Anti-Buddhist Media and Myanmar: Complex Regional and Historical Dynamics

The mass media in both the West and Islamic world needs to find space in order to simplify hatred. It matters not if turning a blind eye to Sunni Takfiri massacres in Syria and the nations that are endorsing this, nor that in Myanmar’s recent history more Christians than any other non-Buddhist faith group have been killed based on ethnic and religious tensions. Instead, the simple version – while negating the Christian angle – is that Muslims are killed and targeted by radical Buddhists.

Ironically, the latest chain of events began after Muslims killed nine police officers in Rakhine state. International Crisis Group reports, “The attacks were carried out by Muslims, according to both government statements and local sources. An unverified video of the attackers, filmed in the wake of the attacks, has been circulating on social networks and seems legitimate. In it, one of the group calls on “all Rohingya around the world to prepare for jihad and join them”. This, the need for local knowledge to carry out the assaults, and the difficulty of moving large numbers of people around this area are all suggestive of local Muslim involvement – possibly organized with some outside support. However, many details of who exactly organized this and how remain unclear.”

Myanmar is blighted by many internal rebellions and is struggling on the path to democracy. Indeed, while the mass media is focused on the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, you have other continuing convulsions that are well outside Buddhist-Muslim issues. For example, Myanmar News reports,“About 3,000 Myanmar citizens fled across the border after the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Arakan Army (AA) staged a coordinated attack on military outposts, police stations, and a trade center in Muse and Kutkai townships. Ten people were killed and 33 others were injured during fighting on Nov. 20-22.”

Free Burma Rangers equally highlights the recent conflict between central authorities and different ethnic groups – many who are mainly Christian. In this incidence, the Free Burma Rangers reports, “In the last month sporadic fighting in two separate incidents was reported in Central Shan State between the Burma Army and the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S). The clashes were deliberate actions by the Burma military and corresponded with the deployment and rotation of two separate Burma Army infantry battalions in the region. The attacks came within the first anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which was signed October 15th, 2015… The attacks caused thousands of people in the region to flee, with rangers reporting over 2,000 people displaced and living in nearby IDP camps.”

UCA News reported last month, “At least 30,000 people from different faiths and ethnic groups were estimated to have taken part in a demonstration in Myanmar’s northern Kachin State on Oct. 22 where they demanded an end to military operations in the region… Protestors, including Catholic priests and nuns, held placards that read, “stop civil war” and “may there be peace in Myanmar” on the streets in Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State.”

UCA News continues, “The fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Myanmar military in Kachin and Shan states is considered the most severe of the country’s four ongoing conflicts.”

In other words, countless issues are underreported because it doesn’t suit the simplistic anti-Buddhist agenda in relation to the Rohingya Muslim crisis. Myanmar is clearly faced with countless ethnic and religious issues – alongside the road to democracy, countering poverty, narcotics, and the legacy of history. Despite this, the media is fixated on a one-dimensional approach – just like the mass media response to the crisis in Syria based on utterly biased reporting.

In a regional context it is abundantly clear that certain Buddhist clerics are disillusioned and aghast at the cleansing of Buddhists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, countless terrorist attacks by Islamists against Buddhists in Southern Thailand, the destruction of holy Buddhist places in Afghanistan by Sunni Takfiris, endless Han migration to Tibet in order to dilute the influence of Tibetan Buddhism, and other issues, for example Buddhism is illegal in nations like Saudi Arabia (the same Sunni Islamist nation is intent on spreading Salafi Islam into the heart of Buddhism). Therefore, from the point of view of Buddhist clerics in Myanmar who support the protection of Buddhism internationally, then regional and historical realities are being neglected by a simplified Western and Islamic media bias.

