Tensions Between Wa, Junta Continue to Rise

Tensions between the Burmese military and the United Wa State Army (UWSA) have been mounting since a 30-member Burmese delegation led by Lt-Gen Ye Myint, the chief of Military Affairs Security, was forced to disarm during a visit to Wa-held territory in Shan State on January 19, according to sources in the area.

Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Burmese analyst based on the Sino-Burmese border, said that the visiting Burmese military officials and accompanying soldiers were told to disarm as they entered Wa-controlled territory to attend a meeting with the UWSA at their headquarters of Panghsang.

According to Mai Aik Phone, who observes Wa affairs, the purpose of the visit was to allow Burmese military leaders to learn how to launch an effective election campaign in the area in 2010. However, sources said that discussions were limited to plans to develop the local economy.

Since last year’s referendum on a military-drafted constitution, the Burmese regime has been sending delegations to different parts of the country to drum up support for an election slated to be held in 2010. The regime claimed to have won overwhelming approval for its new charter, despite charges that the referendum was rigged. continue

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