Wa told they
Wa told they're on their
During a meeting ten days ago in the Shan northern capital, Lashio, the Wa were informed by Burma's No. 3 strongman they could no longer expect protection from Rangoon when it came to drugs, according to a recent report from the north.
During the ad hoc gathering at Shweli Yaketha, 12:00 - 12:30, on 22 March, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt reportedly warned representatives from 5 ceasefire groups (Wa, Kokang, Shan, Kachin and Palaung) that if the Americans were to propose to the UN Security Council that the Wa be designated a terrorist organization and the proposal were approved, Burma would be facing a foreign invasion like Afghanistan.
On 13 March, Rand Beers, Assistant Secretary of State for Drug and Law Enforcement, together with Francis Taylor, Ambassador at large for Counter-terrorism, testified to the Senate that the United Wa State Army was among terrorist organizations connected to drug trafficking.
Gen Khin Nyunt also disclosed to them the agreement in Myawaddy on 20 March to set up Border Liaison Offices to help stem the movement of drugs. The three points of BLO contacts between Burma and Thailand are Myawaddy-Maesod, Tachilek-Mae Sai and Kawsawng -Ranong. Japan reportedly pledged $ 1.8 million for the UN-sponsored scheme.
Accordingly all ceasefire groups were directed by Secretary-1 to close up their offices in the three border towns.
"I'm not sure about other groups," replied a Shan businessman from Tachilek when questioned by S.H.A.N.. But the Shan office is certainly closed."
At the meeting in Hwe Yao, opposite Wianghaeng District, Chiangmai province yesterday (1 April), Wa representative Ta Hsa told the villagers that he was expecting an official inspection sometime this month. "We want no drugs found," he was quoted as saying. "Those with small amounts of drugs will be jailed. Those with large amounts will be executed."