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Big fish gets away in Burma’s biggest drug bust of the year

Big fish gets away in Burma’s biggest drug bust of the year

Burmese authorities in Tachileik yesterday seized a Vigo Toyota hauling an estimated $ 2.2 billion worth of heroin blocks together with two suspects, but the man believed to be the real culprit went sit free, said a military source this morning.

 

SSA leader urges Shan parties to postpone 8/14 states call for unity’s sake

SSA leader urges Shan parties to postpone 8/14 states call for unity’s sake

Lt-Gen Yawd Serk, leader of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS), has appealed to the two leading Shan parties: Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) and Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) to defer their separate calls for 8 states (SNLD) and 14 states (SNDP) for the sake of unity.

“If our common demand is the implementation of Panglong Agreement and Federalism, that should be sufficient for our unity,” he told the 6- member fact finding commission appointed by the Committee for Shan State Unity (CSSU) on 3 May.

The commission (4 male, 2 female) wound up its mission that began on 7 June on 16 July with the meeting with the RCSS/SSA leadership at its Loi Taileng main base between Thailand’s Maehongson and Shan State’s Mongpan township.

Its mission was to find out how the CSSU, formed October 2013 by 2 Shan political parties, 2 Shan armies and 9 Shan civil society organizations (CSOs), could be further strengthened and expanded.

The SNLD’s 8 states stand: Burma Proper as a single unit together with 7 non-Burman units (Arakan, Chin, Kachin, Karen,Karenni, Mon and Shan) and the SNDP’s 14 states stand: 7 Burman/mixed regions with 7 non-Burman states have for years served as an immovable stumbling block between the two.

Academics including the much respected late Chao Tzang Yawnghwe (1939-2004) have suggested that the number of states is of less importance than whether the country is federal or not, but so far they have failed to hit home.

To aggravate things, some non-Shans are demanding separate statehoods, most particularly the Wa on the Sino-Burma border led by the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

“Nevertheless, the positive outcome of the 40-day mission has been the agreement by all groups concerned to promote and preserve unity, and most importantly, to speak with the same voice.” said Peun Kham, 65, leader of the fact finding commission, who is much respected among the Shan circle especially in Shan State East.

The commission is to resume its fact-finding mission before the first anniversary of the CSSU.

According to Harn Yawnghwe, Executive Director of Euro-Burma Office (EBO) that has been assisting the development of democracy and federalism in Burma, common stand should be reached on the questions of 8/14 states and the separate statehood call by Wa before Shan unity could be cemented and expanded to include non-Shans.

The quest for unity has become more and more challenging as the 2015 general elections remain only a year away. Critics have pointed out that without unity and basic understanding between the SNDP and SNLD, election victory in Shan State will be in the hands of either the National League for Democracy (NCD) or the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

SSA South to join third ethnic summit

SSA South to join third ethnic summit

The Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS) will be represented by a delegation headed by Lt-Col Sai Ngeun, chief aide to Lt-Gen Yawd Serk, the leader of the SSA-South, as the RCSS/SSA is commonly known, at the upcoming Third Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) conference in Laiza, Kachin State, according to SSA sources.

Resume fighting between Burma Army and Shan State Army-North affects six villages

Resume fighting between Burma Army and Shan State Army-North affects six villages

CHIANG MAI. Resumed fighting from July 20 till July 21, 2014 between Burma Army Battalion 248 and Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) Brigade 72 in Kehsi township, southern Shan State, has displaced people from six villages.

NCCT to meet and finalize presentation for Laiza summit

NCCT to meet and finalize presentation for Laiza summit

The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), set up by 16 armed movements in November, is due to meet today in Chiang Mai to finalize its review to the Third Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) conference to be held at the Kachin stronghold Laiza, 24-26 July, according to sources.

Peace Process: Both sides ready to make “further compromise”

Peace Process: Both sides ready to make “further compromise”

Despite statements from the government-established Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) and the armed resistance movements’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) that there won’t be any Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signing on 1 August as planned earlier, both sides appear to be ready to offer more concessions during the next meeting, according to sources from the border and Rangoon.

The Peace Process: Knowing the rules

The Peace Process: Knowing the rules

In one of the Dirty Harry movie series, Clint Eastwood who plays him, tells Liam Neeson: “You want to play the game, love, you better know the rules.”

I learned a lot yesterday when I was invited to talk about the Pyidaungsu Institute (PI) for Peace and Dialogue that I had helped set up 11- months ago. I also have the honor of becoming its managing director, because nobody else wanted it.

Over 100 villagers flee Burma Army abuses amid mounting tension in central Shan State

Over 100 villagers flee Burma Army abuses amid mounting tension in central Shan State

CHIANG MAI. Over one hundred villagers fled to Wan Wap Temple, Kehsi Township on July 6, 2014, due to mounting tension between the Burma Army and Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).

Shan youth to climb mountain to oppose drugs

Shan youth to climb mountain to oppose drugs

CHIANG MAI. Over 200 Shan youth will climb up Loi Khur mountain in Hsipaw township northern Shan State, on July 7, 2014, to persuade youth to be involved insocial activities and environmental protection, and to oppose drugs.

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Shan Drug Watch Newsletters

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