Three Burmese army battalions have been relocated from Mon State to provide security for an incipient gas pipeline in Arakan State, says a highly ranked source in the Sa Ya Pha military intelligence in Three Pagodas Pass.

According to the Sa Ya Pha source, the Southeast Command ordered Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 538, No. 34 and No. 20 to leave their posts in Three Pagodas Township at the end of December. Other local battalions from the Southeast Command are replacing all three battalions.

The relocations are unusual, said the Sa Ya Pha source, which remarked upon the rarity of three battalions simultaneously changing their positions for reasons unrelated to immediate conflict. IB No. 538, he also noted, had been posted in Three Pagodas for just one month, far short of the normal three to six month rotation.

A day before the battalion relocations, on December 24th, the consortium of South Korean, Indian and Burmese companies who control the Shwe fields announced a 30-year contract to sell gas to the China National Petroleum Corporation. continue

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