Kachin leader Patrick Sin Wa Naw Tsumhpawng dead
Sin Wa Naw, a Catechist, was one of the participants in the peace talks between the Burmese Government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), which started in 2011.
Patrick Sin Wa Naw Tsumhpawng, a prominent representative involved in talks with the Myanmar government for bringing peace in Kachin, died last Saturday after he sustained a severe head injury in a motorbike accident at Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.
Educated and politically moderate, he was involved in the struggle and welfare of his people, the Kachin. His son, Augustine Zaw Aung, is a PIME missionary in Hong Kong.
Sin Wa Naw was one of the participants in the peace talks between the Burmese Government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), which started in 2011. On October 10, just two days before Sin Wa Naw’s tragic death, the KIO and the Burmese government had reached a seven-point agreement to prepare for political dialogue.
Patrick Tsumhpawng Sin Wa Naw was born in 1948 in Shalwi Yang Mare of Hopin City in Kachin State. In 1972 he graduated in Zoology, and then served as a high school teacher and, for many years, as Secretary of the City Council in Kamaing. He had seven children, and served as a Catechist at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hpa Kant City. He was President of Kachin National Consultant Office in Myitkyina from 2002-2011. In the last two years of his life, he volunteered at St. Columban Church in Myitkyina and was involved with social activities of the community.
Sin Wa Naw last year visited his son Father Augustine and PIME community in Hong Kong. During the meetings with PIME, he related the story of struggle for freedom and dignity of his people. He was a very gentle and peace loving person. He could not attend his daughter's wedding as the US government denied him a visa.
Father Augustine, his son, has been in Hong Kong since 2009 and is currently serving at the St. Cosmas and Damian Parish in Tsuen Wan. He recounted the story of the Kachin people and its Catholic community in a recent DVD "The Unbroken Reeds", produced by the Hong Kong Diocesan Audio Visual Centre.