The Lasang Awng Wa Group is the newest and least well-known of the Kachin armed factions. It is also sometimes called the “Kachin Independence Organization/Kachin Independence Army Splinter Group”. It was formed by an ex-Kachin Independence Organization Intelligence Chief, Colonel Lasang Awng Wa, after a 2004 coup attempt led to his expulsion from the KIO. His relatively small group has reportedly agreed to peaceful coexistence with the Burmese authorities.
At the recent Myitkyina Manau marking the founding of the Kachin State, the Lasang Awng Wa Group came by the hundreds. Compared to the much larger contingents of both KIA and New Democratic Army – Kachin troops they were heavily out-numbered. Their presence was, nonetheless, a strong sign of the tensions that have boiled over in Kachin politics in recent years.
If readers are interested I have many more pictures of the Lasang Awng Wa Group in action at the Manau. In the coming days, and in response to reader comments, I will make a substantial post on the various armed groups (including the tatmadaw) that had troops at the festivities.
And some were not just carrying printed scarves…