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Update: KIA Under Heavy Attack Near Headquarters

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One of the Burmese military helicopters used in Friday’s attack in Kachin State. (Photo: John Sanlin / The Irrawaddy)

One of the Burmese military helicopters used in Friday’s attack in Kachin State. (Photo: John Sanlin / The Irrawaddy)

Five jet fighters and two helicopters gunships have launched heavy attacks against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Lajayang region, about 11 kilometers from Laiza, where the rebel group makes its headquarters on the Sino-Burma border, according to local sources.

KIA spokesman La Nan said the government army started shooting at bases around KIA headquarters at about 9 am on Friday and were still attacking on and off in the early afternoon. Causalities figures had not yet been reported.

La Nan said he believed orders for the attack may have come from defense officials at the national government level, as lower ranking officials could not authorize the use of jet fighters in civil wars on their own.

Speaking from a frontline base in Lajayang, Min Htay of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), a military ally of the KIA, said five jet fighters came from Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

“The jet fighters came at 9 am and fired countless rockets,” he said. “It took about an hour. We’ve heard that they’ll come back to shoot us again.

“The jet fighters were very fast. They were red and white. We can’t photograph and film well because we also have to shoot them back.”

John Sanlin, a Burmese war photographer, also said five jet fighters had been sent for the attack.

The jet fighters shot at every KIA base in Lajayang in a bid to take over the region, which is strategically located.

“Lajayang is a very important place,” Min Htay said. “They [the government’s army] want to take it over. If they get Lajayang, it means they also get Laiza.

“We heard they [the government’s army] hired professionals to come and shoot the KIA bases by jet fighters. But, we don’t know who they hired.”

The heavy attacks on Friday came after Brig-Gen Tun Tun Naung, a northern commander of the government’s army, ordered the KIA last Sunday to leave the route to Lajayang by Tuesday, saying government soldiers would be deployed there to work on administrative processes.

The KIA refused to follow the order, which it described as a military threat.

Observers, including Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Burma military watcher on the Sino-Burmese border, said the order was akin to a declaration of war.

On Thursday, one man was killed and three people were seriously wounded after the Burmese army shelled locations close to Lajayang.

The KIA resume fighting a bloody war against the government’s army for basic rights and greater autonomy after a ceasefire between both groups broke down in June 2011.

Some 70,000 internally displaced civilians have taken shelter near Laiza since then.


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26 Responses to Update: KIA Under Heavy Attack Near Headquarters

  1. And what is Thein Sein’s plan for PEACE? Using fighter jets and helicopters to assault ethnic peoples? Very heroic action? Come on!

    • A military solution again?! Never going to learn, these stick in the mud military types playing politics, always the same old trick – Union by Coercion. Good role models too they have – China and the US. You got the choice so long as it’s black like old Henry Ford would say.

      PEACE, LAND and FOOD! For crying out loud!

  2. Aung San Su Kyi will not condemn even KIO was bombed with jet fighters because he would like to be the president.

    • More than that.
      She has never condemned the Pipes or the unjust aggression. Chances are that with or without this President crap which is in fact totally meaningless, she also believes in
      1. Superiority of the Burman over the “”backward and dumb ethnics”
      2. Rape and Loot of the land from the true owners (as seen amply in “Latpadaung Massive land Destruction and Poisoning Affair” and letting the international business people to do whatever they want so long as there is money to be made.
      3. This call for “Electricity and Jobs” is an age old one used again and again all over the world heralding the destruction of not only land but cohesive, peaceful societies in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia where “Jobs” are a a dollar a day sweat shop jobs in between strikes and factory fires.. She believes in that as well.
      4. From her actions and inactions it is clear that her pathetic brain thinks making Burma looking like Singapore or Bangkok and getting electricity at all cost including killing off the people in the way is so well justified.
      5.She is the “Chosen One” lifting up not only Burma but the whole strife torn World for deliverance!. Definitely knows all the truth.

  3. Aung San Su Kyi will not condemn even KIO was bombed with jet fighters because she would like to be the president.

  4. And it will be a matter of when – not if – before the Kachins start using shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to fight back. This escalation is egoistical madness on the part of the Myanmar Government! You are trying to prove that you are militarily stronger? If not, what’s the purpose? Take over another meaningless hill-top or outpost? Intimidate the Kachin Resistance? Does it not show more courage and wisdom to put down the guns, unilaterally pull back the troops to demonstrate pureness of intention, and seek a political solution and “everlasting peace”- as the President says?