Internationally, Sunni Takfiri Islamists are killing various non-Muslim faith groups and minority Muslim sects, including the endless butchering of Shia Muslims in many nations. Similarly, while Hinduism is in free fall in Bangladesh and Pakistan, the opposite can’t be stated for Islam in India. In other words, the endless one-way civilization war equally applies to the Indian subcontinent. Not surprisingly, and with Buddhists being cleansed in neighboring nations, then militancy within Buddhist circles in Myanmar is deemed to be self-defensive. After all, historically, Buddhists understand full well that Islamic invading armies destroyed countless numbers of holy Buddhist monasteries and places of learning over many centuries. Indeed, while Christian and Muslim slavery of black Africans is a historical reality, with Muslim slavery starting first on a major scale in Africa and ending last (still issues of slavery in Mauritania and in the recent history of Sudan), then the Buddhist view in certain circles in Myanmar is based on self-preservation, the need for an alternative voice to be heard, and to tackle mass distortions.

Media outlets that condemn Buddhists in Myanmar are neglecting the reality of what Sharia Islamic law means to faith groups including Buddhists and Hindus. Are these religious minorities equal in Islamic Sharia states? Can Buddhist males freely marry Muslim females in nations like Saudi Arabia? The answers are obvious because non-Abrahamic faiths have been treated brutally under Islamic Sharia law throughout history. Likewise, in modern day Saudi Arabia if a Buddhist male fell in love with a Muslim Saudi female then he would face prison – or death in accordance with the tenets of Islamic Sharia. Yet, you don’t see major Western and Islamic media outlets stressing “Islamic fascism” and so forth but similar labels are aimed at Buddhist clerics in Myanmar.

Similarly, in Myanmar – and nobody is negating that massacres have taken place against Muslims in this nation – the simple reality is that more Christians belonging to various ethnic groups, for example, the Chin, Karen, and Kachin, have been killed than any other non-Buddhist faith group. Despite this, over the many decades you never had the same outpouring of “good” against “evil,” or headlines stressing “Christian genocide” to anything like the degree of the Muslim focus in modern day Myanmar. In other words, an agenda by the Western and Islamic media is at hand whereby Sunni Takfiris will manipulate a biased media – just like the endless rhetoric against Syria – in order to propagate more Sunni Islamist militancy in nations like Bangladesh.

Massacres and intimidation have happened on both sides in Myanmar but like Kosovo, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, you have a favorable Western and Sunni Muslim media joint angle opposed to the brutal one-sided other. Similarly, the Christian angle of alienation and persecution in Myanmar is being reduced to a completely different way of reporting. Once more the mass media is stoking fires based on the usual one-sided agenda. Therefore, Sunni Islamists in Bangladesh who are killing secularists, writers, and persecuting religious minorities, will gain from one-sided distortions. The same equally applies to the Sunni Islamist Takfiri agenda including ISIS (Islamic State – IS), al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and a plethora of other sectarian and terrorist groups – and to certain nations including Saudi Arabia that bans all non-Muslim holy places throughout the entire nation.

Myanmar needs honest brokers to help this nation overcome decades of complex issues. Sabre rattling by the media and United Nations will only lead to further bloodshed because sooner or later international jihadists will enter the fray.

Michiyo Tanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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LABELING UNFC AND NA-B TERRORIST: Ethnic offensive blame game might lead to further conflict polarization

The Burma Army or Tatmadaw hard-line stance vis a vis the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) has never been in doubt. But as the Defense Minister proposed that all the organizations that made up the Northern Alliance-Burma (NA-B) be determined as terrorist establishments and their leaders be considered officially terrorist, the Tatmadaw has gone an extra mile to heighten the conflict and buttress its all-out war of attrition, politically and militarily.

On 2 December, Defense Minister Lt‐Gen Sein Win proposed to the Lower House that the Parliament should consider labeling the NA-B that launched offensives in Shan State as a coalition of “terrorist organizations.”

He said: “Because the offensives are causing senseless death and injuries to the innocent civilians, destroying non-military targets like buildings, motor vehicles and economy of the people, (I) proposed that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Arakan Army (AA) should be considered as terrorist organizations by the Parliament.”

