The Commander of the Burma Army’s Eastern Central Command said he will send military detachments to the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army-North (SSPP/SSA-N)-controlled area in Mong Hsu Township of Loilen District in southern Shan State to build roads, according to a source close to Kho Lam-based Eastern Central Command office.
Map shows an overview of the area where the roads will be built
Brigadier General Thet Tun, deputy commander of the Burma Army’s Eastern Central Command, invited SSPP/SSA-N representatives to a meeting on 10 January and told them the plan to build the road in their area.
“This Commander [of the Burma Army’s Eastern Central Command] knows this area quite well. He served as the Commander of the 2nd Military Operations Command (MOC-2) in Mong Nawng. The plan has existed even before the military conflicts in the northern area. He tried to carry it out since the northern issue is under control now,” explained a source close to the Commander of the Burma Army’s Eastern Central Command.
The Commander of the Burma Army’s Eastern Central Command wants to build a road from Lwel Nai Mountain, which is ten miles north of Mong Hsu and is under the control of the SSPP/SSA-N, to Lwel Cho Mountain and from Lwel Cho Mountain to Tar Wun Naung Ferry Dock on the Salween River, according to the source.
“We have built a road since we signed the ceasefire in 1989. The Burma Army had attacked Lwel Cho Mountain in 2011-2012. They [the Burma Army] will send its troops to build the road whether we agree or not. Fighting will break out when they come. I see this as an attempt to disturb the by-election,” said an official from the Information Department of the SSPP/SSA-N.
Around 100,000 people lost their voting rights after the Burma Army launched a military offensive against SSPP/SSA camps in Mong Nawng, Kyethi, and Mong Hsu townships during the 2015 General Election. Six Members of Parliament (MPs) will be elected from Kyethi and Mong Hsu townships in the upcoming by-election in April.
Translated by Thida Linn