Burma’s Than Shwe made a false promise to China’s President Hu Jintao
တရုတ္သမၼတ ဟူဂ်င္းေထာင္း အားေမာင္သန္းေရႊလိမ္လည္ကတိေပး
State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Chairman Senior General Than Shwe is in Beijing at present. Meeting Than Shwe on 8 September, China’s President Hu Jintao says he “understands and supports Myanmar government’s efforts to promote ethnic reconciliation.”
Than Shwe,in turn, was reported as saying, “Maintaining peace and stability on the border is of utmost importance to both countries,” according to a Reuters report .
Even though, tensions along the border with ceasefire groups are over-sensitive during these days despite SPDC’s first priority is to hold the general elections before year’s end and China’s request to sustain regional stability.
Nonetheless Burma Army’s security forces based in areas surrounding main base of the Shan State Army (SSA)-North’s First Brigade is soaring after the newly promoted regional commander of the Northeastern Region Command, issued orders to tighten security and to secure all pathways to the SSA bases, according to Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.).
A new Border Guard Force (BGF) program deadline for the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) also known as Mongla group has been scheduled. At an August 20 meeting, the Burmese junta instructed the two ceasefire groups to submit their agreement on transforming into BGF by the first week of September, said Shan Herald News.
On July 30, the UWSA and the NDAA, declined to transform into a junta-run BGF saying no political party contesting in the upcoming general elections will be allowed to come and campaign for votes in areas under their control. A senior Wa officer from Panghsang said the ban includes ethnic Wa parties referring to the Wa Democratic Party (WDP) and Wa National Unity Party (WNUP).
Commander of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army’s (DKBA) 907 brigade Gen. Saw Lar Pwel also refused to sign up to the junta’s BGF scheme, in an attempt to absorb ethnic soldiers into the Burmese army.
The ceasefire New Mon State Party (NMSP) has also rejected the Border Guard Force (BGF) plan, according to sources close to the NMSP. The NMSP leaders say they will continue their armed struggle until the Mon people obtain their freedom.
The Naypitaw has announced that if ceasefire groups do not respond with an agreement or disagreement on the BGF program, they will automatically be recognized as outlaw groups. But the headquarters of UWSA have said there would be no further response from them. UWSA already sent its latest eight point counterproposals on April 9, but was turned down by the junta.
Similarly, (NDAA) known as Mongla group, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ have also given the same response. Following the Naypitaw statement on the BGF program, ceasefire groups have become more united in confronting the Burmese Army.
Anti-BGF program groups are: the UWSA, the MNDAA, Kachin Independent Army (KIA), Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’’s First Brigade, the Kayan New Land Party (KNLP) and New Mon State Party (NMSP). All decided to remain unchanged unless their autonomy demands are met and they will not also support or participate in the general elections.
The UWSA and NDAA said they will up hold the following four principles: (1) They will not surrender. (2) They will not transform into BGF unless their autonomy demands are met. (3) They will not shoot first. (4) But they are ready to protect themselves and they will not secede from the Union, according to sources from the Sino-Burma border.
However, the junta inflexibly insists the nation must have only one army and that clause has been put in the unfair 2008 constitution which cannot be amended without permission of the armed forces.
August 25, 2010 marked the 63rd Anniversary of Mon Revolution Day. In their 63rd Mon Revolution Day statement, the New Mon State Party (NMSP) said:
“In light of the current political situation in Burma, the armed revolution is still the only practical way to achieve the ultimate goals of Mon national sovereignty and self-determination. Hence, it is extremely essential now for our Mon to develop a greater revolutionary awareness and determination. As long as the rights of ethnic nationalities are not fully guaranteed, Mon armed forces and armed revolution must always be in place to fight for our rights and protect our Mon people. The military regime still refuses to recognize and guarantee the democratic rights and the rights of ethnic nationalities in Burma.”
After 15 years of ceasefire with the Burmese regime, NMSP leaders say the regime does not wish for political dialogue, but they believe political disagreements can only be resolved through political dialogue. Although they have waited patiently for 15 years to have political dialogue, it has not happened yet, the NMSP said.
“We would welcome this government or a new government to begin dialogue according to the original terms of the cease-fire agreement,” the statement said.
June 29 marks the 15 year anniversary of the ceasefire agreement between the military junta and the NMSP. Some NMSP leaders believe the ceasefire agreement will be revoked if the junta uses force against them. The NMSP leaders say they will continue their armed struggle until the Mon people obtain their freedom. The NMSP believes that armed struggle is necessary to restore democracy and federal union in Burma.
The Burmese junta is speeding up plans to impose state security by controlling all the ethnic ceasefire groups in the border areas who are being pressured to provide security along Burma’s border regions ahead of the forthcoming elections. Many political analysts believe the junta is pressuring the ethnic ceasefire groups to become Border Guard Forces to restrict and control their activities.
On the contrary, an alliance of eight armed ethnic groups in Burma known as the National Democratic Front (NDF) has said that it is preparing to defend itself if escalating tensions with the Burmese army result in civil war. The comment comes as the Burmese government piles pressure on ethnic ceasefire groups to transform into Border Guard Forces (BGF).
The country’s two main ceasefire groups, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), are resisting the demands, which could spark widespread fighting, while the New Mon State Party (NMSP) totally rejected the proposal. The eight-member group includes the NMSP, as well as the Karen National Union (KNU).
The Burma’s military regime has announced that if ceasefires groups do not response to regarding the agreement or disagreement on the BGF program, they will automatically be recognized as the outlaw groups.
Than Shwe’s dream of ‘maintaining peace and stability on the border’ may not be in line with the ground situations. His promise to China’s President Hu Jintao seems to be a sham and farce.