The Defense Minister further stressed and urged the Parliament that the help of NGOs and INGOs under the heading of humanitarian aids should also be curtailed.

Buttressing the Tatmadaw's hard-line stance, the military MP Col Than Aung said that tough actions should be taken against the main perpetrators including United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) chairman N’Ban La, KIA leader Gam Shawng, TNLA leader Tar Aik Bong, MNDAA leaders Peng Jiasheng and U Peng Daxun and the AA’s commander Tun Myat Naing, in line with existing statutes,  according to the anti‐terrorism law.

However, the Tatmadaw's motion, including twelve lawmakers' debate were recorded without any decision made. Thus the debate over an urgent proposal by Dr. Maung Thin of Meiktila Constituency on NA-B's offensive issue, which was said to have caused death, injuries and displacement of civilians and affected national sovereignty, rule of law, stability and the country’s peace process, was decided only to be recorded by 244 against 141 votes.

The NLD and ethnic parliamentary representatives were said to have discussed the issue and opted for speedy negotiation around the table.

UNFC response

Understandably, the UNFC has responded by saying that the Tatmadaw MP's  fervent insistence within the Parliament to label head of the UNFC N'Ban La, whose organization has constantly been in touch with the government regarding the ongoing peace negotiation, reflected the Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing's opinion on the UNFC, said Tun Zaw one of its spokesperson.

He further elaborated that the KIA, through the UNFC's good office, has time and again requested the Tatmadaw for talks to stop the offensives and deescalate the armed conflict, but were only met with a deafening silence.

He stressed that the UNFC is still for peaceful negotiation to end the conflict and it now depends solely upon the attitude of the government and the Tatmadaw, whether they would be ready to come around to the negotiation table.

Accordingly, there has been a widespread believe that the government is not in a position to say or discuss anything regarding the Tatmadaw's military undertakings.

Aung San Suu Kyi
During the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi's recent visit to Singapore, on 1 December, about 7,000 Burmese people attended the event at the Big Box Event Hall in Singapore’s Jurong East neighborhood, where she touched on selected questions posed by the community.

From all the questions posed, two of them are quite relevant as it concerns the issues of rape and the impact of the NA-B offensives on the 21st Century Panglong Conference.

Regarding the series of high‐profile child rape cases over the past few months, “It is also a social issue,” she said. “We have to analyze why there are so many rape cases against minors and what kind of weak points our society has.”

“We need to analyze these cases from a social perspective, and then we will decide how we should resolve these cases in every possible way,” she stressed.

But surprisingly enough she had not made any mentioning on the Tatmadaw's long employment of “rape as a weapon of war” against the ethnic population, which were so widespread and well documented, in connection with the rape issue discussed. The high profile rape case of the two Kachin teachers by the Burma Army troops, in northern Shan State in January last year, is still a fresh reminder for many of the ethnic women that still have to live with the constant fear and worry within the conflict zones.

Concerning the recent clashes in northern Shan State, which have pointed a spotlight on the importance of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference, she said: “Some don’t have the courage to achieve peace, when the mistrust [between communities] is bigger than the desire for peace.”

However, Suu Kyi is quite vague in addressing the root cause of “mistrust” and what could be done to achieve “trust” that has been depleted. She clearly failed to mention the month-long Tatmadaw offensives in Kachin and Shan States that have contributed to the depletion of the little trust that the ethnic might have ever accumulated on the government.

Chinese mediation

Meanwhile, the Chinese planned mediation between representatives of the Northern Alliance and officials from Burma’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) on 1 December in Kunming, China to discuss a possible end to the two-week-old conflict fell apart, as the opposing sides could not agree on the basic format of the meeting, according to ethnic armed group leaders.

