The Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), better known as SSA North, to differentiate it from the SSA South, whose official name is Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), has received an invitation from Naypyitaw for the second round of Union-level negotiations, according to source close to Wanhai, the SSA North’s main base in Kehsi township, Shan State South.
The invitation, signed by U Thein Zaw, Vice Chairman # 3 of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC), has proposed the tentative date of the meeting as “after 20 June”. “It will be up to the SSPP/SSA to set a definite date,” said the source.
The two sides met in Taunggyi on 28 January to sign two agreements:
- Ceasefire-at state level
- Upholding the Three Causes i.e. Non-disintegration of the Union, Non-disintegration of National Solidarity and Perpetuation of National Sovereignty on the basis of Panglong Spirit – at Union level
The agreement at the Union level was signed by the outgoing U Aung Thaung for Naypyitaw. U Thein Zaw was his deputy then.
The two sides have fought at least 17 times since then. “Mostly it was the Burma Army that started the fights,” one of the SSA officers quoted his superior as saying.
When SHAN asked the SSA North about a report by the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) saying that the SSA North had taken part in the 2 March clash between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on the latter’s side, the SSA officer questioned by SHAN declined either to confirm or reject it. (The SSA north is a member of the UNFC led by the KIA)
Concerning unity with the SSA South, sources say both are working toward it, taking advantage of the ceasefire agreements reached with Naypyitaw.
Another source says Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) has also received an invitation from Naypyitaw for a third round of Union level negotiations.