Nai Aung Naing’s MPDF group gives military training in southern Mon state

Sources report that the Mon Peace and Defense Front (MPDF), a Mon splinter group lead by former New Mon State Party (NMSP) Maj. Gen. Aung Naing, is currently leading a Burmese government-sanctioned military training in Thanphyuzayart Township, Mon State.

Allegedly, the MPDF is holding the training in hopes of attracting new members, so that it might increase its ranks enough to qualify as a State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) led Border Guard Force (BGF). IMNA’s field reporter in Thanphyuzayart Township learned that the group has been told by SPDC military authorities that the group needs 500 members to meet BGF standards. Before the commencement of its recruitment campaign in Mon State, military experts estimated that the group was comprised of roughly 20 individuals.

To increase party membership, MPDF member Nai Shwe has been leading recruitment campaigns in Ye township and La-mine sub-township; members are also campaigning in Mudon and Thanphyuzayart townships, a Lamine resident who received recruitment information explained to IMNA.

According to IMNA’s field reporter, the training began since the first week of May and thirty-eight new members attended the course, which is currently being held at a Buddhist temple in Yathaetaung village, Thanphyuzayart Township.

“Currently, the MPDF is campaigning amongst former members of New Mon State Party and graduated students [from university], ” reported the Lamine resident. Continue reading “Nai Aung Naing’s MPDF group gives military training in southern Mon state”

Shan army summoned to meet junta officials again

The ruling military officials last week invited the strongest faction of the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’, Brigade No.1, which is refusing to accept Naypyitaw’s Border Guard Force (BGF) program.

The two sides reportedly held another meeting on 15 May, at Shan State South’s Mongnawng-based Military Operations Command # 2 Headquarters. The meeting was presided over by Colonel Chit Oo, Deputy Commander of the Eastern Region Command. The SSA side was led by Major Khurh Mao, Lieutenant Tawn Kham and Second-Lt Aung Ba.
During the meeting, the commander was said to have requested the group to inform their leaders Maj-Gen Pangfa and Lt-Col Khurh Tai that the military officials wanted to meet them in person, said a source from the First Brigade.

On the other hand, he also insisted the faction to keep regional stability until the elections are over.

Maj-Gen Pang Fa reportedly thanked the commander by phone for his invitation, but he would not dare to go in person especially in the Burma Army controlled region, the source said.

“I am worried that I would be arrested by you [the military officials] like you did to my uncle Sao Hso Ten,” the source quoted Pangfa as saying.

Maj-Gen Hso Ten, the SSA ‘North’s patron, was said to have been arrested in February 2005 when he went to the Eastern Region Command HQ in Taunggyi at the regional commander’s invitation. He was sentenced to 106 years and is currently serving his term at Kham Ti, Sagaing Division.

Pangfa then urged the commander to scrap his plan to visit the group’s controlled areas because he dared not take responsibility for the junta officials’ safety.

The SSA-N has 3 brigades (1, 3, and 7), one border force and one HQ Security Force commanded by Maj-Gen Loimao. The two brigades 3rd and 7th consented to transform as Naypyitaw run home guard force in April. The First however has remained silent to the program up to this day.

Latest report says that some fighters from Brigades No.3 and No.7, who did not agree to become members of junta run home guard force, came to join Lt-Gen Yawdserk led anti-Naypyitaw Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’ and some were reported to have joined the First Brigade.

Forced portering rumors spread fear and stymie economies in southern Mon State

HURFOM,Southern Mon State: Young men between the ages of 18 and 40 from southern Mon state have informed HURFOM’s field reporters that they have significantly curtailed their movements within the area, in response to rumors that young men from the region are being arrested and forced into portering services by locally-based military battalions. Supposedly, porters are being arrested as part of a new Burmese government-spearheaded launch of military offensive against ethnic ceasefire groups.

Reportedly, the widely-circulating rumors stem from an incident which occurred in the first days of May 2010, when Yebyu Township-based Light Infantry Battalions  (LIB) Nos. 282 and 273 each demanded 15 porters from a group of 6 villages in the township,  including Yapu village, Kyauk-kadin village, and Alaesakhan village; Local sources confirmed the incident for HURFOM’s field reporter, claiming that the porters were intended to aid in tracking and then launching an offensive against the   the Mon rebel armed group, Mon National Defense Army, in the area.  These local witnesses also informed HURFOM that when the village headmen from the communities in question were unable to provide the required amount of porters, the commander of LIB No. 282 and his troops came and arrested roughly 40 individuals porters from these 6 villages. The arrested individuals have not been heard from for 2 weeks.

As rumors of other arrests and incidents of forced portering spread through Ye and Yebyu Townships during the first two weeks of May, HURFOM’s field reporters noted that many individuals exhibited extreme reactions to the rumors due to past personal experiences of forced portering abuse, or encounters with similar forms of human rights violations at the hands of Burmese battalions. Continue reading “Forced portering rumors spread fear and stymie economies in southern Mon State”