Due to the ongoing clashes between Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) and Burma Army, 2000 bags of rice (40 tons), the aid from Nippon Foundation in Japan is unable to deliver toits Wanhai Headquarters, according to SSPP news sources.
“The Natala (Border Areas and National Races Development Affairs) Lashio Office promises that once the clashes are over, the rice aid from Japan will be delivered to the SSPP HQ. The clashes between the SSPP/SSA and government troops are occurring in Wanwap village, Kehsi Township in southern Shan State. The confrontation occurred when the government army did not comply with the ceasefire agreement that both sides had signed. Now people are scared to live in the village, even monks have fled from their temples. The government army has occupied the temple’s compound and directs its military operations there,” said Maj. Sai La, the SSPP/SSA spokesperson.
The SSPP/SSA was said to have told the Nippon Foundation earlier that they will not accept the offer if the aid come through the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC). Reportedly, all the current aid from Nippon Foundation, which are distributed to all ethnic groups, are being managed by the MPC.
“The Nippon Foundation and the MPC came together to offer aid in cash at the Natala Office. The Natala then purchased the required amount of rice and stored it in their office. On 24 June, I went to sign the invoice and official documents with the duty officer at the Lashio Natala office, but the bags of rice were not yet delivered,” Maj. Sai La told SHAN.
“We have suggested the Nippon Foundation give us cash instead of rice, because we can purchase the rice ourselves later,” said the SSPP/SSA spokesperson.
He continued by saying, “Not only do our people prefer Shan rice, but the money would also go to local vendors, allowing locals to benefit by gaining more income,” explained the SSPP/SSA spokesperson.
On 24 June, it was reported that clashes occurred between the SSPP/SSA and the Burma Army as the latter with Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 525 attacked the former’s base at Wanwap village, Kehsi Township in southern Shan State. The next day, 25 June, following the SSA’s withdrawal reinforcement troops from the Burma Army arrived. The two Burmese units then mistook each other for the SSA and engaged in friendly fire for several hours, said an SSPP source.