Shan State govt proclaims Northern Alliance ‘terrorists’

The Shan State government passed a proposal today at an emergency meeting to categorize the Northern Alliance as a “terrorist organization.”

The motion was proposed yesterday by Aung Thu, an MP from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) representing Lashio Township, and was brought forward for debate and a vote today. The proposal that the ethnic coalition be deemed a terrorist group could effectively disenfranchise it from other parties and armed groups in the region. The motion passed by 63 votes in favor to 45 objections.

Speaking to Shan Herald after the emergency assembly session in state capital Taunggyi, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) MP Nang San San Aye said, “This motion had been proposed at a union level and failed. That is why it was brought before us here [Shan State government] today. It was passed because they [USDP] have more representatives in the parliament. That’s why they won.”

She pointed out that 20 MPs did not attend the parliamentary session and therefore did not vote.

“As for us [SNLD MPs], we objected to the initial motion to debate the proposal in the state assembly,” Nang San San Aye said. “However, they could not find an alternative to proclaiming them [Northern Alliance] terrorists.”

She concluded: “I’m afraid that by doing this, it will make things worse.”

Deputy Defence Minister Gen. Sein Win had earlier submitted a similar proposal during a lower house of parliament session in Naypyidaw on December 2.  The proposal was rejected.

Since November 20, four ethnic armed groups – Arakan Army (AA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) – began launching coordinated attacks on Burmese military positions in the areas of Muse, Namkham and Kutkai townships. Last week, the coalition began referring to itself as the “Northern Alliance.”

Khun Tun Oo, the chairman of the SNLD, the second largest political party in the Shan State government, said that labeling the Alliance a terrorist group will ultimately destroy the peace process. He echoed his colleague Nang San San Aye’s sentiment that today’s decision will only makes things worse.

By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)