As new information flows in, I’m beginning to feel that the regime is doing itself a disservice by upholding its “Take all or nothing” attitude in dealing with the ceasefire groups vis a vis its Border Guard Force program, particularly with the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
The Wa certainly have come a long way from their November counterproposal.
Yes, they still maintain some of their previous stances:
- Mongpawk and Mongphen, considered part of Mongyang township by the regime, should continue to be placed under Wa administration as Mongpawk township
- Commanders of both northern and southern military sectors must be Wa and the deputy commanders junta officers
However, on other points, previously unthinkable to them, they have made notable concessions:
- Mongyawn and Hwe Aw areas on the Thai-Burma border are no longer demanded to be kept under Wa administration. Instead, the UWSA strongly requests that the 80,000 Wa people relocated from the Sino-Burma border a decade earlier be allowed to reside legally in the said areas
- Chiefs of staff for both military sectors will be Burma Army officers and deputy chiefs of staff UWSA
- Previously, the Wa said there should be no junta officers at the battalion level (the Burma Army says there must be 30 of its officers in each 326-strong battalion). But this time, they are allowing 6 of them to be in there, one as a deputy battalion commander and the rest for health, logistics and communications
To make it short, I would have accepted the new Wa proposal, submitted on 3 April (and not 1 April as reported earlier), if I were in the regime’s shoes. However as I’m happily in my own shoes, I would advise it not to accept.