Peace and Democracy Front is made up of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), also known as the Chinese Kokang , United Wa State Army (UWSA), Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ and Mongla aka National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA).
The recent forceful swallow up or occupation of Kokang area by the Burma army, in Shan State, is only part and parcel of the Burmese junta’s scheme for continued political decision-making monopoly, maintaining military supremacy stance over civilian population, implementation of its 7 steps road map to secure its hold on power and gain legitimacy through stage-managed 2010 election, with few democratic trappings.
With such determined goals in mind, it is quite clear that the junta’s priority setting have always been to reign in on cease-fire armies on one hand, and to suppress, contain popular movement of the people and democratic opposition groups, on the other.
It is, in fact, ironic that the Burmese junta is coercing the cease-fire armies to change into border defence force and become part of the Burma army. Previously, junta’s position has been that the future of cease-fire armies would be decided by the forthcoming elected government – in a give-and-take nature – and as a transitional regime, it could do nothing.
As the junta tries to consolidate its hold on Kokang, other PDF members and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) must be thinking hard on how to move ahead or handle junta’s ultimatum.
But for those on the receiving end of the junta’s wrath, it should be reminded that it is never shy to resort to state terrorism, political repression and human rights abuses, if it could make its way and advance its interest. The junta has implemented genocide and politicide, wherever and whenever it is needed to hold on to power.
The Saffron revolution, which was brutally crushed two years ago, leaving hundreds killed and thousands thrown into jail, is an act of politicide. Likewise, the military occupation in non-Burman ethnic areas and its continued four-cuts strategy – an attempt to cut off food, funds, intelligence and recruits – implementation for decades, notably in Shan, Karenni, Karen and Mon states, could be taken and termed as genocide in every sense of the words.
An important analytical distinction , according to Harff and Gurr (1988), in genocide, the state defines victims by communal characteristics, whereas in politicide, victims are defined “primarily in terms of their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant group”.
Given that the junta mindset is anchored and entrenched on “group survival”, meaning: survival of a few military top brass by using the military establishment as a privileged class to rule over the whole population, there is little the international community and opposition can do to change the situation.
As it is, the genocide will go on in non-Burman ethnic areas, where resistance are strong and politicide will be applied, without mercy, wherever and whenever popular demand rear its head in defiance against the junta for a better change.
Whether the Kokang episode will serve as a last warning to prepare for Alamo-like final stand for the cease-fire armies remains to be seen.
# End….. shanland mailbox