TNLA Reports Deadly Clashes with Joint Force of Shan, Govt Troops

 TNLA soldiers from Battalion 527 at Lwel Khan village in Kyauk Mae Township in northern Shan State. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

TNLA soldiers from Battalion 527 at Lwel Khan village in Kyauk Mae Township in northern Shan State. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

Ethnic Ta’ang rebels claim to have clashed with a joint force of Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) and Burma Army troops several times since Nov. 27 in Namhkam and Manton townships, near the China border.

Members of the SSA-S, the armed wing of the Shan State Restoration Council (RCSS), had crossed into frontline territory and opened fire, according to the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

TNLA spokesperson Mai Aie Kyaw told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the cause of the trespass was still unclear, but that the group viewed the Burma Army as the instigators of the conflict.

“We are not sure about their intentions, but the fighting broke out after the RCSS signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement,” he said. “They [the Burma Army] are creating the fighting. They fought alongside the RCSS on the frontline.”

The spokesperson said that, once sparked, the fighting continued intermittently, adding that clashes “were going on all day” on Monday. Casualties occurred on both sides of the conflict, according to a statement issued by the TNLA on Facebook. Mai Aie Kyaw added that at least three Ta’ang soldiers had been injured.

The RCSS was one of eight non-state armed groups to sign a so-called nationwide ceasefire agreement with the government on Oct. 15. The TNLA was among three rebel groups that was deemed ineligible to sign the accord by the government. Exclusion of those groups prompted seven others to abstain from the agreement.

Mai Aie Kyaw said conflict had intensified in Mong Wee, Namhkam, after Burma Army Light Infantry Divisions 88 and 77 had assisted Shan rebels by launching artillery fire into TNLA territory.

The spokesperson also said that the RCSS had been warned repeatedly not to enter TNLA grounds, but the troops defied the order and opened fire on Ta’ang soldiers on Nov. 27. The Burma Army joined the SSA-S the following day and has remained since.

The Burma Army was not available for comment, though Maj. Sai Hla of the SSA-S was reached by The Irrawaddy on Tuesday afternoon. The officer said he “didn’t know” about the conflict because he was traveling.

“I can’t comment as I didn’t know about it. I’m afraid to give wrong information because I don’t have any information,” Sai Hla said.

3 Responses to TNLA Reports Deadly Clashes with Joint Force of Shan, Govt Troops

  1. The ethnic Ta-Ang has been claiming a lot of untrue things about RCSS, because RCSS was trying to prevent Ta-ang from taking over the Tai/Shan Area. It had even showed a faked picture of RCSS.

  2. It is unfortunate that the two armed resistance forces, supposed to cooperate for the right of the Shan State self-determination against the Burmese military occupation, are killing each other.

    As it is important to be mindful of the big picture, the TNLA and RCSS should end this unnecessary head on military clashes, by hook or by crook.

    At least, these two Shan State resistance forces owe the People of Shan State this much to stop this nonsense.

    The Tai should remember Khun Pan Sein, the Palaung Sao Hpa, who declared and signed the Shan National flag and the making of a “Shan Nation” out of the former Federated Shan States in 1947, which the Palaung State is also a part, including Wa, Kokang, Pa-O, Danu States under the then hereditary rulers of their own.

  3. Dear Journalists- When reporting please listen to two sides of the story and not only on one side. Until you go deep down into the real situation it is very difficult for foreigners to understand the division and complication that has been created by the regime.
    The Shan State is now divided into several racial states by the present regime according to the request of non-Tai groups, which was a mistake. But if they accept the division of the boundaries, they will have to obey the rules. Ta-ang area is Tawnpeng and the Ta-Ang soldiers are penetrating into the Shan Area. They could forego the boundary division and live in peace and harmony as before. Once there is such a division the minority races start being greedy and try to claim more and more lands from the Tai/Shan area which belonged to their ancestors many thousand years ago. Now with fighting going on, every army, is fighting for strategic places. In this case the RCSS was travelling along the territory claimed by the Ta-Ang in Northern Shan States where the majority of the Tai/Shan, live when the Ta- Ang opened fire. As mentioned above by Khur Tai Korn kaw, the Ta-Angs are angry with RCSS for signing the cease fire agreement, while they have refused to. Through spite and jealousy they have been spinning a lot of untrue rumours about RCSS. Please go and study the true picture of the place. While things are so very complicated and the people very confused and divided the Tai/Shan citizens, politicians and Resistant armies especially leader of the RCSS are calling and trying to unify the peoples of the Shan State, regardless of religion, race, colour or culture. The Tai/Shan as a whole believe that the diverse races in the Shan State must live in harmony with each other, if there is ever to be peace, as they had done before 1962. They must live by the rule of the allocation of land and space or live in harmony together without the boundary division .

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