Thuta Linn — BNI’s Election Newsroom recently met with Daw Nang Raw, the assistant director of Policy and Strategy Department for the Nyein Foundation (also known as Shalom Foundation), an NGO that is active in Kachin State. During the interview she shared her views on the situation in post election Kachin State.
Q: As voting was cancelled in many areas in Kachin State during the recent election, how would you sum up the Kachin State election situation?
A: We need to wait and see whether the results of the election can cover the whole of Kachin State. Also, there are members of parliament who were elected from the NLD and the previous Kachin State Chief Minister also won. So, many of us are interested to know who will become the State Chief Minister.
On the NLD’s side, there are many MPs it can appoint [as Chief Minister]. We are very interested to see who will be appointed.
I think there will be upsides and downsides. There aren’t only Kachin people in Kachin State. There are also many Shan people. So, we are interested in how the NLD will tactfully select the State Chief Minister. These could become very important factors.
Q: Do you think there will be changes with the conflict in Kachin State during the next government’s term?
A: Voting has been cancelled in many areas in Kachin State now so the new government needs to make this a priority and try to hold a by-election. If so, the peace program must be a top priority.
Also, I expect the NLD to contact the KIA/KIO, which still hasn’t signed the ceasefire agreement.
I think the NLD will meet with ethnic [armed] groups that haven’t signed the ceasefire [agreement] and voting can be held during this [next] government’s term in the areas in Kachin State where it was cancelled even though we couldn’t solve the problem during the previous government’s term.
Q: Do you think it will still be difficult for the war refugees to return home?
A: This is still quite distant. I think the refugees can only move back after the ceasefire agreement has been signed and the army settlement and army units stationed in the villages have retreated. There are still many steps to carry out.