People in Laikha township, Shan State South, where the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’ is active, has been warned by military authorities to steer clear of the SSA or face the notorious Section 17-1 (unlawful association), according to local sources.
The warning was served to the community leaders on 11 October by Chief of Operations Col Lin Aye Zaw at the Infantry Battalion # 64 post.
“We are also required to report ourselves to him every Tuesday since,” said a quarter committee member. (Towns are divided into quarters).
The people of Laikha are not exclusive. On 13 September, community leaders in Manzam village tract who were summoned to Namtu were also given similar warning. The SSA South’s sister organization, the SSA North, is active there.
The SSA South concluded a ceasefire agreement with Naypyitaw on 2 December 2011, followed by the SSA North on 28 January 2012.
Meanwhile, 9 village heads suspected of associating with the Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), a group that has yet to reach a ceasefire agreement, were summoned and beaten at the Manzam military post on 16 October.
According to Naypyitaw’s chief negotiator for peace U Aung Min, ceasefire agreements are to be followed by development projects in rebel-controlled areas and political dialogue. So far, most of the 13 armed groups have set up liaison offices in towns and cities and are holding consultations with the people, civil societies and political parties in preparation for the long-awaited political dialogue.