BURMA

Burma Army Clashes with Ta’ang Rebels Amid National Day Celebrations

 TNLA troops at an Independence Day celebration in January 2015. (Photo: Hein Htet / The Irrawaddy)

TNLA troops at an Independence Day celebration in January 2015. (Photo: Hein Htet / The Irrawaddy)

Ethnic Ta’ang troops clashed with the Burma Army in Shan State’s Kutkai and Namtu townships on Jan. 12, in the midst of celebrations for Ta’ang National Revolutionary Day.

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) was celebrating its 53rd revolutionary day when Burma Army soldiers fired near Hopon village in Kutkai even after both sides had ceased engagement, an official from the armed group said.

Tar Gote Ja, vice chairman of the TNLA, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the attack near Kutkai was likely timed to coincide with the group’s celebration. Military operations in both areas have been silent in the days since the skirmishes initially erupted.

The TNLA is a member of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance whose members are boycotting the current peace conference in Naypyidaw. Members also abstained from a multilateral ceasefire with the government on Oct. 8 because it excluded a number of the country’s ethnic armed groups, the TNLA among them.

The TNLA has said that it is ready to hold talks with a National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government, which will assume power in March.


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