More military beefing-up in areas between Wa, Shan

credit panglong news

The Burma Army is sending reinforcements into areas that link the Shan State Army (SSA) North with its ally the United Wa State Army (UWSA) on the eastern bank of the Salween, according to local sources.

This is in spite of the fact that both the SSA and the UWSA have signed ceasefire agreements and Naypyitaw had, on 12 July, met Wa leaders that defused the tension along the Thai-Burmese border between the two sides.

Car in Wa controlled area
Car in Wa controlled area

During last week, Chinese made Dong Feng six-wheelers had arrived in the Loi Khawk mountain on the west bank of the Salween in Tangyan township. “There were 6 trucks each carrying no less than 30 troops,” said Maj Naw Lake, liaison officer for the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), as the SSA North is officially known.

Another convoy of trucks had arrived at Loi Khio in Monghsu township, further south of Loi Khawk, according to a local elder. “People are worried there will be more fighting,” he said.

The SSA and the Burma Army have been playing a cat-and-mouse game further north in Namtu township. The two sides have not stopped fighting, even though the SSA had signed a ceasefire on 28 January 2012, more than 18 months ago.

“The Burma Army appears to be trying to cut the territorial links between the Wa on the east bank and the SSA, Kachin and Palaung resistance armies on the west bank,” commented a long-time border watcher from Thailand. “It is a known fact that the Wa has been supplying these groups with arms and ammo.”

There has been reports of Burma Army units moving into vital Salween crossings north of Tangyan, where the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) are active.

Meanwhile, Burmese authorities have demanded Panghsang, the Wa headquarters, present a list of their motor vehicles, especially those with NW (Northern Wa) and SW (Southern Wa) number plates that were imported tax-free during the period when Gen Khin Nyunt was in power. “Panghsang has yet to respond,” said a Monghsat local.

Yawd Serk: Military ties with Burma premature before emergence of federal armed forces

YAWD SERK
YAWD SERK

PANGLONG NEWS 26.JULY 2013

A federal armed forces that incorporates all the armed forces of the country into a single entity should be in place, before the West establishes closer military ties with Burma, said Sao Yawd Serk, Chairman of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) yesterday.

“Or they will just serve to strengthen the hands of the Tatmadaw (Burmese military) against the resistance forces,” he told a meeting held yesterday on the Thai-Burmese border.

A participant agreed pointing out that, according to the 2008 constitution, the Burmese military’s self-appointed mission, contrary to other democracies, was to wage war not only against external dangers but also internal ones.

This was the first time the leader of the Shan resistance movement that had concluded a ceasefire with Naypyitaw on 2 December 2011 has spoken publicly in response to recent Britian’s approval to $ 5 million arms export licenses to Burma.

The Burmese military has also been offered training courses in human rights, the laws of armed conflicts and the accountability of armed forces in democracies. “The training should not only be provided to the Burma Army, but also to the resistance armed forces,” he said. “It can wait until a federal armed forces has been formed.”

Many of the ethnic groups have proposed that the Chief Minister of a State/Region be elected and he/she, by virtue of it, automatically becomes the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the state/region concerned.

According to the 2008 constitution, the Chief Minister is appointed by the President. Both of them have no say in military matters.

So far, the RCSS/SSA, like its sister organization in the north, Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), has fought more than 100 clashes since the ceasefire. The last one took place in Kyaukme on 24 July.

Wa will not budge from Thai border areas

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the people it had brought down from the Sino-Burmese border will not move house back from the Thai-Burmese border areas where it has been allowed to reside since the 1990s, according to well known analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw, who is reportedly close to the Wa.

 

“This land has been won by blood, sweat and tears of the Wa people and its fighters,” he said. “They refuse to forsake it under any pressure.”

map-byuwsa

The UWSA for 7 long years waged an all-out war against the Mong Tai Army (MTA) led by the late Khun Sa (1926-2007) until a mutiny broke the backbone of his forces and forced him to make peace with Rangoon in 1996. Continue reading “Wa will not budge from Thai border areas”

Fire broke out at Winka village southeast of Three Pagoda Pass -mov

(Mizzima) – Fire broke out at Winka village southeast of Three Pagoda Pass on the Thai-Burmese border on Tuesday. Damage was estimated at US$ 2 million.

The fire broke out during the Winka village pagoda festival, and the area was crowded with visitors. Witnesses said shop owners did not have time to carry goods from their stores.

The fired destroyed a large number of homes and shops that cater to tourists and foreign visitors. The fire is believed to have started in an electrical short circuit.

Fire engines from Sangklaburi, about two kilometres from Winka village, responded. It took about four hours to extinguish the blaze.

During Winka village’s annual pagoda festival there are boxing matches, Mon and Burmese traditional dance shows, performing arts and Thai music shows. The village specializes in tourist and ethnic items.

The village has about 1,500 houses. The area is well known for Thailand’s longest wooden bridge, and a replica of India’s Bodh Gaya temple.

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Fire at Sangkhlaburi Bodh Gaya Temple causes about 70 million Baht in damages

IMNA – The row of shops of Bodh Gaya Temple in Wan-Ka Village, Sangkhlaburi Township, near Three Pagodas Pass at the Thai-Burma border caught on fire at about 8 pm Tuesday and all the shops turned into ash within half an hour.

Thirty-six shops were damaged and the damage was estimated at 70 millions Thai Baht by local authorities at the emergency meeting held in the Wi-wai-karama Monastery of Wan-Ka Village, after the fire was put out.

Fire at Sangkhalaburi

Valuable textiles or clothes, ethnic costumes, handicrafts, silver and bronze wares related to Buddha images, many kinds of musical instruments, art materials made of timber, ironwood and gum-kino and other small furniture made by artisans in Burma were lost. Continue reading “Fire broke out at Winka village southeast of Three Pagoda Pass -mov”