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USDP-backed women’s peace rally in Kachin state halted

A women’s peace rally in Kachin state, which was being organized by Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) member and Sumprabum constituency Senator Hka Mai Tang’s wife, has been scrapped following a public outcry.

usdp-myitkyinaAccording to the senator’s wife, Ja Hkawn, many people misunderstood their intentions for wanting to hold a peace rally.

“When I listened to Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Kachin language program and read Internet articles it makes it seem that we don’t like the Kachin people or that the USDP forced us to have the rally.  Actually we want peace and that is 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,” said Ms. Ja Hkawn.

Lajawn Seng Tawng, who is the sister of Kachin State Chief Minister Lajawn Ngan Seng was apparently threatened because she is listed as one of the organizers for the USDP backed rally.

“Last night around at 8:45 I got from a Kachin man who told me he will kill me and all my friends if we don’t stop the rally. I was shocked,” said Lajawn Seng Tawng.

Lajawng Seng Tawng and Senator Hkyet Hting Nan’s wife claim they were never part of the rally organizing team.

Other women who were going to take part in the rally, which denounces the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), are believed to be wives of USDP members.

The main organizers were Ja Hkawn and Shara Hkawn Bu (also a wife of a USDP member).

Ja Hkawn is upset the rally that she claims was to help bring about an end to the conflict between the KIO and the government has been cancelled.

“I feel very sad because women are not allowed to express the true feelings in our hearts of wanting peace.”