Wed 24 Oct 2012
Filed under: Inside Burma,Military,News
The United Wa State Party / United Wa State Army (UWSP/UWSA) leadership is scheduled to make a public announcement concerning the meeting with Burma’s armed forces chief Vice Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on 6 October, according to a source close to the leadership.
Min Aung Hlaing during his meeting with leaders of Wa and its ally Mongla in Kengtung, capital of eastern Shan State, had reportedly served warning on two topics:
To do away with drug production and trafficking by 2015
To accept the 2008 constitution and return to the fold
Armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing with Xiao Minliang, deputy leader of UWSA, in Kengtung, 6 October 2012. (Photo: Myawady)
“There cannot be two governments and two armed forces in one nation,” he was reported as saying. “So far, you have rejected our propositions for you to become either a Border Guard Force (BGF) or People’s Militia Force (PMF). Now it’s time you made up your mind to form a (registered) party and enter elections.”
“He (Min Aung Hlaing) may be a blue-eyed boy to the world outside,” commented a source who asked not to be named. “But, to us, who have known him since the days he was a regional commander in Kengtung, he has always been a hard liner.”
Myawaddy, the military’s mouth piece, however, said nothing about this in its report.
The UWSA and the Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), both of which are based along the Sino-Burmese border, were the first two groups to conclude new ceasefire pacts with Naypyitaw, less than a month after President Thein Sein issued a formal invitation for peace talks to all armed opposition movements on 18 August 2011.
Earlier ceasefire agreements, reached in 1989, broke down in 2009 following demands by Naypyitaw to transform all ceasefire groups into either BGFs or PMFs. The two groups, unlike the Kachin and the Shan, have thus far escaped being attacked by the Burma Army.
Currently, heavy fighting is taking place in Kachin and its neighboring northern Shan State between the Burma Army and the Kachin-Shan-Palaung alliance.
“The war against the Kachin alliance is mighty unpopular both at home and abroad,” commented a Thai border watcher. “But the one against the Wa might prove popular at least outside the country. Of course, the Chinese may have different ideas about it.”