Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, the General Secretary for the largest Kachin Christian church in Burma, the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) released a statement urging its membership to pray to God for the best resolution of the growing political crisis in Kachin State.
“Some places are faced with threats, some are living in hard conditions and worrisome situations are increasing everywhere,” said the statement released on May 20.
The KBC encouraged its members to pray for peace during the Sunday worship service and also the prayer cell services.
Military tension has been growing between Burmese government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) since September 1, 2010, when the Burmese regime ended a 16 year treaty, signed in 1994.
After ending the ceasefire agreement the Burmese government sent more troops and heavy weapons into Kachin State, especially close to KIA military camps and increased the pressure on the KIA to disarm.
In western Kachin State, the Hugawng valley based KIA Battalion No. 14 faced Burmese Army mortar shelling on April 26. However, the Burmese military later apologized to the KIA by saying it was an unfortunate accident during an exercise.
On May 18, Burmese Army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 320, based in Myothit, N’Mawk (Momauk) Township, fired a 75 mm mortar at least three times at KIA Battalion 25, based at Dum Bung Krung, Manmaw (Bhamo) District.
And, KIA 4th Brigade, based in Loikang, Northern Shan State, faces pressure from the Burmese government which planned to construct a road which will pass through the center of the area controlled by the 4th Brigade.
The 4th Brigade has warned the road construction crew to stop the work to avoid clashes with the government.
More than 10 Burmese soldiers have been killed and injured by KIA landmines, when they tried to enter the KIA’s controlled areas.
KIO chairman, Lanyaw Zawng Hra, has warned the consequences of the Myitsone dam construction on the Irrawaddy river, about 27 miles from Myitkyina, the Capital of Kachin State, would cause civil war and if that happened it was not their (the KIO’s) responsibility, in a statement to the President of the People’s Republic of China asking for a halt to the dam construction.
“We have been always prayed for peace in our land. But, this time there are a lot of incidents happening and we need special prayer for peace,” the KBC said in the announcement.