to this mission and to “liberating the truth” which has been suppressed and oppressed by every governing authority in Kachinland. We highly honor all of them for their “heroic and courageous service” by standing with the Kachin people in the struggle for political truth in Burma.
Thus, this auspicious occasion marks the RFA-Kachin’s representation of The Voice of the Victims in the civil war which has raged since June 9 in the Kachinland in Burma.
Service for the Mandating Mission for Truth
At its 5th anniversary, the RFA-Kachin again makes it known its loyalty and faithfulness to “the mission for liberation.” In fact, the focus of the Radio Broadcasts is an issue based campaign centered on “the fact, the reality and the truth” be presented to the public within limited time and space. Thus, it is not just performance and entertainment but the “the objective creativity of the media-comrades” with constant and consistent “commitment, service and sacrifice” for that mandate.
Institutionally, it looks like a business for ones’ profit, but it is “the mission of objective creativity” liberating the suppressed news relating to rights and freedom, the civilized norms of the world and the rights and privileges provided in the Federal principle in Burma.
Indeed, the nature of the job is receiving the news, pursuing the news, collecting data: facts, events, figures, compiling and editing, analyzing the data, formulating the data into news and finally recording and sending the program into the General Headquarters for broadcast on the radio. There is something beyond the science of media in making it a grand success on the basis of the mission for the people, by the people and with the people. This mission need not be just business minded, rather “the mind and culture of creativity” which requires “commitment, technology, sacrifice and service” for bringing change and liberation for the targeted groups of people facing oppression.
Today, in Kachinland there are still various forms of oppression of the truth by way of hiding news, avoiding the media, being afraid of media, not telling the news and a lack of knowledge due to the threats and strict prohibition by the rulers and local authorities. However, Radio RFA-Kachin so far has accomplished the mission of liberating the truth relating to the co-existence of humanity and environment initiating the media culture in Kachinland.
The Marks Victims and Their Representation
At this time, the attention in relation to the issue of civil war is rightly paid to the “victims” of war, as it has represented various truths and a real picture. The victims could be categorized in the on-going civil war between the Burman troops and the Kachin Army in Kachin State and Kachin-sub-state, the northern Shan State, since June, as follows: First, among the army 1) those killed in the war, 2) the wounded, 3) casualties in the battlefields, Second: among the civilians 1) the wounded, 2) killed in skirmishes 3) the porters killed and those used as human shields on the frontline, Third: violation of human rights 1) women raped, 2) women killed 3) children and old people killed 4) civilians tortured 5) the abused and fourth: the internally displaced persons numbering over 20,000, taking shelter in 15 IDP camps in the KIO/A’s controlled area at Laiza and Maijayang and in Waimaw, Manmaw, Sama, Mungmau, Myitkyina, and so on.
First, today we want to mark those victims with our wholehearted compassion at this juncture, not forgetting their suffering, torture, affliction, rape, violation, insult, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, discrimination and merciless killing. Today, at this time, we honor you for the price you have paid for “the value of the existence of and the rule of justice, peace, and liberation from the enemy, who has robbed your life, existence, rights and political beliefs” in Kachinland. We are lamenting your loss, yet your spirit of faithful service for the cause of our “existence and political justice” will never die and fade away. That cause reflects your love of our people, the Kachins of Kachinland, and the truth of liberation.
In the meantime, Radio RFA-Kachin has told of “the mission you did and your spirit of love for the nation and justice”, which will continually live in the minds of the Kachins.
Second, the survival of victims and IDPs today marks the symbolism of the suffering of the Kachin who thirst for the truth and liberation from all forms of injustice in Kachinland. In fact, you are inscribing the history of the acts of the ruling elite who have systematically turned the land into a desert, polluted the rivers, the forest into barren land, and violated the rights of the people with the power of military might. Nevertheless, today your voice through the Radio RFA-Kachin speaks clearly of the struggle for the liberation of the people and the struggle against the injustice of the ruling government. This voice of struggle against all oppressive systems is the challenging message for the Kachin at this historic time.
The Voice of RFA-Kachin and Its Representation
Today the RFA-Kachin is the voice of the victims of the on-going civil war between the Burmese troops and the Kachin Army. Having raised its voice with the victims, the RFA-Kachin symbolizes the on-going struggle of the Kachin for political liberation from the military led government today in Kachinland and Burma. Thus, the voice of the RFA-Kachin represents the commitment to its (media) role, the solidarity with the dead victims and their families, the on-going struggle for the liberation of those left behind, the love of the Kachin public and the Land, the service to and for the truth and the Kachin people and also its involvement in the current struggle for the Kachins’ survival and liberation from all forms of oppression by the military- backed civil Government. In short, Radio RFA-Kachin is the voice of solidarity with those victims, the voice of the struggle for liberation from oppression and the voice of the objective existence of the Kachin as Christians, the Nation, the Land and Federalism.
Therefore, this occasion is marking the sacrifice of the victims, both the deceased and those still suffering today, acknowledging their struggle and sacrifice for the betterment of the political situation for Kachins and their Land. Today, we mark the victims of the civil war who symbolize the suffering, the struggling and the belief of the Kachins as a whole and in their on-going struggle for liberation from all forms of oppression under the ruling government. At this juncture, the RFA-Kachin’s voice identifies its solidarity with the victims, representing the commitment to its (media) role, the on-going struggle for liberation, love, and service to the survival of the Kachins’ and justice and against all forms of oppression by the military backed civil Government.