Chiang Mai University, Thailand
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While a group of government delegates led by U Thein Zaw and representatives of SSPP/SSA were meeting at the North-eastern Regional Command based in Lashio (Northern Shan State) on 18th October 2014, the Burma Army was sending in troop reinforcements to SSPP/SSA areas.
Local sources say the Burma Army was reinforcing their troops in SSPP/SSA areas while the Vice-Chairman of the Union Peace-making Work Committee U Thein Zaw, Northeastern Regional Military Commander General Aung Soe, Eastern-central commander General Ko Ko Naing and a group led by SSPP/SSA General Secretary Sao Khun Sai were meeting in Lashio on 18th October, 2014.
“They have told us to withdraw our troops from Pan Ze tract, Ke See township. They will tell us the same thing at their meeting in Lashio. They have been reinforcing their troops to give us pressure. If we don’t withdraw our troops, they said they would use force to attack. There were six fully loaded military trucks from Lashio and several military trucks from the Military Operations Commands (MOC, or Sa Ka Kha) 2,” said one of the SSPP/SSA communication officers.
A resident of Tangyan said that, at least five loaded Burma Army military trucks were heading to Loi-lang, Tangyan township.
The Burma Army have told SSPP/SSA to withdraw their troops and bases from the areas of Pan Ze tract in Ke See township, and Nam Si Zeng and Loi-lang areas in Tangyan township, northern Shan State.
Since a union level ceasefire agreement between the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army and the Naypyitaw government was signed in January, 2012, it has happened repeatedly that the Burma Army sent in reinforcements and occupied SSPP/SSA areas while the government and SSPP/SSA delegates were meeting. Since the signing of the ceasefire agreement, there have been hundreds of clashes between the Government and the SSPP/SSA.
- · Demarcation of ceasefire territory (which is a UPWC proposal. “Does it mean we keep on fighting outside it?” asked an NCCT official)
- · Replacing of DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) before political settlement instead of after, as agreed earlier by the UPWC. (I have yet to hear the NCCT asking why the UPWC had a sudden change of mind)
- · The UPWC also had another change of mind. Previously it had agreed that the NCA would be ratified by the union legislature. But now it is suggesting “submission of the NCA to the union legislature for ratification” instead, as earlier wording could have been considered too presumptuous by the legislature. Again I have yet to hear how then we can be sure that it will be ratified despite using an unassuming wording.