MYANMAR – Lisu youths across Shan State and Kachin State announced the establishment of Lisu Youth Congress (LYC) for Federal Democracy and the eradication of military dictatorship on February 8.
The announcement described the intentions behind forming LYC as: to eradicate all forms of dictatorship; to eradicate racism; to fight against capitalism preying on the people; to fight against discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and sexual preference; to achieve self-determination for the Lisu people; and to represent the Lisu people in achieving deserved rights. It was also mentioned that the group will work together with the political groups and revolutionary forces who share similar goals.
A Lisu elder commented that he is in favour of the formation of LYC, saying, “I support it. It’s the youths taking over the unfinished historic duty of the older generation. I’m proud of them.”
Lisu people, part of the Kachin ethnic group, are known as both Lisu and Lishaw and a sub group of the Lisu people who mixed with Chinese, called Kholon Lishaw, were considered Chinese (foreigners) and as a result, there were many Lisu people who lost their rights to vote during the 2020 election.
“Kholon is a Shan word, kho meaning head and long meaning big. It refers to our traditional headpiece. We were called Kholon from that and were assumed as Chinese, that we are the Chinese who took shelter in Myanmar (Kholon in Burmese means take shelter). The truth is we are of Lisu descent,” explained a Lisu woman from Namkhan.
Lisu people mostly reside in Kachin State, north and south Shan State and Mogok of Mandalay Division. It is said that the LYC also includes Lisu youths abroad.