The media war in Kachin State continues, with the The New Light of Myanmar ramping up the regularity of its coverage. Earlier I pointed out the months of quiet — when the Kachin war was completely missing from Burma’s official news. There are now almost daily reports from Kachin State, with stories on everything from the explicitly tactical to the charmingly mundane. The most recent tells us:
KIA (Kachin) armed group blasts Myitkyina-Mandalay railroad again
NAY PYI TAW, 1 May- About one and a half miles from Hsahmaw railway station on Myitkyina- Mandalay railroad, about two-foot rail tracks and nine sleepers of east and west rail tracks were destroyed in double mine blasts plotted by KIA (Kachin) Armed Group at 1.05 am today.
Fifteen 200-gram TNTs, 13 detonators, six eight-inch tripwires and two intensification explosives were found near the damaged rail track and 18 200-gram TNTs and related items 75 yards from the scene by the officials who deactivated the explosives.
A Kachin national who is in service in Nay Pyi Taw said he doubted whether KIA are doing the good for the people as they proclaimed because of such destruction of non-military targets and public places — railways, motor roads and bridges — and firing heavy weapons to villages, undermining transportation and socioeconomic standards of national people in Kachin State.-MNA
The remarkable part of this brief story is the paraphrashing of a “Kachin national who is in service in Nay Pyi Taw”. He isn’t named, nor do we hear him in his own words. For me at least, this sums up the old school approach to news reporting still practiced at The New Light.
On the Kachin Independence Army side, where media savvy has long been considered a strategic commodity, some must be chuckling into their tsa pi.