The Interim Executive Council of Karenni state (IEC) was established on 6 June in accordance with political leadership and policy guidelines of the Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC). The IEC is the very first state government during interim period after two years of Spring Revolution.
The council has adopted policies to carry out executive functions of the interim state government through collective leadership, to ensure check and balance between legislative, executive and judicial branches.
This interview with Khun Bedu, the vice chairperson of IEC, is about its future plan as an interim government, taxation, protection to civilian and organizing local revolutionary forces.
TLT: How will the Interim Executive Council implement its executive functions of the interim state government for legislative, executive and judicial branches.
Khun Bedu: The Interim Executive Council of Karenni state is to exercise executive power, and will carry out check and balance between legislative, executive and judicial branches. The Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) will monitor and adjust policies. Our IEC has focus on critical issues during interim and revolutionary period. The administrative and collective leadership of our government involve different organizations and parties. Our government will form 12 ministries. We will emphasize education, health, assistance to IDP, defence, security and rule of law. We will enforce village-level administrations.
TLT: Has IEC organized local revolutionary armed forces, and what are your future plans?
Khun Bedu: We need to enhance closer and practical cooperation with different local revolutionary forces. We will continuously strive for this. While we have not seen objection and opposition of no partnership organizations to IEC, we will try to work together with them in the common vision for the benefit of revolution and our nationals.
And we also believe that we could negotiate with other armed organizations as we have common expectation for future political landscape. Another issue is concerned with ‘territory’. Some troops are operating in Shan state. Many Kayan and Kayah people are living there. As our armed groups are active young people, they include Pekon township in our territory. Our administrative policies are not based on territory during interim period to avoid killing and to cooperate each other. Territory will be discussed after we could establish a federal Union in the future.
TLT: Which laws will be developed to prevent war crimes among local armed groups?
Khun Bedu: We have not seen significant war crimes of ethnic armed organizations in our state. They are actually implementing their role and their political expectation in the revolution. They are doing their own works. We have a strong police organization with nine stations, while our Karenni National Defencd Force and revolutionary forces are stationed at the front lines, while police forces are for the rear detachment. During the revolutionary period, we cannot transfer some cases with special order or military affairs to the courts. We practice customary laws in such cases. In most cases, we refer the existing laws. Some cases are still under investigation, for example kidnaping and murder cases. Our police force handled many cases in line with existing laws.
In the past two years, Karenni state’s police force worked on over 400 cases. They performed their duties in rule of law, and conducted serious negotiations among armed groups to prevent problems. Recently, exchange fire occurred between the two armed groups due to misunderstanding as enemies. Face-to-face negotiation could settle the problem. Our state government has intended to solve such disputes.
TLT: How will IEC do for taxation and revenue?
Khun Bedu: We have a targeted amount of revenue, and we will collect revenue from four sources. Firstly, we will impose taxes under authority of state government, and we will inform it to the public. Secondly, we will sell state projects. Thirdly, items will be confiscated through punitive actions. Fourthly, funds from international communities and citizens. We will spend these revenues especially in military, education and health sectors.
TLT: How will IEC work with NUG? Will the officials of NUG take part in IEC?
Khun Bedu: NUG is preparing to work with IEC through federal council. NUG will not assign their official to Karenni state’s administration which will be comprised with representatives of armed organizations, elected MPs of political parties and other parties. We will gather our strength at the basic level for further steps. Our interim administration will work with NUG and state-level units for the emergence of state governments.
TLT: What is your plan for international relations?
Khun Bedu: Our state government and interim executive body do not take significant efforts on international relations. But we will discuss any assistance for our state. We expect humanitarian aid and trainings in administration for peace and stability of our state. The state government has no plan to make direct contacts with foreign administrations. We believe that NUG and NUCC could help in the establishment of such relations for our state government.
TLT: How will your government will defend airstrikes and heavy weapon attacks of the military, and how will be protect civilians from human right abuses?
Khun Bedu: Despite no official announcement in the past two years, we could implement our administration to a certain extent. Now, we have officially announced it, and it is expected that the military will carry out more oppression and more brutal attack. They are not likely to conduct more airstrikes. They continue carrying out offensive attacks on our state. They are launching bombardments in Mesei where we raided their camps. So, they will not increase their offensives significantly because they have attacked our schools, hospitals and residential areas. Declaration of our administration is meant to recognize our unity and our role in fighting against the authority of military council. We will follow this policy. Our frontline forces will deter the military from entering our local administrative areas, while we are expanding our territory.
TLT: What is IEC plan for the present time and post-revolutionary period as an interim state government?
Khun Bedu: The administration of our state government is put under the plan of interim executive body. Over 14 pages of the plan was adopted in accordance with the provisions of interim charter for the state government. A bylaw for state government has been created at the state level with the approval of parliaments. We will practice these laws in this period until we could develop a new constitution. After new parliamentarians have been elected by the public, we will hand over the administration of state government. We are conducting our revolution while safeguarding people, their well-being, health and rule of law. When new governments have been developed, we will transfer power to them and cooperate with them. Only if we could work together in military affairs, we could cooperate each other without complications for transformation into federal system peacefully. We are focusing on implementation of state government.
TLT: What is your concluding remark in this interview?
Khun Bedu: This IEC is established for the needs of existing political situation. It is an interim body to reach federal system expected by NUG, NUCC and ethnic armed groups which are taking leading role in the present political situation without deviating from the provisions of charter. Before the end of dictator ship, development of a political system by giving changes state administration, local administration and diverse ethnic groups is a preparatory work for the future. We believe that all the revolutionary forces have supported us. We have received about 40 congratulatory messages from various organizations which are monitoring our development with their support. We express our heartfelt thanks to them.