Wa cars seized
More than 30 vehicles with Wa number plates in Tachilek during the past weeks in February and an order has been issued limiting the number of cars the Wa can use, report S.H.A.N. correspondents from the border...
No.20 - 02/2006
28 February 2006
Wa cars seized
More than 30 vehicles with Wa number plates in Tachilek during the past weeks in February and an order has been issued limiting the number of cars the Wa can use, report S.H.A.N. correspondents from the border:
The United Wa State Army (UWSA) and its commercial wing Hongpang (renamed Xinghong) use NW and SW number plates. There are 822 Wa vehicles using SW number plates alone:
During Gen Khin Nyunt's tenure, each NW or SW car that exceeded 200 were only required to renew its license annually in Kengtung, the capital of eastern Shan State. "But now the new order says we cannot keep more than 200 cars per SW or NW," a Wa officer in Tachilek said.
In addition to the 200 vehicles limit, the Wa drivers are also required to hold valid driving licenses.
The upshot of it was an emergency meeting on 25 February at the Xinghong office, north of Tachilek, where the decision was taken to forward the Burma Army's order to Panghsang, where the Wa headquarters is located.
The latest development followed a series of arrests of UWSA members suspected of involvement in drug production and trafficking. On 18 January Hsai Ka, a Wa representative at Namterng, Loilem district, was detained by a raiding party "led by 3 female officers". The haul reportedly included 165 blocks of heroin and 115,000 methamphetamine pills.
"The freewheeling days of the ceasefire groups are numbered," said a border watcher to S.H.A.N. "These days it is better to be pro-junta militia, if you want to deal in drugs."