The SSA reportedly replied to the two monks coming from Kehsi, 25 miles southwest of Wanhai, the SSA headquarters, that the Burma Army should suspend its military activities and its units return to their home bases, if peace was to be achieved. “‘Don’t you desire peace?’ is not the question the Burma Army should ask us,” Sai La told SHAN. “It is us who should ask them. After all, it wasn’t us who broke the ceasefire.”
The Burma Army has reportedly suffered heavy casualties since the campaign against the SSA began on 13 March.
The first parley was held in Mongkherh, Hsipaw township, on 11 April, following the counter-campaign by the SSA in Kyaukme, Namhsan, Hsipaw and Namtu, out of its bailiwick. “If we agreed to withdraw all our troops and return to the south, we would be allowed to stay freely as we did previously, they said,” reported an SSA source at that time.
The demand was believed to be linked to China’s concern over its oil and gas pipeline route that is slated to pass through Mongmit, Kyawkme and Hsipaw townships.
Wanhai’s response was that withdrawal of the attacking Burmese forces should be a prelude to any peace agreement.
Naypyitaw has also been holding talks off and on with the SSA’s ally Kachin Independence Army (KIA) further north, where its campaign which began in June continues.
Sun Tzu, the author of the ancient military treatise, The Art of War, has admonished: Humble words by envoys and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance.
So far, the Burma Army forces, 42 under-strength infantry battalions, have yet to make an advance to Wanhai.
Refugees coming from Kunhing say the Burma Army’s IB246 and LIB524 based in Kunhing, Shan State South, issued order on 12 July to villagers not to be seen outside the village perimeters. The anti-Naypyitaw Shan State Army (SSA) fighters, wearing civilian clothes, have said to have staged surprise attacks on unsuspecting Burma Army patrols and men, according to them. (SHAN)
New York, 25 July 2011 – Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Myanmar
The Secretary-General welcomes the meeting today in Yangon between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Minister for Social Welfare U Aung Kyi. He notes that the parties have expressed satisfaction at their positive talks and their intention to cooperate further on matters beneficial to the people of Myanmar.
The Secretary-General encourages such contacts and dialogue. It will be recalled that his Special Adviser, had meetings with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Minister Aung Kyi during his recent visit to Myanmar.
In line with the international community’s expectations and Myanmar’s national interest, the Secretary-General hopes such efforts will continue with a view to building mutual understanding through genuine dialogue. He also calls upon the Government of Myanmar to consider early action on the release of political prisoners in that country.
25 July 2011 –
“In line with the international community’s expectations and Myanmar’s national interest, the Secretary-General hopes such efforts will continue with a view to building mutual understanding through genuine dialogue. He also calls upon the Government of Myanmar to consider early action on the release of political prisoners in that country,” it said.
Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Myanmar, visited the country earlier in the year, spoke with Government officials, met with Ms. Suu Kyi and reported to the security council that although he welcomed some recent releases of political prisoners, he “reiterated the UN’s call for the urgent release of all political prisoners,” a UN spokesperson said at the time.
While the initial sentence reductions and resulting release of some political prisoners is a small step in the right direction, it has been short of expectation and is insufficient, he said.
Last month Ms. Suu Kyi called on the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) to expand its activities in Myanmar and help promote social justice there.
In a video message to the International Labour Conference of the ILO in Geneva she said: “In its attempt to eliminate forced labour and the recruitment of child soldiers, the ILO has inevitably been drawn into work related to rule of law, prisoners of conscience and freedom of association.”
Ms. Suu Kyi, an opposition leader put under house arrest for almost 15 years, was released on 13 November last year.