BURMA

Govt Wrong to Suggest Wa, China Involvement in Kokang Conflict: UWSA

Burma Army Commander-in-Chierf Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing meets with leaders of the United Wa State Army in Lashio, Shan State in April 2014. (Photo: Senior General Min Aung Hlaing / Facebook)

Burma Army Commander-in-Chierf Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing meets with leaders of the United Wa State Army in Lashio, Shan State in April 2014. (Photo: Senior General Min Aung Hlaing / Facebook)

RANGOON — A representative of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Burma’s most powerful ethnic armed group, on Friday denied allegations made by the Burma Army that the UWSA is involved in the ongoing Kokang conflict in northern Shan State.

The Wa officer also urged the army to end speculation over the involvement of Chinese nationals in the fighting, saying that it risked misrepresenting the Wa and Kokang as tied to China, while they are in fact ethnic minorities of Burma.

Aung Myint, a spokesperson of UWSA, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the group sent a letter to President Thein Sein on Thursday informing him that the Wa were in no way supporting the Kokang rebels, while also calling for a meeting with the president.

Aung Myint said since the start of the conflict the government appeared to be playing nationalist politics by associating the Wa with the Kokang and China. “They tried to involve our name in the fighting, but they do not have any evidence for it. We found that this case is used in current politics; they wanted to divert public attention in the country by doing this,” he said.

On Feb. 21, during a press conference in Naypyidaw, Lt-Gen. Mya Tun Oo of the Burma Army’s Office of the Commander-in-Chief said Kokang rebels fighting under the banner of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) were using “Chinese mercenaries,” along with soldiers from other ethnic armed rebel groups in Burma, including the Wa and Mongla groups, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Arakan Army, the Kachin Independence Amry and the Shan State Army-North.

Aung Myint said the army was trying to cast the fighting as a Chinese-backed attempt at taking Burmese sovereign territory in northern Shan State. “They said… they found some soldiers spoke the Chinese language during the fighting, but Kokang soldiers speak Chinese. There are no Chinese soldiers there,” he said.

Chinese state media have ran articles stating that Beijing was not supporting ethnic rebels in northern Burma.

The Chinese minority Kokang and the Wa and Mongla groups live in a mountainous region on the Burma-China border and have strong cultural and business links with China. The Chinese yuan is the de facto currency in the regions.

Their armed groups used to make up the bulk of the powerful China-backed Communist Party of Burma. In 1989, the party collapsed and splintered into ethnic armies that cut ceasefire deals with the then-military regime which granted them a degree of autonomy.

The groups have long been recognized minorities in Burma, but their association with the Chinese-backed communist insurgency has installed a suspicion against the groups among the Burmese public, which is weary of the giant neighbor to the north.

Reports in state media and remarks by army and government officials suggesting Chinese involvement in Kokang in recent weeks have successfully swayed opinion among the Burmese-majority public in favor of the army, which loathed by most following decades of military rule.

Aung Myint, the UWSA officer, said, “For us, we wanted to see peace, but it depend on them [the army] whether they want peace. They accuse all well-known armed groups based in Shan State, including us [of supporting the Kokang]. On this issue, we don’t know how peace could proceed. People in the country could analyze this.”

“We found that there are some Burmese people who support this fighting, but there are also some Burmese who have good analysis about this fighting,” he added.

Burma’s nationwide ceasefire process involving the government and an alliance of 16 ethnic groups came to a halt in September, as differences over key political issues, such as federalism, could not be bridged. Since then, fighting in northern Burma has escalated.

The Wa, which have long been accused of large-scale illegal drug trade and gun-running, have emerged as the most powerful rebel army in Burma with an estimated 20,000 fighters and sophisticated Chinese weaponry, including armored personnel carriers, surface-to-air missiles and possibly helicopters.

The UWSA has had a ceasefire with the government in past decades, but the issue of autonomy for the Wa region has yet be resolved.

The Kokang ceasefire lasted from 1989 until August 2009, when a Burma Army offensive took the Kokang region without firing a shot and raided the properties of MNDAA leader Peng Jiasheng, replacing him with his Kokang rival Bai Souqian. At the time, Peng Jiasheng was believed to have fled to Wa territory with several hundred men.


6 Responses to Govt Wrong to Suggest Wa, China Involvement in Kokang Conflict: UWSA

  1. Author state that “Reports in state media and remarks by army and government officials suggesting Chinese involvement in Kokang in recent weeks have successfully swayed opinion among the Burmese-majority public in favor of the army, which loathed by most following decades of military rule.’
    My opinion; The above fact is the true fact. Fox wants to divert the public attention of coming 2015 election, bad killing rule of fox nargic 2008 constitution with the slogan of Burmese nationalism. In fact, as long as there is no honor from bama military thugs upon panglong agreement, there is no Burmese nationalism in Burma.

    Author wrote that “The Wa, which have long been accused of large-scale illegal drug trade and gun-running, have emerged as the most powerful rebel army in Burma with an estimated 20,000 fighters and sophisticated Chinese weaponry, including armored personnel carriers, surface-to-air missiles and possibly helicopters.”

    My opinion:
    Wa and other ethnics are very poor and neglected by bama military government. No support of their ethnic culture, education, language, social and infrastruture. So, all with the help of corrupted bama military generals, all are involved in drug, prostitutes and illegal sell of own natural resources to neighbour countries. All poor ethnics need survival. It is not strange for all of us for this news.

