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Peace process in limbo, when ceasefire is a joke

Peace process in limbo, when ceasefire is a joke

Col Sao Swy Mangrai, Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), was asked during a meeting, “How’s the ceasefire going?” In response, he stretched out his arms like he was holding a gun and said, “Like this. Cease! (releases the trigger and lowers the gun) Fire! (raises the gun and squeezes the trigger). Cease! Fire! Cease! Fire!”

 

Harder to win than war -Day 5

Harder to win than war -Day 5

Day Five: Sunday, 5 October 2014

Today, before leaving for the airport, we visit the Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha Temple) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).

At Wat Phra Kaew, visitors as usual are thick, almost swarming all over each other. Many of them these days are Chinese, prompting temple officials to use more Chinese than English in communicating with the tourists.

Peace process: Breaking the deadlock

Peace process: Breaking the deadlock

One evening more than 30 years ago, when I got back home, I asked my wife what we had for dinner. She said fish and I was happy because one of the meals I have always enjoyed is rice with fish. But then I found out that there was only one fish and not a very big one at that. If I was to have my way, my wife would end up eating her rice with a sprinkle of fish and if we agreed to go half, I would not be eating much either, as a fish head is something that I have never liked.

Harder to win than war -Day 4

Harder to win than war -Day 4

Day Four. Saturday, 4 October 2014

Ask me who’s the Shan misunderstood most by other Shans and I’ll lose no time in pointing out at Harn Yawnghwe, born Sao Hso Harn Fa, the youngest son of Sao Shwe Thaike and Sao Hearn Hkam of the princely house of Yawnghwe. (Interestingly, his namesake, King Hso Harn Fa, pronounced Tho Han Bwa by the Burmese, who ruled Ava, 1527-1542, is also the most hated Shan sovereign for reputedly killing 300 Burmese monks. Burmese history in the meanwhile has only praise for the Burmese king Alaungpaya who was said to have put to death 3,000 Mon monks in 1757.)

Harder to win than war -Day 3

Harder to win than war -Day 3

Day Three. Thursday, 3 October 2014

This morning the SSPP announces that due to heavy bombardment by the Burma Army, its units have withdrawn from Ta Pha Sawng, prompting the meeting to send a joint open petition to the President.

Harder to win than war -Day 2 (continued from 7 October 2014)

Harder to win than war -Day 2 (continued from 7 October 2014)

Day Two. Wednesday, 2 October 2014 (continued from 7 October 2014)

The meeting, dubbed “Towards a Common Understanding”, begins with short opening speeches from 5 top leaders:

  • Hkun Htun Oo, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), better known as “Tiger Head” party
  • Sai Ai Pao, Shan Nationalities Democratice Party (SNDP), better known as “White Tiger” party
  • Lt-Gen Hso Ten, Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), better known as SSA North
  • Maj Gen Gaifa, Hseng Keow People’s Militia Force (PMF)
  • Lt-Gen Yawd Serk, Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), better known as SSA South

Commander-in-Chief's failed-decision or maintaining pre-concieved idea of top-dog position

It is unfortunate that due to some rumors and unconfirmed news, the Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing has decided to launch a large scale operation against the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).

Harder to win than war -Day 2

Harder to win than war -Day 2

Day Two. Thursday, 2 October 2014

“Negotiating for the NCA (Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement) is like eating roasted beans,” says U Aung Min this morning to the 40 Shans gathering at the meeting room of the hotel. “First you choose only crisp ones. At last only tough ones remain. But we have to go though them, because there is no Hsay Myidoe (fast remedy) for the ills that have accumulated for more than 60 years.”

BURMA PEACE PROCESS: Hardened military stance puts peace talks in jeopardy

BURMA PEACE PROCESS: Hardened military stance puts peace talks in jeopardy

Quite a lot has happened just within a few days, after the end of peace talks that had ended on 26 September.

The Burma Army launched a massive offensive against the Shan State Progress Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in central Shan State, numerous armed clashes erupted with the various Karen resistance groups in Karen and Mon States, heightened armed confrontation were reported with the Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in northern Shan State, the Shan unity meeting involving, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), SSPP/SSA and Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) was held in Bangkok for 3 days, and last but not least, the President Thein Sein radio speech emphasizing that failing to seal the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) could derail the 2015 nationwide election. Let us have a close look on these recent happenings and do some speculation, on which way the peace process is heading or what political future, we have in store.

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