The government’s lack of accountability to the people could be hampering peace

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Soe Htike Aung

Khu Ko Reh, Coordinator of the Karenni Civil Society Network (KCSN), said that the current government’s lack of accountability to the people in the peace process between the Burmese Army and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) in Kayah (Karenni) State has hampered the peace process.

It is said the government’s lack of accountability for the land confiscation to the farmlands of farmers and the arrests and lawsuits against young protesters who protested the statue, and the human rights abuses, has affected the state’s peace process.

“The current winning government, as we have seen, does not have much responsibility for the people. Besides, the farmers were sued. They also arrested or filed a lawsuits against young people for protesting against the Bo Gyoke statue; like that. In fact, if we talk about peace, either the state government or central government should think it conscientiously. On a trip that has not yet reached peace, the issues like I said, the lawsuits against youth, farmland issues, and the arrests are an obstacle to our ongoing peace. I see like this.”

The KCSN released their statement on December 14 that the government was not responsible for the local people who are inequally treated such as they Burmese military has confiscated 1,500 acres of land belonging to farmers in Loikaw and Deemawso townships and jailed 41 protesters, and they also confiscated 125 acres of land in Hpa-Saung Township during the new forest conservation period.

Regarding the announcement, Khu Ko Reh said, “We have to say especially our Karenni State. In Karenni State, we want to disclose the situation in our internal affairs evolving to the international community, to our government, to company and up to the current National Democratic Government (NLD). What is new for us; something like that in Karenni State. There are land issues, and the other issue like how did things change during the COVID period. Another thing we want to make it clear whether they are following the guidelines set by the union.”

The government is working on large-scale non-transparent projects in extracting resources and resources that could harm local people in Karenni State, such as the expansion of lead and lead mining in Mawchi. The government said in their statement that it had met with a small number of local people at a refinery in Section 2 of the Loikaw Industrial Zone in Loikaw, and that the government and companies were conducting field studies on the construction of the Nam Ta Bet River hydropower project in Kayah (Karenni) State.

The KCSN also said that the government was using the peace process in Karenni State as a weapon.

During the COVID outbreak and the unilateral ceasefire period, the Burmese Army launched a military operation in Kayah (Karenni) State. Thus, in May 2020, the clash occured within the unauthorized incursions into army camps’ areas of Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP).

In addition, one of the KNPP military bases in Nankit, Hpa-Saung Township, has been set on fire by the Burmese army on August 17, 2020.

The government ordered to remove a total of 20 checkpoints in rural areas, which is controlled by the KNPP’s health department, the Karenni Mobile Health Committee (KnMHC), and its COVID checkpoint in Hpa-Saung Township was also set on fire, Khu Ko Reh said.

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