Big Brother serves warning to ceasefire armies
Concerned with growing tensions between the Burmese military government and the ethnic ceasefire groups along the Sino-Burma border, Chinese officials have warned the latter not to force the hands of the former, say sources close to the ceasefire groups.
30 October 2008
Among those met by the Chinese authorities during the past two months included National Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) better known as Kokang, United Wa State Army (UWSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS) better known as Mongla.
The 4 had formed the Union of Burma Peace and Democracy Front (PDF) on 30 November 1989.
The groups were reportedly told that Beijing had been doing its best to prevent a military confrontation between the two sides and it was imperative that the ceasefire groups did not start the fight.
The PDF members were said to have assured the Chinese that the alliance would stand firmly by its founding mottos:
- We will not shoot first
- We will never destroy the country
The PDF’s political goals include: Perpetuation of the Union, Democracy, Broadest alliance with other groups and Peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“Whether or not Naypyidaw had received the same message, the visit by Gen Ye Myint, Director of the Military Affairs Security (MAS) last week to Lashio where he met the groups’ representatives has resulted in some relaxation,” said a local businessman. “He was said to have urged all groups concerned to preserve the peace that was achieved between the two sides since 1989.”
He quoted a ceasefire officer saying, “Nevertheless, we will maintain our vigilance.”
Relations between Burma’s ruling military council and the ceasefire groups that hold sway over border areas have never been easy. They have soured further after the fall of their patron Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt in 2004.