War Office in Naypyidaw Orders New “Four Cuts” Campaign

The War Office in Naypyidaw has ordered Burmese government forces based in ethnic areas to relaunch their infamous “Four Cuts” strategy against the ethnic cease-fire groups that continue to resist the junta’s Border Guard Force (BGF) plan.

The Burmese army’s “Four Cuts” policy was developed in the 1970s during the former regime of the Burmese Socialist Programme Party with the intention of undermining ethnic militias by cutting off access to food, funds, information and recruitment, often with devastating consequences.


Four Cuts Program

Most of Burma’s refugees come from the ethnic minority groups located near Burma’s borders which have been engaged in the struggle for equality and autonomy rights with the central Burmese authorities since the country’s independence. In the 1960s, Burma’s dictator, General Ne Win, launched a new counter-insurgency strategy called the Four Cuts, designed to cut the four main links (food, funds, intelligence, and recruits) between insurgents, their families and local villagers. This campaign has increased in severity over time and today most of the formerly automous ethnic regions are controlled by the military regime.


According to military sources, the War Office recently ordered regional commanders to reimpose the strategy in areas including Kachin State, Shan State, Karenni State , Karen State , Mon State and Tenasserim Division.

Military sources said the renewed campaign would include an additional “cut”—a policy of severing communication routes between allied ethnic groups.

Commenting on the information about the new “Four Cuts” campaign, Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Burmese military observer at the Sino-Burmese border who has close contacts to several ethnic armed groups, said the junta’s plan could be irrelevant because many ethnic armies are based in border areas.

“The Four Cuts strategy was designed for inland counterinsurgency operations,” he said. “In particular, there were government offensives against the Communist Party of Burma and the Karen National Union in the Pegu Mountains. But now the groups that are being targeted are based at the Sino-Burmese border and the Thai-Burmese border.”

Some observers expressed concern about an escalation of human rights violations such as forced relocations, the burning of villages and summary executions in ethnic areas, atrocities that invariably accompany such a strategy, they said.

“The Four Cuts strategy has been modified by the current military junta,” said Htet Min, a former army officer who is now living in exile. “When I was in the military, it was also called ‘sweeping’ an area, meaning removing any suspected villagers and burning their villages.” Continue reading “War Office in Naypyidaw Orders New “Four Cuts” Campaign”

Fait accompli of the Tatmadaw Values

by Kanbawza Win

All revolutions start with enthusiasm but usually end with tears. Will the Burmese revolution which started with a mighty force in 1988, fizzle out in 2011? The tears still could have been avoided, if the people firmly stand by the values which they have inherited from their ancestors especially from the founding fathers of modern Burma led by Bogyoke Aung San.

If the Arab people can rise against their tyrants why can’t we? The people of Burma should ask themselves, not what Daw Aung Suu Kyi can do for them but what they can do for the Genuine Federal Union of Burma.

If history were to repeat itself the replica of the 1974 is now being reacted when the Socialist Constitution led by the defunct Burmese Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) was initiated and bulldozed its way through the people and the country but soon shows its worth when just a few months later, the workers demonstrated and was put down with great severely. Now it is also predictable that it is a matter of time that the people will rise again as the gap between the elites and the ordinary people are so immense and the unfairness is so widespread in the country. Besides the class of 2011are the new generation of Burmese who have know little political freedom in their young lives and are no longer willing to wait for it.

It can be recollected that the Tatmadaw under the patronage of, Gen Ne Win, had successfully turned Burma, one of the most promising countries and the rice bowl of Asia into one of the poorest and the rice hole of Asia, so much so that in 1987it has to declared a Least Developed Nation (LDC) by the UN. General Than Shwe, the successor of Ne Win tried to remedy it by introducing the market economy similar to what Deng Xiaoping has done in China. But unlike the Chinese leadership, theTatmadaw leaders did not harbour a single ounce of love to the country and its people but is solely bent on retaining power, enriching their families and business associates.

Up to this day an out-dated and complex exchange rate fiddle means that the country’s oil and gas income is downplayed in official figures, with the real revenue siphoned off into military spending or personal bank accounts. Even in Vietnam the government is capable of convincing Western investors to put their money into the country and has been commended for economic reforms and legal amendments. In contrast, economic policy has been dismissed as opaque and incompetent even at the best of times marking Burma out as an economic twilight zone, attractive only to those who want to take oil, gas, gems, timber and other resources., out of the country. Even if Western sanctions were reduced or dropped, it remains to be seen whether Burma’s rulers would break with a half century of disastrous economic policies in response.


The NLD’s document concluded that sanctions have not affected economic conditions in Burma “to any notable degree. but rather The regime’s poor economic policies and mismanagement are the main causes of Burma’s economic crisis. Land confiscation and lack of freedom in production and marketing – not sanctions – have negatively affected Burma’s agricultural sector, which employs the majority of Burma’s population. Lack of accountability, and corruption has impeded productive investments. National reconciliation based on “an all inclusive political process” should be “central” to any consideration of changes in sanctions policies and the release of all political prisoners is a “critical requirement” for the removal of sanctions. Continue reading “Fait accompli of the Tatmadaw Values”