December 21: Unconfirmed and fragmentary reports of Wa officers shooting to death 8 junta officials in Monghsat, opposite Chiangmai province, on Friday, 17 December, are continuing to haunt the border, reports King Cobra:
According to the reports, 8 of 9 Burmese officials who were holding a close door meeting with 13 Wa officers at an unspecified venue were killed, following a demand by the former that the Wa Army surrender their arms by 18 January 2005.
All cellular phones made in Thailand were ordered to shut down on the next day. Monghsat residents were also warned not to let any information out, threatening anyone defying the order with a ten-year imprisonment.
“Granted that the reports are accurate,” said a Thai border watcher, “the Burmese (military) is only reacting in accordance with its official procedure. They had done the same after Depayin (massacre on 30 May 2003). But the news leaked out to the outside world anyway.”
On the other hand, things appear to be quiet along the border, except for the fact that fewer Wa fighters are seen in public since the October “coup”.
Meanwhile, wife of Wa official from Monghsat who was on a visit to Mongton was asked whether she knew anything about the killings, to which she replied in the negative.
Other Thai security officers wonder whether the reports are deliberate disinformation by the junta. “Late last month, they were feeding us with reports about (Thailand’s) southern terrorists entering Burma on a mission to blow off the Thai embassy in Rangoon,” remarked one. “The result was some of us, who were newly appointed to watch over the western border but yet to have their homework properly done, got excited and started speaking in praise of Burma’s neighborliness.”