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Press Release about the armed conflicts in Kachin State

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The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Press Release

1.    The Embassy of the United States of America in Yongon issued a Press Release about the armed conflicts in Kachin State on January 24, 2013.

2.    The government is endeavoring in good faith to achieve cease-fire and peace agreement with all ethnic armed groups with the aim of national reconciliation and national unity. As a result, peace agreements have been achieved at various stages with all ethnic armed groups except KIO/KIA.

3.    The peace door remains open for the KIO/KIA and the government has repeatedly invited them to the peace talks. As the President has ordered the Tatmadaw to cease military actions in Kachin State on January 19, 2013, the Tatmadaw forces followed the the instructions of the President. Likewise, the KIA/KIO also needs to reciprocate in the same manner.

4.    Although Myanma Tatmadaw has ceased all military operations against KIA, the KIA has constantly attacked Tatmadaw troops. Therefore, the Tatmadaw troops had to react for self-defense.

5.    Immediately following the President's instruction to cease all offensive operations, the KIA troops attacked Tatmadaw military column with strong forces near Ja Mai village in Lweje Township, and a military camp near Phakhant. Kar Mine Police Station was raided and destroyed. Two Gems company buildings in Phakhant Township were torched, civilians were abducted and a civilian vehicle was exploded by a landmine laid by the KIA near Nom-Um village on Muse-Lashio motorway.

6.    As KIA troops have constantly launched such terrorist attacks, the Tatmadaw had to take military actions just to protect and safe guard the peace and tranquility of the community and for the prevalence of law and order. The Government has been issuing press releases from time to time on every account of the events, in order to provide true information to the public.

7.    Although the Government has been exerting such efforts for the national unity and peace, the US Embassy press release has mentioned the continuation of Myanmar Tatmadaw's military offensive in the vicinity of KIA's Headquarters and its strong opposition quoting sources from some media and NGOs. The press release could cause misunderstanding in the international community as it did not mention anything about terrorist actions and atrocities committed by the KIA against the innocent people, destruction of life and property and abduction, but on the other hand, elaborating the events as if only the Myanmar Government and the Tatmadaw launched the offensive. Myanmar strongly objects and rejects such statement.

8.    During his visit to Myanmar on 19 November 2012, and also at the ASEAN-US Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 20 November 2012, President Obama dully addressed the Republic of the Union of Myanmar as "Myanmar".

9.    Myanmar strongly objects the usage of the words "Burma", "Burmese Government" and "Burmese Military” in the US Embassy's press release not properly using the name recognized by the United Nations and the whole international community, which are not in line with the international ethnics. Myanmar hopes that the US Embassy will avoid in future actions that may affect mutual respect, mutual understanding and cooperation which have recently been restored between the two countries.

10.    The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar reiterates that it is ready to join hands with all nationalities including KIO/KIA to build peace and national reconsolidation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Nay Pyi Taw.

25 January 2013

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