WEDNESDAY, 24 JUNE 2009 20:13 HSENG KHIO FAH
Reports of North Korean cargo ship Kang Nam on its way to Burma has raised speculations among ceasefire groups who are resisting Naypyitaw’s demand to transform themselves into troops under the Burma Army’s command that it could be linked to current tensions between the two sides.
During the visit of Lt-Gen Ye Myint, the junta’s chief negotiator, to Mongla, opposite China’s Daluo on 9 June, Sai Leun, 63, leader of the National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), informed him of the rejection by the army and people under his leadership of the junta’s proposal to transform themselves into a border guard force. Upon hearing it, Ye Myint mentioned the amazing growth and development of the ceasefire areas during the past 20 years and said, “Don’t you feel sorry to lose them if you reject our proposal?” “This is a strong hint that all that we have built will be destroyed by them,” a ceasefire officer told SHAN.
Another source from northern Shan State also reported that he was told by a senior police officer that new weapons with highly destructive power would be used against ceasefire groups unless they gave in to the junta’s demand.
Meanwhile, Col Yawd Serk, leader of the Shan State Army (SSA) South, remarked that Naypyitaw’s current military preparations are aimed at subduing the United Wa State Army’s forces along the Thai-Burma border. “Panghsang (on the Sino-Burma border) is not their immediate target,” he said. “They want to put pressure on the Wa’s southern forces to give up their resistance. They will deal with Panghsang afterwards.”
The main weapon employed by the junta will be “drugs”, he told SHAN. “The planned burning of drugs in Kengtung on 26 June is therefore significant,” he said.
Kengtung is the capital of eastern Shan State, where the UWSA is active.