Once again, Burma Army has given an ultimatum to Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) to leave the base stationed southeast of Wan Hai Headquarters, reported an SSA/SSPP official.
“Government army has ordered another Shan base to withdraw. They are also restricting all kinds of movements from our men. This absolutely violates articles in the peace agreements,” said spokesperson Maj Sai La.
The Burma Army also demands SSPP/SSA withdraw from Haipa antimony mine and Ta Hsarmpu Crossing in Haipa, Monghsu township. “These are our essential bases in southern territory and cover our passageways, so we have no plan to withdraw. There are more than 300 men from Burma Army force surrounding the areas and if they are going to advance further, it will definitely lead to direct confrontation,” said a commander from SSPP/SSA.
This is more like intimidation rather than developing peace according to the peace agreements. Since we last signed the peace agreements, there have already been more than 30 engagements with Burma Army. If the government is looking forward to eternal peace, this is the period for building trust between both sides. However, if these actions continue, the establishment of eternal peace will be obstructed.”
“The government army particularly appears to be implementing the “four-cut strategy,” an attempt to cut off food, funds, intelligence and recruits, from SSPP/SSA Wanhai headquarters by closing off our outlets. This is the time of negotiation for peace and hence we do not want to resolve by force of arms. Nevertheless, if the government battalions proceed any further, we will have to defend,” added Maj Sai La.
The crossing also connects with the area of Burma Army bases just 10 miles away from Wanhai. It is part of Haipa Village tract, Monghsu, where a military engagement between theSSPP/SSA and Burma Army had just taken place.
As of last week, a force of over 100 men from Monghsu-based Burma Army was seen advancing toward Ta Hsarmpu crossing but as yet not seen around the crossing, according to the locals.
“Since President Thein Sein’s 18/8/2011 peace-talks offer, SSPP and Union Peacemaking Work Committee led by U Aung Thaung, has signed a 7 point peace agreement on Jan 28, 2012. The government agreed to withdraw its battalions surrounding Wanhai Headquarters within 5 days. Still, after 7 months, none of the Burma Army battalions have withdrawn and following the clashes between June 17 and July 4, more than 300 men were added to the Burma Army bases stationed around Mong Awt. These are not good signs for peace,” said Major Sai La.
Subsequent to the peace agreements process led by President Thein Sein, there was neither actual ceasefire nor implementation of the terms of agreement, and as long as the agreements are not honored, there will be no trust, stated both SSA (South) and SSA (North).