Heightened security in Shan south

Heightened security in Shan south
News – Shan Herald Agency for News
WEDNESDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2009 09:12

Come the beginning of September, several towns in southern Shan State have been on high alert with civilians being forced to take turns standing guard at night, according to local sources.

In Mongkeung, 128 miles northeast of the state capital Taunggyi, there are 11 sentry posts:
One for each of the town’s six neighborhoods
One for each of the four compass directions
One in the centre of the town
“If a household member is unable to take part in sentry duty, it has to pay Kyat 1,000 ($1),” said a townsman.

It is mandatory for government employees to take turns standing watch over their respective offices.

The order for heightened security came from the Mongnawng-based Military Operations Command (MOC) #2 that commands the 12 infantry battalions in Loilem, Laikha, Namzang, Mongnai, Panglong, Mongpawn and Mongkeung.

“We have the same situation here,” said a source in Mongyai, northern Shan State, without elaborating.

Col Yawdserk, leader of the non-ceasefire Shan State Army (SSA), said Naypyitaw has declared a state of war in Shan State since its attack and occupation of Kokang last month.

“The government, as usual, offers little explanation,” said a respected local from Panglong. “But there have been some bomb attacks here.”

The first bomb exploded in the police station in Quarter #1 on 2 September and the second in the house of Khin Maung Aye, Secretary of the Quarter #2 Council on 19 September. In both cases, there were some damages but no casualties.

Since August, more troops, guns, ammunition and supplies are pouring into Shan State especially in the east, where the Burmese Army is facing the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and its ally the National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS). Both had rejected Naypyitaw’s demand to transform their armed wings into junta-run Border Guard Forces.

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