The KIO/KIA

The Kachin Independence Organization/Kachin Independence Army started in 1961 after the Kachin leaders had tried for over a decade to get the rights promised to the Kachin people in the Panglong Agreement when they decided to join with Burma to make a Union of Myanmar and get independence from England.

Leading up to the founding of the KIO/KIA was the central government’s decision to take over all of the schools in Kachin State, replace Kachin language and history classes with Burmese lessons, and declare Buddhism as the state religion.  It became clear that there was no chance of the internal autonomy promised to the Kachin through diplomacy alone.  See history for more details

Today the Kachin Independence organization has a full civilian government based in Laiza and giving services to most of Kachin State.  Here are a few examples of the KIO’s services and level of development: They run native language schools, Teacher training colleges, immigration for their borders, civilian police, a TV station, newspapers, libraries, hospitals, a nurse training collage, a sustainable hydro power station and more government departments than one can keep track of.

General Gam Shawng Kachin Independence Army Chief of Staff

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