A month after the brutal killing of 13 Chinese crewmen took place in the Golden Triangle, where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet, Lt-Gen Yawdserk, leader of the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’, that operates in Shan State East, has offered to lend a hand in the long term solution of the maritime security issue on the Mekong.
“Security on the Mekong rests upon law and order in the three Triangle countries,” he told SHAN during a telephone interview. “If one looks carefully, it is not hard to find that the Burmese side is the weakest link due to instability since Independence (in 1948).”
The failure of successive Burmese rulers to honor the 1947 Panglong Agreement which guarantees self rule, democracy and human rights and their refusal to back off from the military solution, he said, had left no choice for the people of Shan State but to engage in an armed struggle. “What happened in the Golden Triangle (on 5 October) was the consequence of the resulting anarchy,” he explained.
President Thein Sein, the head of the new government, had called for peace talks with the armed movement on 18 August 2011. So far it has achieved success with three of the groups: United Wa State Army (6 September), National Democratic Alliance Army (7 September) and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (3 November).
It has however yet to meet the leaders of the SSA, whose troops are active in Mongyawng township, north of the Golden Triangle.
Arrangements are still in process before the two sides meet, according to inside sources.
“If both sides can reach a mutually acceptable political agreement, it will pave the way for end to anarchy in the area,” he predicted.
China has bought 5 ships that will be refitted for the patrolling of the Mekong, according to Bangkok Post, 10 November issue, quoting a Chinese Ship-owners Association. Beijing however has said the plan needs to be discussed with its downstream neighbors first.