Day Three. Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Breakfast is served by Sai Hserh En (Small Tiger) who also works as a tourist guide. He says he’s seen both Sao Harn and myself quite often in video clips.

At 09:30, we are on our way again. About an hour later, we come to a Kachin village (called Kadu in Kachin and Tongbikwan in Chinese), where we have an early lunch.

Visiting on IDP camp in Laiza, 14 February 2017. (Photo: PI)

At 13:00, we are across the border and installed at the Laiza Hotel. We are then informed that no meetings have been planned for today. Reasons:

  • Chairman Zawng Hra is away on medical leave
  • Military chief Gen Gam Shawng is also on an inspection trip along the border and is not expected to be back until after the meeting in Pangkham, planned 22-24 February
  • Generals N’Ban La and Gun Maw are also on their way to Laiza, and meetings with the KIO CEC and SMJH should wait for them

The rest of the day is spent visiting two IDP camps: Je Yang and Hpun Lum Yam (Hot Springs).

Out of more than 100,000 displaced by the fighting, some 40,000 are said to be staying inside KIO/KIA controlled areas and the rest inside Myanmar Army controlled area.

The list of donors include Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Metta, Health Unlimited, UNHCR and WFP (24 July 2015-end of 2016).

“The WFP wants us to move into government controlled areas so it can continue to help,” one of the IDP camp administrators says. “But there is too much distrust of the government among the IDPs that persuading them to move there is out of the question.”

At 17:00, we have dinner with Gen N’Ban La and SMJH members. The meeting with SMJH will be tomorrow at 13:30.

(To be continued)