According to Radio Free Aisa, one Northern Alliance negotiator, Col Tar Phone Kyaw of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) said: “We, members of the NA-B all four, wanted to meet as one group together, but Dr. Tin Myo Win's group (NRPC) wants to meet separately; first with TNLA, later Kokang and AA only. As we can't agree, we're going back.”

Remarkably, the NRPC made no mention of wanting to meet the KIA.
Frustrated, Col Tar Phone Kyaw said “Now let’s go back to our territory and launch this war again,”   after the talks failed to materialize, reported The Irrawaddy.
On 29 November, Mr. Wang Wei, Deputy Director of the Yunnan Foreign Affairs Office, met the Myanmar media delegation in Kunming World Trade Center was interviewed.

When asked what would be China's position on accusation that the Chinese government had provided help to the ethnic armed groups after some of their members entered China following the conflict that broke out,  replied: “If any injured people come into China, the Chinese authorities will provide medical treatment to them in the first place. At such a critical moment, we don't have any time to investigate the identity of the injured. But what I want to stress is the stance of the Chinese government, which is no action by anyone is acceptable to undermine the peace and stability in the border area, and no one is acceptable to rely on China to fight others. The Chinese government hopes that Myanmar would restore peace via political means. We think such information carried by foreign media is inaccurate. We hope that the Myanmar media may obtain detailed and accurate information via this field investigation.”

The point to be noted here is that China is not going to take sides, but humanitarian aids would go on, where necessary.


Looking at the recent development, the future outlook of the peace process looks dim. Suu Kyi is unable to rein in on the military to stop its offensives in Kachin and Shan States; the two-tier administration seems to become the order of the day, with the military making and implementing its own policy in ethnic areas, while the NLD rules over in areas where wars are absent; the polarization of positions between the Tatmadaw and the NA-B, which also indirectly involves the UNFC; and the Tatmadaw's commitment to carry on the war of attrition rather than a negotiated settlement.

Besides, the Tatmadaw's attitude on the ethnic population within the conflict zone is worrying, which is unreasonable  and outright inhumane, as curtailing humanitarian aids would mean starvation and slow death for the people caught in the war between two warring groups.

As such, pessimism has taken over the political landscape and in particular, the much promoted 21 Century Panglong Conference and peace process achievement are now really in doubt.

But there is still a glimmer of hope for not all has gone down the drain yet, when Home Minister General Kyaw Swe said that even though the four EAOs that formed the NA-B could now be announced as terrorist organizations,  in order not to affect the government's peace process, they were abstaining from doing it.

This considerate stance, in contrast to the Defense Minister urging to label the NA-B as terrorist groups, has at least leave the door of negotiation open for now.

But the immediate task of the warring parties has now being tested militarily in Mong Ko area, given the intense firefights with the NA-B trying to route out the Tatmadaw's hill top garrison to take control of the whole area and subsequent, while retaliation and bombarding of the Tatmadaw, using combat aircraft from above are said to be also hitting civilian targets, would be the defining moment, if the protracted war could be capped and negotiation would resume.

It is now up to the warring parties, if they wanted to be reasonable or whether to make or break the peace process. For neither Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also in no position to influence the Tatmadaw, nor the Chinese, who could only persuade the warring parties to be logical, could stop the ongoing armed conflict, as only the people involved in it would have to decide for themselves. One could only hope that rational sense would prevail and the war could be stopped, at least, for the benefit of the suffering people, if not for anybody.

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Book launch in Yangon

Book title:       Pathway to Peace: The Insider’s account of the Myanmar peace process (English version)
Author:           Aung Naing Oo
Date:               7 December 2016
Time:              14:00
Venue:                        Sedona Hotel
Speakers:       U Aung Min, former government chief negotiator

                        Mr Roland Kobia, EU Ambassador to Myanmar

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Will tin be the catalyst metal for Myanmar Peace Process?


Those companies and their supply chain partners will probably be forced to change suppliers of tin for avoiding potential sanctions risk. Even though USA has lifted most sanctions on Myanmar, UWSA leaders are still blacklisted by Washington over accusations of drug trafficking.