    • Sorry Ayokso. Everlasting peace, like the namesake batteries was just an idle slogan. All Burmese know that just some go along with it all the same just in case there is some thing in it for them.

      Once you are in military it is hard to being a mobile fertilizer applicators in the jungle all the time. especially when you have ready and willing help in material, methods and logistics as well as diplomatically and morally by not only loyal opposition and loyal home and “exile” media but by a large part of international business controlled international governments – dispersed but united for this- China, United States of America, India and Russia via Belarus in this particular instance.
      And no, they do not have any wisdom for peace, which they do not want. So-called “Peace” with the other armed groups are simple business deals between one armed group with the other.
      And no, they are not likely win except they will end up killing immense number of civilian population which no one in Burma or the world seems to care about at all.
      And even if they then OWN Laiza, Kachin resistance will go on.

  5. It’s a case of the Thein Sein government showing it’s true colors – talking peace while unleashing weapons of destruction. And to think the ICG is going to award Thein Sein with its top peace award!

  6. In this latest display of the deteriorating level of human decency and morality around the world, and in Burma in particular, and testament to the rise of selfishness (Utta), undeterred greed (Lawba) and disregard for justice (Ah-dammha), the most blatant military aggression of state military apparatus helped by international communities- Americans hand in hand with Chinese, Russians/ Belarusians and Indians, is currently on display conducting virulent and violent killing missions onto defenceless civilian population who only a short 2 years ago were doing nothing more aggressive than tending their own ancestral land for food productions and raising their young s in cohesive, peaceful communities.

    Thein Sein fronted Than Shwe Sit-tut doing this sort of most horrible, criminal, despicable depraved, sadistic and lunatic acts is well expected.

    So, by now, is the total silence and tacit collusion/ approval/ support by Aung San Suu Kyi and her Single Woman Party of People’s Treachery ( Party by the people, of the people and for Thein Sein) and 88′s and others as well as ever loyal “exile” and “free” inland “Media”.

    But total lack of right outrage by the American gagged international communities and (do-gooder sounding) organizations and usually vocal academics and observers is worrying as this may well herald acceptance and normalization in International Arena anywhere of Absolute Rule of the Jungle because this current display of bullying and unjust violent aggression for “business” interest is just that. Rule of the Jungle where the strong beats up the weak for food/ loot/ resource/ land/ minerals/ anything with no civilization ( at least not decent one) to stand for the justice.

    Worse than for the Kachin’s current predicament, this is bad omen for Burma and bad omen for the world. Peaceful, never will be.

    Once this Law of the Jungle is accepted as norm, YOU will be next and what do you think people would do then?

    As now, NOTHING.

    Then again there is this likelihood that Min Aung Hlaing would again keep his usual signature bumbling defeat after this spectacular but ineffective display of photogenic attacks as in the last two years when tens of thousands of Burmese youths ended up as fertilizer in the jungle. ( Should we call those boats coming up stream, “Live Fertilizer Boats”?)

    The likely defeat this time sure will spell the end for himself AND his mentor or appointer/s and therefore current apparatus of “Bamar Reform Government” pantomime show. But what happens to his current silent and open supporters, nationally and internationally, then even though they sure will shamelessly change their tune?

    So may be some in the international communities and even the Bamar national figures (real or imaginary) should make appropriate usual half-hearted noises just in case…

  7. Dear readers!
    KIA and KIO are the biggest obstacle for the peaceful future federal union. Government has already agree whatever they ask. Only the elite KIA who are enjoying the life don’t want lasting peace because peace will take away their benefits. Just because these cowards don’t want to come to peace negotiation table doesn’t mean that they are honest. Remember in the Kachin state, the Kachins are the minority. They are not majority. Kachin represents only 35% of the population in Kachin land. Not only Shans and Bamar also Kachins themselves are sick and tired of those selfish cowards. It is really the time to reprimand the KIA. Just because the Tadmadaw consider KIA as mis behaving little brother, otherwise KIA would have been wiped out much earlier. When you give them so much chance, ofcourse they will behave bad. But enough is enough. Its time to root out the mercenaries KIA. If they don’t want to come to peace table this time around, when will they come. The country as a whole never had this kind of chance in the past and there will not be so much chance like this in the future. The whole country want to move forward, but these cowards still want to dig in the past. Come on Kachin brothers, this is the time to kick KIA cowards ass. Don’t let the whole Kachin race down because of KIA cowards. Its time to move forward and build prosperous true federal union. Long live our union and KIA down down!!!!!!!!!!

