War:Shan State Army (SSA) “North” withdrew from the Ta Pha Hsawng crossing battle in Kehsi township

23 June 2011
The Shan State Army (SSA) “North” withdrew from the Ta Pha Hsawng crossing battle in Kehsi township, some 20 miles west of its former head quarters Wanhai, yesterday after being heavily shelled, according to SSA sources. Wanhai, abandoned by its leader Maj Gen Pang Fa since the start of the campaign in March, has been strictly left alone by the Burma Army so far. (SHAN)

Cash-trapped Wa leadership is increasing tax rates again

23 June 2011
Cash-trapped Wa leadership is increasing tax rates again, say local people from the Sino-Burma border.
Description                    Previous rate                      New rate
Money exchanger          Y1,500 per month               Y 5,000-10,000 per month
Clinic                             Y100 per month                   Y300-600 per month
Drugstore                     Y100-200 per month          Y300-600 per month
“The rule of the (tax) game,” the late Khun Sa once said, “is to levy less if you want more and to levy more if you want less.” (SHAN)

WAR:Shan army’s key bridge burnt down

A key bridge of the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’, Ta Pha Hsawng crossing of Lawng river, a tributary of the Pang, between 3 townships: Kehsi, Mongyai and Hsipaw, was burnt down by the Burma Army troops who attacked the SSA there on 21 June, according to SSA sources.

The bridge was important for the SSA to cross through to its bases around its former headquarters Hsengkaew, Hsipaw Township, now a Burma Army controlled local militia base.

“It doesn’t matter much to lose that bridge because we still have other paths to choose. But it was a big loss for the populace because it was them who were mostly using it,” an SSA officer said.

The bridge, 160 ft long, was constructed of wood in 2008 by the SSA. It cost about Kyat 1,100 million (US$ 14, 013), said the SSA.

“It is the so-called government’s army destroying the bridge instead of building it. It was a wrong act by the government,” the SSA officer said.

In addition, the SSA base located at the Ta Pha Hsawng Bridge was occupied as well after being heavily shelled by the Burma Army on 21 June from around 8:00 until 20:00. The attack was reported to have taken place after the SSA allowed the Burma Army to enter its territory due to a Burma Army officer’s request. Continue reading “WAR:Shan army’s key bridge burnt down”

Another bomb explosion occurs at a bazaar in Naypyidaw, within minutes of a blast in Mandalay._

Police examine a vehicle destroyed by a bomb blast in front of the Zay Cho Hotel in Mandalay.

Bomb blasts hit Burma’s capital, Naypyidaw, as well as the country’s second-largest city of Mandalay and the town of Pyin Oo Lwin on Friday, in the first major series of bombings since a new military-backed government took power in March.

According to witnesses and police officials, the first bomb exploded at around noon near the Mann Myanmar Plaza and Zay Cho Hotel in downtown Mandalay, injuring at least two people and destroying one vehicle.

A few minutes later, a second explosion occurred in Naypyidaw’s Tapyay Gone area, near the government’s Gems Museum. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the blast, although witnesses said a house was badly damaged.

“The explosion was very strong. The top of a house was damaged,” said a witness in Naypyidaw.

There were also reports of a third blast in Pyin Oo Lwin, home to the Burmese military’s elite Defense Services Academy, near an army supply and transport base.

The series of blasts comes amid an armed conflict between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army, Burma’s second largest ethnic armed group, that started on June 9.

Blasts were also reported in Kachin State earlier this week, in the state capital, Myitkyina, and in Bhamo, near the Chinese border.