It is highly expected that the looming sanctions will become a US policy weapon against the UWSA which has consistently played a stubborn role in Myanmar Peace Process before and after the NLD government taking office in April 2016. Aung San Suu Kyi has called on ethnic armed groups including UWSA to take “calculated risks” participating the historic Peace Process of Myanmar, and USA has promised to fully support her efforts and ensure her success.

Since the UWSA has been heavily dependent on China for many years, the question then arises as what should China do to prevent any potential border crisis and any damage to its national interests?

Firstly, China should make use of its unique leverages to persuade UWSA abandoning its undesirable positions of demanding military and diplomatic privileges in the Peace Process. Aung San Suu Kyi’s attitude towards UWSA will finally determine the practical implementations of US sanctions. China’s constructive support for the Peace Process will definitely be of benefit to development and security of both countries.

Secondly, On Nov. 25 the first Myanmar-China (2+2) high level consultation was successfully held in Nay Phi Taw. Likewise China and Myanmar need to form border committees, from township level to much higher ones, similar to those between Thailand and Myanmar. The border committees are required to hold regular meetings and actively solve bilateral problems in early stage.

Thirdly, in collaboration with Myanmar government, China could introduce environment-friendly and sustainable projects into UWSA administrative area, most probably in the frame of Belt and Road Initiative. Peace making and economic development are interdependent processes.

Last but not least, a long-term and stable national strategy with Myanmar which has been undertaking democratic transition is urgently-needed for China. This policy should clearly answer following question: what kinds of roles the ethnic armed groups residing Sino-Myanmar border will play in the future, the leverage tools and the break-waters for China side, or the friendship bridges linking China and Myanmar?

Liu Yun

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Multiple Fronts! – Fighting is Everywhere in Northern Burma

Clashes (Incidents of fighting) – 40
Burma Army Jet (Attack) – 9
Burma Army Helo (Attack) – 10
Burma Army Jet (Recon) – 6
Burma Army Helo (Recon/Resupply) – 5
Burma Army Drone (Recon) – 3
Civilians Killed – 7
Civilians Wounded – 2

The statistics above document fighting in Kachin and northern Shan State from November 22nd, 23rd and 24th. Note the frequency of fighting, the use of air power against ethnic groups (who do not have air power) and the civilians caught in the crossfire. The volume of fighting represented here threatens to escalate further and create an even worse humanitarian crisis.

*** The figures above are limited to reports from FBR teams and do not represent the totality of military battles, supply, or human rights abuses perpetrated by the Burma Army.


Presently, fighting is everywhere in Kachin State and northern Shan State, Burma. In August 2016 the Burma Army launched a major offensive against Gidon Bum Hill in Waingmaw Township, Kachin State. If the Burma Army controls this area it will effectively cut the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an ethnic resistance group, territory in half and it will prevent the KIA from distributing aid to IDP camps North of Gidon Mountain. The Burma Army has been using massive troop surges, artillery, tanks, Mil Mi-24 Helicopters and MiG-29 fighter jets in the Gidon offensive and throughout Northern Burma, and all of this is following the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and Panglong Peace Conference. What the Burma Army is telling the Burma government and the world about peace in Burma is not in accordance with their conduct on the ground.

In response to this ongoing oppression four ethnic groups, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)[Kokang], Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Arakan Army (AA) have formed a ‘Northern Alliance’ and launched a joint offensive against the Burma Army in Northern Shan State on the 20th of November, 2016. This counter-offensive against the Burma Army is claimed to be a last resort by the ethnic groups. The Northern Alliance states it is no longer able to cope with the occupation and oppression by the Burma Army within ethnic lands. From the start of this new front in Burma, violence has again increased and thousands more people have been displaced. We pray for the Burma Army and ethnic groups to come to a political solution to the fighting as soon as possible.

