The Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), under continuous attack by the Burma Army since Sunday, 17 June, has dispatched a 4 men delegation to Mandalay to meet U Thein Zaw, Vice Chairman # 3, Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC), according to SSA spokesman Maj Sai La.
The delegation is led by Col Khun Hseng, SSPP General Secretary. He was accompanied by majors Naw Lake, Kyaw Hla and Kherh Mao.
The SSPP/SSA, commonly known as SSA North, whose 36th Brigade was stationed in Mong Awd, Monghsu township, Shan State South, was attacked by a joint force made up of at least 4 infantry battalions, under the command of the Central Eastern Region Command based in Kholam. The Burma Army is apparently on a drive to remove the SSA away from the Salween, which serves as the link to its giant ally United Wa State Army (UWSA), according to one SSA officer.
“They (Burmese troops) had ordered our troops in Mong Awd to move out,” said Sai La. “And when we replied we could not, since we’ve been stationed there long before the Burma Army came, they attacked us.”
He said it was a matter that should be resolved by negotiations, not by force.
U Thein Zaw and the SSA delegation are due to meet some time today.
Meanwhile, the SSPP/SSA’s sister organization, Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), better known as the SSA South, had the 23rd clash with the Burma Army yesterday at Hsai Khao, Kengtawng sub-township, Shan State South. The patrol from Light Infantry Battalion # 575, based in Mongpan, suffered at least 1 killed, according to the SSA.
“It appears the ceasefire agreement is only meant for the armed opposition movements to observe,” one respected Shan elder was quoted as saying. “Because the Burma Army is blatantly ignoring it.”