    • Do you really need to go that low? I have no comment for your not only lack of understanding but the most idiotic comment ever.

    • Its the government who is the aggressor in this fighting not the KIA. it was the Tatmadaw who started to attack Kachin positions in 2011. The KIA did not start this conflict, they only defend their positions. So how can they be the obstacle if they are not the ones who started the fighting?

    • dear shan lay….after reading ur comment…i can tell u that u r either stupid or a burmese general’s unwanted kid w/ a whore…next time before u make a comment get the facts and do some research….govt’s fighting KIA cause’ KIA wont fall for govts’ lies….gov’t is losing in every battle ground (total disregard to frontline foot soldiers’ lives)…..majority of kachins (in or outside of burma) are behind KIA supporting financially emotionally and physically….damn i wasted my time on u……open up ur mind n see the truth.

  8. Shooting and fighting is the only solution for the government’s military, proving that they’re stronger and more powerfull than other minority ethnic groups. It’s obvious that they don’t care any minority ethinic groups, not only Kachin, other ethinic groups unless you don’t follow their order and obey their power.
    It is unacceptable trick that the government’s military is forcing to lead the war while they’re speaking of peach with all the ethinic groups.
    What’s ashame for Daw Aung San Su Kyi, she is still talking about to be the president of Myanmar while people are killing brutally at this moment, and yet still keep her mouth shut.
    I wonder where she kept her nobel pride, i wonder how she forgot that she talked about human right, it seems that she was only using for the politic tricks. Or else she only speaks for the burmese pople? because she fully takes responsible the kyenitawng case where many Budish Monks were injured.
    Where’s her promise and dare to fight for the minority ethinic groups, at least in the stand of the word “Human Right”.

  9. Than shwe and thein sein are planing to bamanization because DASSK will help them to get forgiveness from some naive bama and monks. After raping, killing or making weakness of all Burmese ethnics, the bama military thugs will introduce the second Panglong agreement and force all ethnics to sign this unfair agreement. In the new second Panglong agreement, there is no autonomy and no federalism. Blaming the China, India, USA and Russia is useless as there is no free lunch in the world. The payment responsibility and duty to Chinese or Indian investment loan for Burma are from our children, not from corrupted bama military thugs and their crony. Therefore, than shwe finds the good reason ( setting border guard force ) to break the 17 year ceasefire agreement and kill all ethnics , particularly brave Kachin as possible as they can before forcing second Panglong agreement. After second Panglong agreement, the role of General Aung San (GAS) will be gradually disappeared and than shwe will be bama national hero in future. Thein sein and than shwe might get green light from Obama (USA) as well with the reason of introducing second Panglong agreement. Let see time is the matter to prove DASSK wants to be bamanization or not very soon. Because DASSK has no reason to keep silent in all ethnic issue. DASSK could not or should not say the ethnic issues is complicated one so it need to apply rule of law, like Rohingya issue. DASSK must give her opinion , based on the rule of Law , she emphasizes the most for Burmese people. If so, DASSK has to press than shwe , thein sein to hornor Panglong agreement in order to fulfill late General Aung San’ Kyat slogan speech. In this speech, GAS said “if bama has one kyat (dollar), each ethnic has one kyat equally.”
    It might be possible that Kachin might destroy the Shwe gas pipe line to affect the China if there is no place to go from the result of full scale invasion and assault of bama army with air and tank power. By doing so earlier , China will be involved in the fact finding mission ( reason for broken ceasefire agreement and reaching concrete solution), initiated by USA.
    Or negotiate with China to sell their Kachin land for self-defense. To give the better term to China might be the best feasible option to solve out this problem in order to avoid ethnic cleansing from than shwe and thein sein. Do not wait for the arrival of fact finding mission from USA because than shwe can delay the grant of visa to Obama with the reason of heavy fighting in Kachin area (Obama’s men are not brave enough to go to the fighting area). Syria is using airpower and tanks to suppress his own people with the backing of China and Russia so than shwe and thein sein is copying from Syria. Ms. Clinton will resign her post so there is no lipservice from USA anymore for the use of massive military power on own people. China is busy with Dai yu island dispute with Japan, USA with gun law, India with rape victim, UK and French with poor EU economy and Russia with Putin’s power stability. The news of Syria and Egypt are more important than Kachin’s dying and death.