November 24

0100 Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) (319) at Manje Base fired three mortar shells to the side of Pa Taw in Mansi Township.

0200 KIA troops from No.6 Brigade clashed with an estimated 100 Burma Army soldiers near Asia World Gate between Pang Sai and Nam Tau in Muse Township.

0200 Burma Army troops with 5 military trucks and 2 tanks were attacked with 2 remote-mines detonating between Pang Sai and Nam Pa Tek. The damaged trucks turned back and the soldiers continued to clash.

0630 TNLA troops counter-attacked Burma Army troops re-positioning at 105mile Base, in Muse Township.

0830 Two Burma Army jet fighters from Myitkyina flew to the east.

0900 Burma Army fired an Anti-Aircraft (AA) gun and the KIA fired back 3 grenade launcher rounds, followed by the Burma Army firing two 81mm shells.

0912-0930 Two Burma Army helicopters from Bhamo flew over Gawk Ngu Yang.

0945 Two Burma Army jet fighters from Bhamo supported Burma Army LIB (602), striking at KIA soldiers from No.27 Battalion during clash at Gawk Ngu Yang.

1005 MNDAA troops and Tatmadaw LIB (418) continuously clashed at the bridge, entrance to Mung Gu.

1030-1130 KIA troops from No.9 Battalion clashed with 30 Burma Army soldiers at Nam Mwi Pa. Burma Army troops retreated to Nam Hpak Ka.

1050 KIA soldiers from No.29 Battalion attacked Burma Army stationed at Nam Um Gawknu Kawng forcing Burma Army soldiers to flee to Nam Um village.

1200 KIA soldiers from No.39 Battalion clashed with Burma Army soldiers around Man Loi near Nam Hpalun. The Burma Army retreated.

1210-1240 One Burma Army drone flew over KIA No.3 Battalion HQ in Sadung Sub-township.

1215 Two Burma Army helicopters struck and dropped bombs again. Another 3 helicopters dropped troop reinforcements at 105mile, Muse township.

1230 KIA and MNDAA troops clashed with an estimated 50 Burma Army soldiers from LIB (14) between Nam Hpye and Shwe Aik.

1230-1300 One Burma Army drone flew over Mu Du, in Waingmaw Township.

1300 Two Burma Army helicopters dropped bombs along Man Jak hill above Mung Gu.

1305 Burma Army troops stationed at Kukang area side fired six shells of 105mm, 120mm to the sides of Man Nyang and Nawng Jang in Muse township.

1630 KIA soldiers from No.27 Battalion clashed with Burma Army combined troops of LIB (319, 521) coming from Mung Hkawng Gashawt. The fighting took place at Shadan, Sama above Mahtek in Mansi township.

1750 Burma Army troops fired three 60mm shells to the side of Gawk Ngu Yang.
1825-1833 Burma Army stationed at Kagam fired four 120mm shells toward Gidon Post.

November 23

0530 on 23 November heavy fighting between KIA troops from No.38 Battalion and Burma Army LIB (418) at Hpawng Seng Man Pyin, Muse Township. The fighting stopped at 1535.
0710 KIA troops and Burma Army troops coming from MNDAA controlled areas clashed at the head of Pu Wang village.

0715 KIA troops clashed with an estimated 100 Burma Army soldiers coming from Sap Hkung Hka river near Pu Wang village.

0740 KIA troops from No.27 Battalion attacked Burma Army LIB (602) at Gawk Ngu Yang Post.

0815 The combined forces of KIA soldiers No.36 Battalion and MNDAA clashed with Burma Army LIB (14) near Nam Hpye Village in Muse Township
0845 One drone flew over Hka Da Zup Post in Danai Township.

1020 TNLA troops attacked the Burma Army at Nam Hkam Sihkan Tit Post in Nam Hkam Township.

1100 Burma Army troops operating around Hkrai Run Bum Yi and from Nam Ya Tai Post fired six 60mm shells to the side of Kum Tsai Zup where KIA soldiers were staying in Hpakant township.

