Wa top leader welcomes UN, INGO returnees

The United Wa State Army (UWSA)’s Vice Chairman Xiao Minliang reportedly welcomed and met the returnees of international organizations: UN and INGOs on 6 April at its headquarters in Panghsang, to resume their work in the Wa territory, according to a report received by SHAN.

The meeting was attended by only the UN and INGO staffs, not the Natala (junta personnel) and Burma Army officers.
In mid March, the military junta had ordered all junta personnel and NGOs working in the Wa State to return to their home bases. According to the Wa statistics, there were more than 300 junta personnel who had left.Xiao expressed his appreciation of the agencies to continue their assistance and support to the poor people in the Wa areas again. He then explained the current political circumstances between the group and the Burma Army authorities, until it had led the agencies to face difficulties and limited access.

“The Wa authorities were embarrassed by the difficulties and limited access faced by international agencies due to the current political circumstances but Wa will actively support the agencies,” the report quoted him as saying.

According to him, relationships between Wa and the military junta had been good over the past 20 years until Naypyitaw’s Border Guard Force (BGF) program was introduced in April 2009. Since then the relationship between the two had changed because the two did not share the same visions on the BGF.Both have been meeting several times to discuss the program, but there is as yet no satisfactory resolution for the two.
Xiao said, “Previously the Wa thought that differences were a normal process and they could be resolved. Unfortunately, the problem was not solved and was also delayed by the Kokang crisis in August 2009, up till now.”

The last meeting of the two sides was on 1 April, held in Tangyan, west of the Wa capital Panghsang, when the Burma Army set 22 April as the latest deadline for the group to inform Naypyitaw over the BGF. If the group fails to comply, the relationship will return to the pre 1989 situation. The deadline has also been given to other ethnic ceasefire groups that still refuse to accept the program like National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) known as Mongla group, Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ and Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

On 3 April ( and not 1 April as reported earlier), the Wa reportedly sent their new 8-point counterproposal, to General Thura Shwe Man, Lt General Ye Myint and  Major Aung Than Htut, Commander of the Northeastern Region Command.

Xiao said the new proposal had been made with a view to maintain regional stability. “While the Government of the Union of Myanmar (GOUM) is taking into account of state interest, Wa interest should also be taken into consideration. Because the Wa has never refused to accept BGF and expectation from Wa is mutual understanding between the two parties. Wa will stick to the following principles:

•    Wa does not want to have armed conflict with GOUM and Wa will stick to the principle of peace
•    Wa will never try to disintegrate from the Union in any circumstances
•    Wa will be in support of up coming general elections, which are expected to be free and fair
•    Wa will continue to support the existing GOUM and will be under leadership of newly elected GOUM.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s