As the deadline to give a response for the proposed Border Guard Force (BGF) program expired yesterday, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) had sent a written appeal to Naypyitaw for another extension, according to Wa sources.
The first deadline ended in October, the second in December and the third yesterday.
“We have asked the generals to understand our predicament and exercise infinite patience,” an official was quoted by one of SHAN sources as saying at the conclusion of one and a half day emergency meeting that began Saturday, following the return of Wa leader Bao Youxiang from Tangyan on Friday, 26 February.
In the presence of Chinese officials, junta negotiator Lt-Gen Ye Myint told the Wa delegation there would be no consideration of the Wa proposal for increased autonomy and no concession on the BGF policy, where the bone of contention is its insistence that each battalion must have 30 junta officers to run it.
The Wa and allies had accepted the BGF program “in principle” but contended that there should be Burma Army officers only at the above battalion level. “I think the Chinese officials now understand the Burmese generals have little appreciation for give-and take in their dealings with us,” said another source close to the leadership.
The Wa also reportedly appealed to the to the Yunnan provincial officials to help “both sides in resolving (the issues) peacefully” as Burma’s junta might choose to resolve matters “by force”.
China has so far called the Wa for utmost tact in dealing with Naypyitaw, he added.
There is as yet no outbreak of hostilities at the time of this reporting.
On the same day, the Wa’s western ally the Shan State Army (SSA) North leader Maj-Gen Loimao was at Lashio at the invitation of May Gen Aung Than Tut, Commander of the Burma Army’s Northeastern Region Command. No details have emerged so far.
The Wa’s southern ally, Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), meanwhile said it had been given 3 options during the meeting in Kengtung on 25 February: To become a BGF, surrender or return to being “an unlawful association.”
For further information, see attachment: Unofficial translation of Bao’s letter to Ye Myint.
Lt-Gen Ye Myint
After meeting you on 25 February, we returned to Pangkham (official name for Panghsang). We held a meeting on 27 February, 08:00-16:30. It was attended by 22 officials. We reported to them about the meeting with you. And we would like to inform you the opinion of the majority:
1. On territory: We respect the fact that there is a Wa Self-Administered Division granted by the Constitution. But the issue of Wanhong (Thai-Burma border area), Mongpawk and Mongphen remains unsettled. And we would like to discuss with the government further for the resolution of the matter.
2. On the transformation of military status: We respect the government’s new plan. But we would need to discuss further with the government on our 9-point proposal (submitted on 14 November 2009).
We therefore would like to ask you to give us more time for consideration and implementation.
Special Region #2
28 February 2010