Mon 31 Aug 2009
Filed under: Inside Burma
NAY PYI TAW — Kokang group of Shan State (North) Special Region 1 led by U Phon Kya Shin returned to the legal on 21 March 1989 and joined hands with the government in implementing regional development undertakings, with Laukkai as the base. At first, the group carried out its activities in accord with the law. Later, it was found that the group was engaged in businesses that were against the law.
Acting on information given by a country across the border, the Myanmar Police Force exposed and seized a factory producing and selling arms and ammunition illegally in Kokang region of Shan State (North) Special Region 1 on8 August 2009. When the MPF filed a lawsuit in connection with the case and summoned the responsible persons—U Phon Kya Shin, U Phon Kya Phu, U Phon Tar Shwin and U Phon Tar Li, there arose disagreements among the leadership of the Special Region 1. U Phon Kya Shin and party did not clarify the matter officially to the authorities concerned; they redeployed troops of the Special Region 1 of their own accord; they themselves moved to Yanlonkyaing region at the border; and spread rumours and news that there would be an encounter between the government and their troops. Hence, the locals fled to the other country or interior parts of the country in panic. In addition, Kokang forces that did not want to stay under the leadership of U Phon Kya Shin joined hands with the Tatmadaw.
On 27 August morning, Kokang troops loyal to U Phon Kya Shin took 39 MPF members of Yanlonkyaing border checkpoint as hostages. Information was sent for the release of hostages. But they were not released. And when the combined force of the Tatmadaw, with the cooperation of Kokang region provisional leading committee went to the Yanlonkyaing border checkpoint to rescue the hostages at 4 pm on 27 August, Kokang troops loyal to U Phon Kya Shin started to open fire at them. As there were casualties, the combined Tatmadaw force had to return fire. At 2 pm on 29 August, the combined force rescued 25 hostages including 11 wounded persons. In the confinement and some places 14 bodies of MPF personnel brutally shot to death at point-blank range were found.
During the rescue mission, skirmishes began on 27 August. As troops loyal to U Phon Kya Shin fled leaving their heavy weapons and small arms, it ended at 2 pm on 29 August. Eleven Tatmadaw members fell and 34 were wounded and 15 MPF members fell and 13 wounded in the skirmishes. Eight bodies of troops loyal to U Phon Kya Shin were found together with over 400 assorted heavy and small arms that were left behind by the fleeing troops. The combined forces also seized 200 assorted weapons from armouries in the area where those Kokang troops were stationed and over 40 new small arms and ammunition of various kinds in the surrounding areas of the illegal arms factory.
As the Tatmadaw, MPF members and Kokangs that joined hands with the Tatmadaw were able to restore peace in the region on 29 August, it is now in a stable condition and local administrative machinery has become normal. Locals who ran away to the other country were returning to Kokang region.
They are being accepted after proper screening. Officials are also providing necessary assistance to them. – MNA