Min Thu Ta and Nai Marm – Only four days after the New Mon State Party (NMSP) was forced by the Tatmadaw (Burma army) to abandon its Yeethakon base, government troops tried to make NMSP soldiers leave another base on Oct. 12
After about 100 government soldiers led by Col. Aung Min arrived at the Japan Mountain base, a standoff ensued with NMSP soldiers, both sides with their guns drawn, said Nai Hong Gakao, who is the NMSP Thanbyuzayat township secretary.
Banyar Dute, a NMSP battalion commander for Thanbyuzayat Township, explained to Col. Aung Min from the Advanced Military School 4 in Weakalee village, that the government hasn’t ordered them to evacuate their base. The discussion between the two military leaders lasted for about one and half hours before the Tatmadaw finally withdrew.
“That Burma troop official said that no Mon units are allowed. I replied that there is no such an order given to us yet to leave the base,” Banyar Dute said.
“The Burma troops are just looking for problems with us, with no reasons. And, they are just trying to break the ceasefire agreement,” said Nai Hong Gakao, adding that the Mon armed group isn’t in conflict with the government.
A ceasefire with the national government was inked on February 2012.
Nai Htaw, a NMSP soldier that was at the base when the standoff occurred, described it as tense.
“Our side starts to fire first, or their side starts to fire first. Each side just waits for an order to fire. Because we refused to leave the base, tension between both sides become high. Finally they gave up and left. But we have to stay alert, and keep an eye on (the situation),” he said.
Ironically some of the same soldiers from the Yeethakon base were redeployed to Japan Mountain base that is only about a mile away after government troops forced them off just days before.
Following the 1995 ceasefire, the Japan Mountain base started with permission from the previous ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).
In July, the Tatmadaw attacked a NMSP base in Thuminkalan village in Tenessarim Division killing two Mon soldiers and torching the base. They also kidnapped two NMSP soldiers and another member married to one of the soldiers. No reasons were given for the kidnappings, but they are still in custody at the Kawthaung prison.