Mysterious (gold colored rings featuring 9 gems in each (a significant number in astrology and numerology)) gifts presented in previous NDAA, government meeting

WEDNESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2011 17:13 STEPHEN PERRAUD / HSENG KHIO FAH
shan news

According to sources close to the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) better known as Mong La group, Burmese officials presented NDAA’s representatives with presents that may have reportedly carried symbolic significance relating to astrology when the two sides met on 9 October meeting in Kengtung, Shan State East.

The said presents were gold colored rings featuring 9 gems in each (a significant number in astrology and numerology), providing enough rings for both members present and not present, said a source from Mongla.

In addition, the government officials also presented gifts of miniature coffins, with small glass bottles inside each.

Burmese government officials have long relied on astrology, fortune telling, and numerology for certain decisions. According to the Lowy Institute for International Policy, government figures have also reportedly been interested in “yadaya” in the past- a ritualistic practice used to prevent disaster and bad luck.

Mong La officials are confused in how to characterize the symbolic gifts they have received. On the one hand, they have found the gifts amusing, as they are generally insignificant child’s toys.

“It was funny; on the other hand it was a disappointing action. How could the diplomats of the government dare to do such foolish act? Everyone was disappointed. Every high ranking officials and even the Chairman (Sai Luen) received the miniature coffins,” the source said.

However, they are also aware that the gifts are symbolic and carry perhaps a more sinister or insulting meaning. Whether the symbolic gesture was meant to send a specific message or simply to confuse and play mind games is yet to be determined. The presentation of ambiguous gifts by government officials in strategic negotiation talks has only served to agitate an already complicated relationship.

Junta Peace Talk Updates 8 September

7 September 2011
A United Wa State Army (UWSA) delegation, in response to Naypyitaw’s 28 August letter inviting it for peace talks, visited Kengtung, Shan State East capital, yesterday. The 3 men delegation made up of Bao Youliang, Zhao Guo-ang and Li Julie aka U Aung Myint met U Aung Thaung and U Thein Zaw today. No further details have been disclosed. (SHAN)

8 September 2011
The meeting between Naypyitaw negotiators with the United Wa State Army (UWSA) delegation in Kengtung on 7 September was followed yesterday by another with the Wa’s closest ally and neighbor, Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA). Details yet to be disclosed. (SHAN)

WAR: 5 days after withdrawing-sudden return of Infantry Battalion 279, based in Mongyang!!!

TUESDAY, 09 AUGUST 2011 11:40 S.H.A.N.

5 days after withdrawing from the No Man’s Land between it and Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA)’s frontline outposts, the Burma Army is returning with a likelihood of remaining there for a long haul, according to local and Mongla sources.

The sudden return of Infantry Battalion 279, based in Mongyang, the township seat to , lying southwest of it on 6 August, was somewhat a surprise. “Troops from Hsaleu-based Brigade 369 (of NDAA) had already decided to return to their main base when the Burmese soldiers turned up,” an informed local told SHAN.

The 50-strong advance force told the local people in 5 villages: Hwe Mu, Hwe Pon, Mark Lawd Kao, Mark Lawd Mai and Ma Nai, all in Monglwe tract, Mongyang township, they were there to assist the villagers in obtaining their long awaited citizenship papers. “Uncharacteristically, they were also throwing money around, from K 50,000-K 100,000 ($62.5-125) each village,” he said. “It caused sort of a pleasant astonishment to the people. In the past, the appearance of a Burmese force in the village meant it was going to ask for something, not giving it.”

The same reaction by the populace was reported recently in Kehsi township, where the Burma Army is launching an operation against the Shan State Army. When villagers received bags of rice from the Burma Army that had been looting them for as long as they could remember, “we couldn’t believe what was happening,” according to a local source.

It was also apparent that a pure silver lode has been discovered between Hwe Mu and Hwe Pon, contrary to the report that came out after a week’s exploration late last month. “The Burmese troops went back after floating around the news of their failure to find anything,” said an NDAA officer. “It was in fact designed to keep us off our vigil.”

The next obvious step is for the Burma Army to employ the local villagers as People’s Militia Force, otherwise becoming their eyes and ears against the NDAA and its closest ally, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), he predicted.

It is not known which company the Burma Army is going to contract for silver extraction. “Without share and share alike, it is going to become another bone of contention, adding fuel to the fire,” the informed local said.

The Burma Army’s relationship with armed groups that had concluded ceasefire pacts with it since 1989 had taken a downswing since 2009 when Naypyitaw demanded they become part of its armed forces. It is already fighting against 3 former ceasefire groups: Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), Shan State Army (SSA) North and Kachin Independence Army (KIA).