  10. DASSK is busy with copper mining issue and injured Buddhist monks affair. Thein sein is busy with building Bama economy to diffuse anti-Chinese atmosphere with the hope of Chinese investment for their crony. Rohingya are already confined in the poor camps for control and execution for the sake of naive Rakhine nationalist, particularly idiot Dr—-. Some Buddhist monks are happy with the suppression of Muslim religion. Military chief , Min aung laing is incapable (crying face) so as to be a royal dog of than shwe. Rival , Min ko naing is neglected by DASSK who is surrounded by former bama military men. There is no unity in Burma except USDP (Unethical, Sitha, Disorder Party), than shwe and thein sein political party. The future coalition is NLD (Non-capable Lady Dynasty) and USDP which will rule the Burma with the way of bamanization. In future , there is the Lady Dynasty in Asia due to the current Australia ,Thailand , Korean Lady prime ministers and potential in Taiwan, HK , Japan and finally China. Former Muslim lady prime minister (Benazia Bhutto) was assassinated so it seems to me that female leader is not still important role in Muslim countries. Sonia Gandi is ill however she still has a chance to be Indian prime minister in future. Do not look down lady whether good or bad or ugly like man. Long live all Burmese ethnics , particularly brave Kachin. Down fall “bamanization”.

  11. Dear Shan Lay
    Than shwe says and said to you that if KIA and KIO agree ceasefire with bama military thugs, than shwe will honor Panglong agreement in front of UN at once without any other condition. Please, answer my question first before you tell about your big , big fruitless wording. All ethnics request political solution ( ie panglong agreement ) apart from ceasefire agreement. Bama previous military ceasefire agreement is sweet but poisonous in history.

  12. Human Right =The Same Sky

    (One)

    We were born here & became as human-being on the earth

    There will be difference, at the places, colors, cultures and the words

    But we are the man-kind, creating with these of kinds- mind, spirit & body flash

    Every man gives the love, everyone has the love, everybody wants to get the love

    The love is not sexual, the love is not sensual, the loving-kindness is the one we share

    They are, we are, everybody, wanted to have kindness of the one

    They are, we are, everybody, doesn’t want to feel the suffering

    They are, we are, everybody, doesn’t want to make the one of pains

    They are, we are, everybody, wanted to feel the real as man-kind

    They are, we are, everybody, valued the standard of man life

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, we all need to see them as we are

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, we all need to recognize them as men

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, we all need to forgive every one

    (Two)

    If I or you, we are people, we want other to accept as a man

    If I or you, we are people, I or you want to be the one of men

    If I or you, we are people, we want to have love of every one

    Every man gives the love, everyone has the love, everybody wants to get the love

    The love is not sexual, the love is not sensual, the loving-kindness is the one we share

    They are, we are, everybody, let’s start take care other with our love

    They are, we are, everybody, let’s start to accept other as man-kind

    They are, we are, everybody, let’s start to hold other’s hand as a man

    They are, we are, everybody, let’s start to give sympathy (them) as man life

    They are, we are, everybody, let’s stay & gather with the man’s wisdom

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, we are going to see them as we are

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, we will recognize to them as we are

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, we’re going to forgive really them.

    The love is not sexual, the love is not sensual, the loving-kindness is the one we share

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, we have gather stay under same sky

    The love is not sexual, the love is not sensual, the loving-kindness is we’re making share

    We are here people one line, we are here real man-kind, let’s stay together under the same sky.

  13. Dear Shan Lay
    Shan Lay wrote (1)”KIA and KIO are the biggest obstacle for the peaceful future federal union. Government has already agree whatever they ask.” (2) “The whole country want to move forward, but these cowards still want to dig in the past. Come on Kachin brothers, this is the time to kick KIA cowards ass. Don’t let the whole Kachin race down because of KIA cowards. Its time to move forward and build prosperous true federal union.”
    The above 2 paragraphs are not true facts because i never read or hear those from bama military mouthpiece newspaper as well as than shwe, thein sein , DASSK , Aung min , min aung laing.

