The Burmese government’s demand that a Kachin cultural body mediate and pressurize the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) to accept the government’s offer of peace has been refused, said sources in the body.
The Kachin Literature and Culture Body (Jinghpaw Laili Laika hte Htunghking Hpung - JLH in Kachin) based in Northern Shan State is dominated by the Kachin community. It took a decision on October 27 to refuse to either persuade or pressurize the KIO to sit across the table for peace talks with the government, said the sources.
Earlier, the nominally civilian government led by former-general Thein Sein pressed the Northern Shan State’ Kachin cultural body to persuade the Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) 4th Brigade based in Northern Shan State to accept the offer for peace talks with the government, the sources added.
A member of the JLH told Kachin News Group, “The Burman-led government’s peace offer does not guarantee political rights to the Kachin people. Their motive is to quickly transform the KIA’s brigade 4 to the Burmese Army-controlled militia group like the Kachin Defense Army (Kawnghka militia group). This is the reason why we cannot mediate with the KIA”.
The latest government peace offer to the KIA’s Brigade 4 has come after a military offensive on the brigade in which the Burmese Army seized the brigade command - Loikang in the last week of September.
There are seven battalions under the KIA’s brigade 4--- No. 2, No. 8, No. 9, No. 19, No. 29, No. 36 and No. 38 in Northern Shan State, based in three townships--- Kutkai, Muse and Namtu.
The isolated KIA brigade has been pressurized many times to surrender or transform into militia groups by the Burmese government before it launched a new military offensive on the KIA on June 9.