Tue 22 Jan 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Authorities briefly stopped activists during their more than 800-mile trek from Rangoon to the battlefields in Kachin state after entering Pegu division on Tuesday morning. Yan Naing Htun, one of the estimated 50 participants that began marching from Rangoon yesterday, said government officials and the police stopped the activists for holding flags while marching.
The officials told the activists to restrain from holding up their baby-blue flags while marching through the administrative region around 10:40am this morning. They were then allowed to continue walking about 20 minutes later with their flags tied around their necks.
“I don’t think it’s a right thing to tell us to drop the flags,” said Yan Naing Htun.
Dozens of activists set off on Monday on the march from Rangoon to Laiza in Kachin state, where the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have been repelling a massive ground and air offensive from the Burmese military.
The activists have pledged to walk 14 hours a day to protest the government’s ongoing conflict with the KIA. The trip will take approximately two months to complete.
Although the government announced a unilateral ceasefire with the KIA last week, the Burmese army continues to inch closer to the rebel stronghold and target key Kachin positions near Laiza.