Myanmar admits to using jet fighters in Kachin

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by SajeevJino, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Myanmar admits to using jet fighters


    A government official admitted that the Myanmar military carried out airstrikes against ethnic rebels in Kachin state after previous government reports denied the offensive.In an interview with Voice of America's Burmese Service, an unnamed government representative said jets were used against fighters of the Kachin Independence Organization.


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    Earlier reports, including by the BBC, said the director of the president's office, Zaw Htay, claimed that only training aircraft were used in the area and only to resupply soldiers on the ground.

    However, video footage shot by the humanitarian agency Free Burma Rangers and shown by the BBC on its website allegedly shows a military plane firing rockets at rebels in trenches.

    "The aircraft being used are K8 training aircraft, not fighter jets, that's the information I got from the military," the BBC quotes Zaw as saying.

    But the VOA report said the Myanmar government backtracked on its previous denial. The station's source said the army used airstrikes to help regain a base during an increase in fighting that started last week near rebel headquarters in Laiza, close to the Chinese border.

    The escalation in fighting in the northern state could be a setback to the government's ongoing reforms to move from a previous military dictatorship to a more open democratic society -- and the lifting of more international economic sanctions.

    In particular, the increased fighting and use of aircraft could be a blow to the reform plans of President Thein Sein, a senior junta leader turned civilian politician who won a national election in late 2010.

    The BBC said the video footage suggests that the army is going beyond Thein Sein's public instructions to fight only in self-defense.

    It also raises questions about how much authority Thein Sein, a 67-year-old ex-general has over the military, which is guaranteed 25 percent of seats in Parliament and continues to be a major player in civilian political life, the BBC said.

    Despite the move to a more open and democratic society, the government continues its long-running fight with rebels in several states including Kachin, Karen, Shan and Mon.

    The conflicts have been running for most of the years since Myanmar -- formerly called Burma -- gained independence from the British in 1948.

    Many of the rebel groups are fighting for more autonomy from the central government and a greater share in the exploitation of natural resources to raise living standards in their regions.

    In Kachin state, tens of thousands of people have been displaced when a 17-year cease-fire collapsed in June 2011.

    A report by the Irrawaddy news website claims the military also is using helicopter gunships.

    Hla Seng, a soldier from the All Burma Students' Democratic Front, an armed group fighting alongside Kachin rebels, said four helicopters, including Mi-24s, fired on KIA bases.

    "They (the army) have been attacking us non-stop by using the planes for six days," Irrawaddy quotes Hla as saying.

    "Now, they're heating up the war by using jet fighters, helicopter gunships, artillery weapons and chemical weapons," he told he Irrawaddy in a phone call from the region.

    Lamai Gum Ja, a Kachin national who heads the intermediary civilian Kachin Peace-Talk Creation Group, condemned the use of airstrikes.

    "I think it's inappropriate," he said. "It can harm the peacemaking process."

    Myanmar admits to using jet fighters
     
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  3. prakashbioc

    prakashbioc Regular Member

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    Another Genocide, after Sri Lanka
     
  4. afako

    afako Regular Member

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    All Illegal Bangladeshis should be Bombed in India.
     
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  5. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Myanmar says Kachin air strikes 'self-defence'


    Myanmar said Friday that air strikes targeting ethnic minority rebels in the northern state of Kachin were in self-defence, vowing "maximum restraint" in the face of growing international concern.Fighting between the military, known as the Tatmadaw, and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the far north of the country also known as Burma has worsened in recent days.


    In a statement, Myanmar's reformist government accused the rebels of Kachin of blowing up railway tracks, roads and bridges, ambushing military columns and threatening local people.

    "Due to these circumstances, the Tatmadaw had to take military action as self defence and in order to protect the safety of lives and properties of the people, safe and smooth transportation and peace and tranquility of the region," the statement said.

    "Even though (the) Tatmadaw had to take this action, it has exercised with maximum restraint in using force," it added.
    Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in the state of Kachin since June 2011, when a 17-year ceasefire between the government and the KIA broke down, prompting months of fierce fighting with gun and artillery fire.

    The United States said Wednesday it was "deeply troubled" by the recent use of aid raids while UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Myanmar "to desist from any action that could endanger the lives of civilians living in the area or further intensify the conflict in the region".
    The Kachin clashes, along with communal unrest in the western state of Rakhine, have overshadowed dramatic political changes since Myanmar's widely praised emergence from decades of army rule in early 2011.

    Myanmar has reached tentative ceasefires with most of the other major ethnic rebel groups, but several rounds of talks with the Kachin have shown little tangible progress.

    The Kachin accuse the government of pushing dialogue only on the basis of a ceasefire and troop withdrawals, neglecting to address longstanding demands for greater political rights and complaints about Chinese-led construction of dams and other projects in the resource-rich region.

    China, traditionally a key backer of the Myanmar regime, said Friday it had made a diplomatic complaint to Myanmar after three bombs landed on its territory on Sunday evening but caused no casualties.


    Myanmar says Kachin air strikes 'self-defence'
     
  6. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    China keeps strong ties with northen minority groups ("automonous" regions of Myanmar), not only thanks to cultural ties but also as a leverage. Many of them such as Wa State and Kokang speak and teach Chinese with textbooks from China.

    Kachin's kinsmen across the border is Jingpo people in Yunnan. In times of conflict Kachin refugees flee to China. Both Thein Sein and Suu Kyi (both from the Burmese majority) are in thrall to ethnic entanglements.

    Jingpo (Kachin) Sword
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