The second Union-level meeting between Naypyitaw-appointed Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and the Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) held in Lashio yesterday had resulted in the agreement to set up a village for families of the SSPP/SSA and IDPs (Internally displaced persons), according to sources.
The new village for 350 families will be established in the Honam-Tawng Hio area where Tangyan and Monghsu township borders meet. It includes Namlao and Loi Khio from where the SSA had withdrawn after heavy fighting in June followed by negotiations with Naypyitaw’s representative U Thein Zaw.
A committee will be formed to survey the area and choose a suitable site. The meeting however ended without a signed agreement.
The meeting also did not discuss current fighting in the Sino-Burmese oil/gas pipeline areas in northern Shan State. Neither did the two sides talk about Ta Hsarm Pu Crossing over the Pang river, where the Burma Army had demanded the SSA must withdraw its troops from.
“It means the fighting goes on,” said SSPP/SSA spokesman Maj Sai La.
Another officer however said the SSA would have to deal with the regional commanders directly to discuss military issues, instead of dealing with the UPWC.
The UPWC presented 1,000 sacks of rice and 2 hand-push tractors to the SSPP/SSA delegation led by General Secretary Khun Hseng.
The UPWC delegation was headed by Vice Chairmen U Aung Min and U Thein Zaw and included Shan State chief minister Sao Aung Myat and regional commanders Tun Tun Naung and Min Aung.
Sources were unable to say if the planned village would be modeled on the Kyaukkyi pilot project jointly implemented in May in the Pegu division by the government, Karen National Union (KNU) and the Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI), commonly known as Norwegian Initiative. The project involved 1,585 internally displaced people (224 households). It came into being after a need assessment was carried out followed by a field visit by the MPSI. Its first phase implementation alone cost $ 150,000, according to an MPSI briefing paper.