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As Burma's civil-war goes on, Kachin Rebels shot down Burma Army's copter

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During a visit to Burma in early December, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she would like to see an end to the conflicts, particularly the terrible conflicts with ethnic minorities.

At a press conference in Rangoon on 6 January, marking the end of his visit to Burma, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "this country's border regions have been scarred by conflict and suffering, particularly in Kachin state, where fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people in recent months. .... I encourage all sides today to seize this moment of change, to agree to a formal cessation of hostilities and uphold international law, and to begin serious political dialogue as part of a national reconciliation process."

However, Burma Army has been launching war against the Kachin rebels insistently, although there are heavy casualties on its side. Starting from 9 June, the 7-month long civil war claimed more than a thousand lives of government soldiers.

On January 4 Burma's Independence Day, officials from the Kachin Independence Organization's armed wing confirmed that their fighters shot down a Burmese army transport helicopter in northern Kachin State, Kachin News Group said Friday.

The pilot of the Russian-built helicopter died in the smash, after crash landing in a paddy field near Sinlum Bum village in N'Mawk (Momauk) Township, said Zau Seng a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) officer stationed on the front line.

As said by Zau Seng, after KIA fighters fired their small arms at the helicopter, it was severely damaged and also failed attempt to drop off supplies at a government military-base near Mu Bum Mountain.

The transport helicopter started on generating smoke after repeatedly hit by machine gun fire from troops from the KIA's 3rd Brigade, quoting eyewitnesses' report Kachin News Group said. The helicopter crashed several miles away from the Mu Bum base during a visible retreat to its home base in Manmaw.

The remains of the helicopter were discovered the following day by local villagers.

Fighting between the KIA and government forces has continued unabated for nearly seven months, despite President Thein Sein has instructed the army to cease the Kachin offensive on December 10. Then, a question comes out that why does the commander-in-chief Gen. Min Aung Hlaing turn a deaf ear to the president. Is it a trick played by president and the army boss? Or, is the band of soldiers against the president's reform plan?

    In his message to the 64th Anniversary Independence Day, President Thein Sein says: "Unity and cooperation of the entire national people are instrumental to building the Republic of the Union of Myanmar into a modern, developed democratic nation. If national solidarity disintegrated, the goal of democracy could not be achieved."

While President is saying to amity and unison among the ethnic groups on 4 January Independence Day, his armed forces have been fighting fiercely against the Kachin Independence Organization in the Kachin State up to date. It is inconsistent terminology of the president since the regime has been launching war against the Kachin rebels in full swing.

Although Burma's military-backed government has kept quiet to release the number of Burmese soldiers killed in action during the Kachin offensive, KIA sources say the Burmese army has sustained its worst losses in more than two decades.   Some experienced Burmese military observers have supported a claim that the Burma Army's Generals take no notice of the safety of their own badly trained recruit soldiers.

The latest series of armed clashes in Kachin state have prompted observers to believe that the futile war in the border regions may not be preventable. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) at the end of December, the tens of thousands now displaced are in "great need of humanitarian assistance".

The Thein Sein government seems to be uninterested ending hostilities upon Kachin Independence organization. So, it is obvious the government is not heading toward democratic system.   As an alternative, it attempts to get hold of the Kachin State wickedly.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made a comment Thursday: "I am concerned about how much support there is in the military for changes. In the end that's the most important factor, how far the military are prepared to cooperate with reform principles."

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi said addressing the country's long-lasting ethnic conflicts is predictable the more fundamental issue in due course, since there is not ethnic unification it will be very hard for all to build up a strong democracy.

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Zin Linn was born on February 9, 1946 in a small town in Mandalay Division. He began writing poems in 1960 and received a B.A (Philosophy) in 1976. He became an activist in the High School Union after the students' massacre on 7th July 1962. (more...)

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