The Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), as the SSA North is officially designated, whose Kawng Maihoong base in Monghsu township has been under attack since Saturday, 30 June, has sent a message to President Thein Sein demanding that his Burma Army forces suspend hostilities and retire to where they come from, according to SSPP/SSA spokesman Maj Sai La.
“So far, we are only defending our positions,” he said. “But we’ll be forced to take steps if the attack continues.”
This latest attack marks the 19th time the ceasefire agreement, signed on 28 January in Shan State capital Taunggyi, has been violated, according to SSA sources.
Apart from Kawng Maihoong, 2 other bases in Tangyan township, 7th Mile and Kawng Maizong, were being attacked by joint forces from Infantry Battalions (IBs) 33 and 136, and Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 326 yesterday. The 3 battalions are units under the command of Lashio-based Northeastern Region Command. The rest are from Kholam-based Central Eastern Region Command.
Thus far the Burma Army has chosen to leave along the SSA’s Wanhai HQ in Kehsi township, 25 miles west of Kawng Maihoong, where the fighting is taking place. “The Burma Army wants all the SSA forces to regroup around Wanhai,” a former SSA member commented.
All the 3 bases under attack guard the SSA’s link to its ally the United Wa State Army (UWSA), considered the strongest armed opposition movements, across the Salween in the east. It had already taken one SSA base, Loi Pha Pheung, when it attacked Gawng Maihoong.
Meanwhile, U Aung Min, Naypyitaw’s chief negotiator declared on 1 July that the government is trying to start a conference similar to the 1947 conference that had brought Burma, Shan, Kachin and Chin together to form a Union.