1535 KIA troops from No.2 Battalion clashed with 60 Burma Army troops at Nam Pa Tek near Pang Sai.

1730 Burma Army shelled from Balawng Dingsa and Man Dat toward Gawk Ngu Yang.
1730-0600 on 23-24 Nov. Burma Army stationed at Nhkram fired twelve 81mm shells and AA gun toward Gidon Post, Waingmaw Township.

November 22

0735 Burma Army troops at Sama Road junction fired two 105mm shells toward Gidon Post, Waingmaw Township.

0820-0940 on 22 November the Burma Army stationed at Nkhram, Kagam, and Dabak fired 57 mortar shells towards Gidon Post and Tsan Lun, Waingmaw Townsship. They also fired sporadic Anti-Air (AA) gun fire toward the posts.

0930 Forty Burma Army troops from IB 298 and KIA troops clashed at Makaw Yang in Hpakant Township.

0950 One hundred Burma Army troops from LID 99 clashed with KIA troops from No. 38 Battalion at Loi Ngu Bum near Sap Hkung Hka in Muse Township.

1155 Burma Army troops clashed with MNDAA troops at Man Jak, near Mung Gu in Muse Township. Two Burma Army helicopters supported with strafing runs against the MNDAA troops.

1510 Two Burma Army jet fighters bombarded Mung Gu, Man Kang, and Byuha Kawng, which the MNDAA captured from the Burma Army.

Civilian Casualties

On the 22nd of November two civilians, Dau Je Tu and Lahtaw Naw Din, both residents of Mung Hkawng Village, were shot to death by Burma Army soldiers in Mansi Township. Both civilians had carried food for the Kachin Independence Army the previous day.

At 1530 on the 22nd of November two civilians, Lahpai Naw Seng and Zahkung Hkun Yawt from Nam Tau village were chased and fired on in front of Pang Sai Police Station by Burma Army troops. Zahkung Hkun Yawt was killed on the spot and Naw Seng was wounded in his shoulder. They were shot after carrying food for KIA soldiers at Nam Ba Tek, in Pang Sai Township.

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Commentary on “KNU delays leadership vote as schism emerges”

I was inquiring a close friend from within the Karen resistance movement on the postponement of the KNU Congress until next year and what he thought about the leadership. He came back to me with an answer full of frustration and disappointment, where he spelled them out clearly and precisely.

He wrote:

The current KNU leadership follows the line of appeasement, capitulation, peace and engagement in development. They bought vote and cheated at the previous KNU Congress. Please see the incisive and blunt comment below.

The KNU is doing all of this with their eyes wide open. I blame them and only them for where they are now and where they are headed. It is not that the Tatmadaw, international governments, INGOs, or the devil made them do it: they did it and or doing it themselves.

The international Karen community complains about it, but keeps the funding flowing. The KNU/KNLA hardliners complain, but don't offer an attractive competing vision or objectives, have an internal revolution, or form their own political and military organization. The KNU/KNLA foreign supporters/advisers like us complain, but keep supporting them with training and advice. No wonder nothing changes. Simple math: 8-3=5 and.............Talk-Action=0.

The KIO/KIA learned their lesson and changed leadership and strategy. The Northern Alliance - Burma, including the Wa, are the ones sticking their necks and lives out now for their principles and now have learn to "go to them to get them away from us". Even the Bengali are fighting back - soon ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalist will join them. All of them said, ENOUGH is ENOUGH!".

When is Enough Enough for the Karen? Maybe the Karen need to suffer more like a drunk who looses everything - wife, house, job and still drinks. Then maybe they then will rise up and say "ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!" They shouldn't have to wait long for more suffering..they are on the Tatmadaw's list once they settle the North with their "Keep the South quiet while fighting in the North" Strategy. Same as the 1994 with their "Keep the North quiet while fighting in the South" Strategy.

