The politics surrounding a women’s peace rally in Kachin State came to the fore this week when a rally organized by the wife of a leading local USDP member was forced to cancel after public opposition and threats.
|Members of government-backed USDP party celebrated the 64th Kachin State Day on January 10 in this file photograph. Photo: KNG|
“When I listened to Radio Free Asia’s Kachin language program and read Internet articles it made it seem that we don’t like the Kachin people or that the USDP forced us to have the rally,” she told the Kachin News Group (KNG).
“Actually we want peace and that’s why we were organizing it. But due to the misunderstanding, we are not going to do it because it will only confuse the Kachin community,” Ja Hkawn said.
Lajawn Seng Tawng, the sister of Kachin State Chief Minister Lajawn Ngan Seng, said she was threatened because she was listed as one of the organizers even though she was not a member of the organizing team.
Apparently, some people believed that the rally was political in nature, and that it intended to oppose the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).
Peace talks between the government and KIO peace teams have failed to make progress in recent months as fighting continues in the state.
Ja Hkawn told KNG she intended for the rally to help bring about peace.
“I feel sad because women were not allowed to express the true feelings in their heart of wanting peace,” she said.