    From my understanding and all available news, bama military thugs starts to break 17 years ceasefire agreement with the reason of force introduction of border guard force which is totally controlled by bama military thugs.
    If you could not give the above 2 paragraphs you wrote is correct from the documented announcement or speech ( thein sein –etc) or authority withing one week, you should disappear from this column for misleading the world or for your psychiatric problem ( delusion or illusion).
    Do you know previous all ceasefire agreements give a lot of promise from bama military thugs ( including honor of panglong agreement in second stage or whatever after ceasefire ) but in vain ? Please , check the all outcomes of the previous situations of all ceasefire agreement, initiated by bama military thugs. You can check with Ne win’s man , Khin Nyunt for the details of last ceasefire agreement. Finally, bama military thugs find the unethical reasons to break the ceasefire agreement unilaterally. Now, KIA and KIO is asking both ceasefire agreement as well as political solution ( Panglong agreement ) at the same time.

    Do you hear or learn about the “tiger and child story” in your school days? The child shouts to his friends for help for 2 times because tiger is coming to attack him. His friends believes that boy’s request for coming out for help. However, the boy smiles or laughs at his friends without any explanation for their coming out for 2 times. There is no tiger seen around that boy. On the third time for shouting help from the child, his friends do not come out for help except you. I am very sure, you , Shan Lay will come out for helping that boy because your name has “Shan”. “Shan” in Bama language means you are careless but “Shan” in Burmese ethnic means sincere, kind , generous, religious and beautiful people and lands. You , “Shan” is played or manipulated by bama military thugs as an immature boy or toy or low IQ. “Lay” in bama language means you are small, immature, slow because you still trust that boy who calls you ( Shan Lay ) for help in third time. Therefore , you are not ethnic “SHAN”. You are opportunistic bama SHAN with the association of bama military thugs. Please, look forward to be mature enough to appear in this column.

  14. Firstly, KIA/KIO could not trust all the Burmese people including Aunt Su. It will be hard to find for KIA/ KIO for some one they can trust in Myanmar. Since, they could not trust Aunt Su and President Thein Sein. I don’t think The Lord Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha will come down to Myanmar and talk to both side for their peace agreement. If you could not believe and trust these most respected persons, there will be no way for talking about political dialogue or cease fire .

    Secondly, it sames like the current President has no power on Military Chief and Military affair. They have three government system.

    Thirdly, The country Military has responsible for protecting the country and it’s entire sovereignty but they forgot to protect the people who suffer in the battle field. They believe those people who live and work in the rebel area were their enemies.

    Fourthly, KIA/KIO should review their policy and tactic upon the way they approach to Myanmar government. There must be one solution which they have to find out them self.

    Finally, When we talk about federalism, all the insurgent groups shall transform into border guard and their will be no separate commander . All of this command should come of the country highest head of the President or the King.

    • His Majesty Mintaragee Than Shwe I guess. BGF was the bone of contention. On the surface it seems sensible as no armed unit must exist outside the command of the Defence Ministry within these borders. However with no political settlement forthcoming who in their mind would put down their arms or submit to a Burmese command?

      First neither ASSK the outsider nor Thein Sein the insider stands a chance against the paramount power structure, namely the NDSC (kar lon).

      Secondly the last time the army defended the realm was against the CIA backed KMT invasion in eastern Burma. It has been turned into an instrument of repression and exploitation ever since even in the Burmese heartlands, so what chance the minorities in a free fire zone? The US in Vietnam was a great role model. Is it any better in Iraq or Afghanistan?

      Thirdly the KIO, with the US on board, need to talk to both China and the Burmese regime for a political solution. Never mind ASSK.

      Finally federalism is the last thing on this govt’s mind. ASSK dropped Second Panglong like a hot potato after dipping her toes in the federalist water. Herein lies the biggest hurdle to meaningful national reconciliation, easy enough to achieve elite reconciliation like we have witnessed between ASSK and Thein Sein. The elephant in the room is going nowhere.

  15. I guess it wasn’t very smart for KIA to attack police stations and prison convoys and sending only low level delegations to peace talks. We all knew the government forces were holding back.

    I read in New York Times before that the KIA/KIO leaders were driving around in their SUV’s and golfing every week, while ordinary Kachins were being sent off to the front line.

    Let’s hope the rank and file Kachin soldiers realize that they’re being used as pawns by their so-called leaders.

  16. Mr Shanlay:
    I know you are intentionally insulting the KIA and all ethnic armed groups. I don’t know how much the Burmese Army pay you to write such
    stupid and nonsense informations. You are pathetic! Shame, shamed on you!

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