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BURMA: Two top commanders tour Triangle Command for military inspection

June 25, 2010

The following article is reprinted with permission from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.), Thailand.

Two top commanders tour Triangle Command for military inspection
©  S.H.A.N.
By Hseng Khio Fah
June 25, 2010

Two top regional commanders of the Shan State had made a trip to the Sino-Burma border for inspection of military bases facing ethnic ceasefire groups, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) aka Mongla group, according to local sources.

On 23 June, Chairman of Shan State (East) Peace and Development Council Commander of Triangle Region Command Maj-Gen Kyaw Phyo and Commander of Shan and Kayah states, Lt-Gen Min Aung Hlaing together made a trip to the front lines in Shan State East’s Mongyang township bordering the Wa and Mongla areas.

They had met with all officers from every rank and privates from both Infantry Battalion (IB) #279 and IB#281 there for two hours, according to a source close to junta officers.

The two have ordered the troops that every base must keep its eyes on every movement of the Wa and Mongla and to report all their activities. In addition, every base has to repair and check all bunkers, trenches and weapons and to expand all the bases.

“Every base has to be ready for reinforcements and arms in preparation for possible fighting,” a source quoted one of the commanders as saying. “Another is everyone is responsible for providing security until the elections are over.”

The military junta has been reinforcing troops, weapons, building bunkers and trenches along ethnic ceasefire areas both [along] the Chinese and Thai borders since early this year. Ceasefire groups have also been doing the same.

Tension between the junta military and the ethnic ceasefire groups, especially with the Wa, have been by far the worst since the groups turned down the Naypyitaw’s Border Guard Force (BGFs) program, as stipulated in its self-drawn 2008 constitution, which was said to be approved by more than 90% of the people.

Concerning the program, the junta has set many deadlines for the groups, the latest one was 28 April 2010.

According to junta announcement, any group that failed to convert itself into BGF by the deadline will be automatically recognized as “an unlawful association.”

The UWSA, the MNDAA, Kachin Independent Army (KIA), the bulk of Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’, the Kayan New Land Party (KNLP) and New Mon State Party (NMSP) have so far opposed it. All decided to remain unchanged unless their autonomy demands are met and they will not also support or participate in the general elections.

Nevertheless, Deputy Commander of the Northeastern Region Command has promised the Wa at their meeting on 22 June in Panghsang that the BGF program will return after the new government is formed.

The military junta has also been reportedly deploying missiles to ethnic states: Kachin, Shan State and Mandalay division.

[End.]

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