They will be coming after the Karens sooner than later as they did the Kachins and most recently the Shan State Army-North. But with the continuous weaken military capabilities and lack of political will, the Karens will be easier pickings this time..when the Tatmadaw is ready. Sure no surrender, General Custer did not surrender and we see what happen to him and his soldiers. The military gains over the years by the KNLA/KNDO are being lost,explicitly and implicitly, by the KNU central and district leadership, and those KNLA/KNDO soldiers, who have been killed and maimed for these gains, are being dishonored.

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Civilians continue to flee military offensive in Kyaukme

Civilians in Kyaukme District’s Mantong Township continue to flee their homes due to the ongoing conflict between Burmese government forces and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), according to an MP from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD).

Photo SHAN- one of the displaced camps in Namtu Township
Nang Kham Aye, a Shan State Assembly representative of Namtu Township, told Shan Herald today that some 200 people from Mantong and Mong Maw had this week arrived in Namtu Township – 30 miles southeast of Mantong. She said that they have been provided shelter at local temples and churches.

“Fighting has erupted in the town of Mong Maw,” she said. “Gunfire was aimed toward the market early in the morning, causing villagers to run. They subsequently fled their homes.

“As of yesterday [November 30], some 170 people had arrived in Namtu. Most of them are children, women and elderly people. The menfolk have mostly stayed behind to look after their property.

“The number of displaced people [in Kyaukme] has now increased to nearly 800 since fighting between the Burmese army and the TNLA broke out on November 23,” she added.

Today, the TNLA’s News and Information Department posted on its website a report, saying its troops had clashed with Burmese government forces between the villages of Kongmong and Kongngaung in Mantong Township.

On November 20, the TNLA, a non-signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, launched a joint military operation alongside its allies – Arankan Army (AA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) – against Burmese military outposts and police stations in Muse, Namkham and Kutkai townships. 

As of December 1, fighting was reported to be continuing.

By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)

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60 villagers captured by Burmese army in Muse

Around sixty residents of Mong Koe sub-township in northern Shan State’s Muse Township were last week captured and detrained by Burmese government forces, according to the Kachin Peace Network (KPN).

 Some 70 people were arrested when they were traveling from Mong Koe to a wedding ceremony in Paw Joone Par village on November 20, when they were ordered to stop by Burmese troops.

Twelve persons, identified as Chinese individuals, were subsequently released the following day after intervention from Chinese authorities. On November 25, another two ethnic Burmese wedding guests were released; the rest remain in detention.

Speaking to Shan Herald, Gum Sha Aung, a spokesperson for the KPN, said, “The Tatmadaw [Burmese government troops] arrested them while they were en route to a wedding ceremony. We therefore demand they all be released immediately.”

He said that many other villagers from Mong Koe have already fled across the China border to avoid armed clashes in the area between the Tatmadaw and an ethnic alliance comprising the Arakan Army (AA), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).

The ethnic militias, which have since branded themselves the “Northern Alliance,” launched coordinated military offensives on November 20 against Burmese units in northern Shan State, including the Muse Township villages of Mong Koe and Parng Zai, the 105-Mile border trade zone, and areas of Namkham and Kutkai tonwships.
In a statement on November 29, KPN accused the Burmese military of violating the Geneva Convention by arresting civilians.

“We call for an immediate end to the conflict,” said KPN. “We must all work together to bring peace to the country for the betterment of the people.”

According to a Myanmar Times report on November 28, some 2,000 civilians have been trapped in the crossfire in the Hai Kaung area between the towns of Pang Zai and Mong Koe.

Clashes remain intense in the areas of Muse, Namkham and Kutkai townships. Northern Alliance attacks have targeted Burma military outposts and police stations. Less than two weeks since fighting broke out on November 20, more than ten civilians have reportedly been killed and other 40 injured, while thousands have abandoned their homes to seek refuge elsewhere.

By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)

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