Only de-escalation of the war could pave way for reconciliation

Sai Wan SaiBurma Army is sending a clear message of “ethnic resistance forces annihilation stance aimed at derailing the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi desired Panglong-like convention to thrash out a much needed political agreement with the ethnic nationalities, within the mould of a genuine federal union."
Recently, The Irrawaddy reported that the Burma Army helicopters were said to be shooting at civilians, rather than at the KIA positions, which again confirmed its standard procedure of decades-old harassing the ethnic population, who are seen as enemies' support base and thus must be treated as enemies.
“[The Burma Army] didn’t shoot at KIA outposts,” said Lt-Col Naw Bu, a spokesperson for the KIA. “They only attacked civilians.”
“If the fighting breaks out again, civilians could be in danger of being tortured,” said Aung Myo San, the coordinator of a local civilian protection committee, “And there are Burma Army troops in the middle of the village, so it would be dangerous for the villagers if [both armies] start shooting at each other.”
These are clearly human rights violations and the international actors should treat it as such.
The fact that attacks on SSPP/SSA had intensified despite it had held talks with a tactical commander from the Burma Army on the de-escalation of military tensions between the two sides on May 12 is due to the military's unspoken policy to keep the war flames on and the rejection of a genuine federal union formation, which it always pays lip-service, but never really means it, to hood-wink the public and international community.
At this point in time, why is it so important to gain so much areas of influence within ethnic homelands, if the Burma Army is really committed to the task of a negotiated peaceful settlement, as it time and again declared publicly, than war?
The way to go is not to escalate the war, but to de-escalate it. And to do this, it should declare unilateral nationwide ceasefire, to show its good-will by cooperating with U Htin Kyaw government, so that the much publicized 21st Century Panglong Convention could be held.
Otherwise, the Burma Army's heightened war in ethnic states will be viewed as going against the national reconciliation idea of NLD regime and will only be viewed as a spoiler, regardless of its make-believe, cover of upholding national unity and protecting the sovereignty of the country.
Time for the Burma Army to change mindset and listen to the people's voice.


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