    Author wrote: “The Kokang ceasefire lasted from 1989 until August 2009, when a Burma Army offensive took the Kokang region without firing a shot and raided the properties of MNDAA leader Peng Jiasheng, replacing him with his Kokang rival Bai Souqian. At the time, Peng Jiasheng was believed to have fled to Wa territory with several hundred men”

    My opinion: With or without any reason, bama military will use the divide and rule to all ethnics from time to time to destroy the all ethnics’ long power base. It is their way of Burmese unity with the slogan of Burmese nationalism. Now , rich China is the only country to be able to help our world poorest country as China has huge own experience of civil war and has many different Chinese ethnicity in their own. China should sincerely help poor ordinary Burmese people in the rehabilitation of the world most poor country Burma. We all fed up the bama military rule in Burma. We need real democracy and fair businesses and fair competition. China should invite and meet all ethnics leaders and DASSK in this regards. It is not the interfering of Burma internal affair in the aspect of border unrest and killing( ethnic cleansing) innocent Burmese ethnics by bama military thugs unilaterally and invasion of Burmese ethnics lands. Please, do not call ethnic rebel who only protect their own land. It should be ethnic freedom fighter who never invade Rangoon, Mandalay now and in history.

  2. Burmese Military is releasing false and fabricated news about Chinese mercenaries fighting along with Kokang MNDAA to the world and domestic audiences for to get support and sympathy to Burmese Army from Burmese peoples.

    Gen Mya Tun Oo has threatening Journalists with prosecution if they try to contact Kokang MNDAA and minority ethnics’ Army for front line’s war news. The only source of Kokang war news will get from Burmese Military but no one else.
    Burmese military will be able to feed with false and fabricated information to the world and Burmese peoples. The Burmese Medias can report Kokang war news which was released by Burmese Military otherwise they will be prosecuted by 17 (1) unlawful association if Journalists reported Kokang war news from other source.
    That’s why I don’t trust any news from Burmese Government.

    This Kokang war was started by Gen Min Aung Hlaing when he was North-East regional Commander in 2009. Bai Xuoqian had bribed millions of dollars to North-East Regional Commander Gen Min Aung Hlaing and his sub commander for to attack Peng Jiasheng, Laukkai and to take control whole Kokang region.
    Bai Xuoqian was heavily involving producing and trafficking drug. Also he was responsible for spreading false information about Phon Kyar Shin (Peng Jiasheng) involvement in drug trafficking to Chinese authority.
    Military regime was knew Bai Xuoqian and his deputy Liu Gaoxi were involving in drug producing and trafficking but the regime ignored and even allowed them to enter Parliament. Also his drug moneys are freely investing in various businesses in Rangoon and Mandalay.
    Bai Xuoqian is Gen Min Aung Hlaing’s puppet and I have no doubt about the Generals get their share from Bai Xuoqian and his illicit drug trade. That is a reason Gen Min Aung Hlaing will not be ordered ceasefire and negotiation with MNDAA soon.
    Illicit drug producing and trafficking in northern Shan state will not be end soon as long as Army officers’ continuing involving in trafficking.

    It doesn’t matter whether Wa has supply weapons and soldiers to MNDAA or not but I’m sure MNDAA will receive some support from WA and other minority ethnics’ groups.
    No ethnic groups are going to trust Burmese Military coming into their area. They will fight Burmese army until Government agrees to withdraw its Army from ethnic minority’s areas.

    • Ugly face of child soldier ming aung hlaing as he lean the corruption from notorious DSA with the support of his godfather fox than shwe and drunken maung aye.

    • Not only so,junta used to bribe Yunnan local government and colluding with them to prove” Peng is a drug lord, while Bai is innocent””sino-myanmar pipeline is benefit for China and China should bond with myanmar junta”etc. Some gossip show the former Yunnan party chief “Bai Enpei” owned more than 60 thousand jades.
      But now, the source shows each year, the drug flowing into China from kokang are increasing even after Bai Shouchen became the chief of kokang. Another thing is the sino-myanmar pipeline is proven to be a defective project.
      A lot of top officer in Yunnan are under investigation right now.Yesterday the party chief of Lincang(border kokang) was also arrested, who has tried to expel the kokang refugees in Mar.
      Some kokang fighters do have a china ID card, either real or faked. Since myanmar government reject to guarentee them myanmar ID card, why not get one from China? It is even not a secret that a lot of kokang youth work as migration workers in other developed region of China.
      I also don’t find it strange that if there were some Chinese volunteers, who may be a china citizen or even thailand citizen, fight with them. After all, not only burmans can have nationalism.

  3. No one with intelligence will trust bama military thug with notorious and shameful record of bullying and robbing honest and hard working people especially all the ethnics for more than five decades creating one of the poorest countries in the world. It’s no surprise in election year, the thug will spare no disgustful smokescreens, lies and schemes to screw gullible people repeatedly. Too bad, in the land of pagodas, honour and promise of agreements hardly exist. Example is equality mentioned in Panlong agreement.

  4. Myanmar military is our common enemy anyway. Serving the Union by raping, looting and killing, Myanmar military is no way near to be called protector of the Union but our number one enemy. every ethnic group must have militia to protect their own people from the bloodstained hands of the Myanmar military.

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