Today, April Fools Day, much of the world is cheering for democratic elections in Burma, this is what voting looks like in Kachin. This is where one of the polls should have been. This is where the 2008 referendum took place in Laiza.
Today it is void of people and a distribution center for donations to refugees caused by the fighting which the Burmese president has publicly order to stop on two occasions, however his commanders have ignored his orders.
Laiza is one of the largest towns in N. Burma, however no elections were ever planned for here. In the whole of the Kachin State other elections were planned, but later cancelled due to “security concerns”. Aung San Suu Kyi and others have openly said there are no security concerns and the government has self-serving motives. The KIO said they would help protect the polling stations if asked and would cause no problems of any kind. Despite the governments excuse not matching reality, which the Burmese government has a long history of, many foreign press reported it as truth and made it seem like the KIO/KIA were threatening the elections.
The 2012 Bi-elections had two prominent Kachin set to run for office, Bawk Ja and Dr. Tuja. The Kachin State Progressive Party is still banned from contesting the elections.
The sign above the clothes says, “the path to victory is practicality” True to their words – until the lofty goal of voting reaches Laiza, they will continue to use it for more practical purposes.
If the world believes in these elections, the Burmese government will have pulled off the biggest April fools joke in history.