Wa submit new counter-proposal

Ye Myint and Baoyouxing

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) submitted a new 8 point counterproposal to Naypyitaw again on 1 April, when some of its delegations and Naypyitaw’s chief negotiator Lt- Gen Ye Myint met in Tangyan, west of the Wa’s capital town Panghsang over the junta’s border guard force (BGF) program, according to informed sources from the Sino-Burma border.

The said proposal was written because their previous 9 point proposal (submitted to Naypyitaw on 14 November) was rejected. However, a copy of it was still attached to the new one despite Naypyitaw’s rejection. In the 8-point proposal were:

•    To keep Mongpawk and Mongphen under the Wa territory as it is, and not in Mongyang township (Naypyitaw has placed Mongpawk-Mongphen inside Mongyang township, under Burma Army control)

•    Under Naypyitaw’s BGF plan, to allow the group to have 10 battalions in their northern region along the Sino-Burma border and to place them under the Northeastern Region Command.  One junta officer would be allowed to run each Wa battalion. In addition, to discharge only members who are over 60 (Naypyitaw wants to discharge member over 50).  To keep military trainings in its controlled territory: Mongpawk, Panghsang and Mongmai

•    To take responsibility for pensions compensations. (According to the Wa’s statistics, there were over 200 disabled who were injured in the joint-operation with the Burma Army against the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’ in 2005 and the number of orphans was over 800)

•    To retain its police and administrative personnel

•    To issue Identity cards for all the Wa people and to issue licenses for their vehicles as well

•    Its southern military region along the Thai-Burma border should also have 10 battalions and to place it under Triangle Region Command. Military trainings should also be conducted in areas under its control: Wanhong and Hwe Aw bases

•    Not to relocate any Wa people back to their place of origin: Panghsang, because they have already invested for billions of Kyat in agriculture and rubber fields. In addition to issue official documents for the lands used by them

•    To maintain businesses, especially mining operations, as it is

“Because there are some companies in our region that are digging metal,” one of the Wa officers was said to have told the junta authorities.

“It is not yet known how Naypyitaw is going to react to the counterproposal. They [junta] haven’t told anything to us yet up till now,” a source who asked not to be named told SHAN.

In the meantime, the military junta in southern Shan State has also reported placing more security along bases facing the UWSA 171’st Military Region since 27 March, the Armed Forces Day.

Military Affairs Security (MAS) chief Lt-Gen Ye Myint had already held meetings with ethnic ceasefire groups; National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) known as Mongla group on 29 March in Kengtung and Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ on 2 April in Lashio.

All the said ceasefire groups have been given a 28 April deadline to accept the Burma Army’s demand, and to submit their lists of strength and weapons by 22 April. If not they all would be declared as illegal organizations.

The Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ is reportedly holding a meeting today at each brigade command and is scheduled to meet together at the main base Hsengkeow, in Hsipaw township, Shan State North on 9 April for a final decision.

The SSA ‘North’ comprises 3 brigades, 1st Brigade in Wanhai in Kehsi township, 3rd brigade in Hsipaw township, 7th brigade in Shan State South’s Kunhing township.

Junta’s ultimatum to ceasefire groups on BGF

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Three ethnic armed ceasefire groups have been issued a fresh deadline by the Burmese military junta to convert their armed wings to the Border Guard Force (BGF) by this month.

The regime’s representative from Naypyidaw, Lt. Gen. Ye Myint, has told the Shan State Army (North) (SSA-N), United Wa State Army (UWSA) and Eastern Shan State Special Region 4 or Meng La group to respond not later than April 22 and 28.

He met the chairman of the 5,000-strong SSA-N, Lwe Mao, on 2 April in Lashio and told him that the ceasefire group must respond to the regime not later than 22 April on the BGF issue or else the organization will be declared an unlawful association.

Similarly Lt. Gen. Ye Myint met representatives of the 30,000-strong UWSA and 2,000-strong Meng La group separately on 1 April and 28 March respectively. He directed the ceasefire groups to give details of the number of their soldiers and the arms they have to the junta or else be declared as unlawful associations.

Thailand based Burma observer Win Min assumes the negotiations are likely to continue.

Meanwhile the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) Vice-Chairman Gawri Zau Sai met Lt. Gen. Ye Myint again yesterday. But the imbroglio is yet to be resolved. The junta wants a meeting yet again and wants KIO to transform its armed wing into the BGF before 28 April.