Due to military junta’s one sided policy to convert all ceasefire groups into forces run by its Army, large-scale civil war can break out again, said Lt-Gen Yawdserk, leader of the anti-Naypyitaw Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’.
In addition, using military measures against the ethnic ceasefire groups is not the right resolution. It only means creating crisis, he said.
“The reason that the ceasefire groups concluded ceasefire is because they wanted to solve the problems politicaly. But so far they have never been able to conduct any political dialogue and only have been forced by the military to do the way it wants.”
Many ceasefire groups: the United Wa State Army (UWSA), National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ concluded their armed struggle in 1989 in order to make peace with the military junta. (The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) concluded the ceasefire pact in 1995.)
But now all were only required by the military junta to transform themselves into the junta run forces known as Border Guard Forces (BGF) before its general elections. If the groups fail to comply with, the military junta will launch military operations against the groups and will recognize them as outlaw associations.
Lt-Gen Yawdserk said, “If it is a political issue, then it must be solved politically, not by using force,” he said. “But now it is threatening not only the groups, but also local people. It means it doesn’t care for the people and ethnic rights.”
He calls for all ceasefires groups to be more united and to keep fighting for their genuine aspirations. If not all their lands and properties will fall into the military junta’s hands. “If you [ceasefire groups] accept the military’s BGF program, then what you have been fighting for years will come to nothing. And it will be difficult for you gain the people’s support and their trust again.”
He also urges people not to leave their motherland and home whatever comes.
Lt-Gen Yawdserk is the founder of the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’, established in 1996, after he escaped with 300 men from the Khun Sa’s Mong Tai Army (MTA), and remain the principal armed opposition movement still fighting against Burma’s military rulers.