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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

The Die is cast

By Kanbawza Win

‘Alea iacta est ‘ or the die is cast meaning, the point of no return as the non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities make a solemn vow not to sign the cease-fire agreement without the inclusiveness of all. During four days of discussions in a safe place of Chiangmai, which ended on August 24, armed groups presented pushing the all-inclusive stance. The senior negotiation team for Burma’s Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) has begun its talks with the country’s military dictatorship.

While the team has said that it is prospectively willing to sign a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) before the election in November prove beyond doubt that the ethnic nationalities are trying to reach a compromise. However, until the dictatorship agrees to include all armed organizations in the NCA; to stop its attacks against them (which continue on a daily basis); and the latest being Burmese Army’s 137th & 138th Light Infantry Battalions troops attacked KIA’s 7th Battalion position at point 519 on Tuesday 25th around 11 am, even as I am drafting this article, there is no point of signing it.

It is important to understand that the non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities’ real goal is freedom from fear and not “peace.” If peace means no freedom, then there should never be a deal. The question is, who would benefit from such a peace? The answer: a large mafia of criminals against humanity, as well as their cronies both inside Burma and among international diplomats and corporations. The only peace worth pursuing is peace on the ground, starting with peace of mind, for the ethnic nationality peoples. The only way in turn that this peace can be achieved is for the dictatorship to be removed from power, and for the Tatmadaw to be sanitized of its criminals and put under the control of a truly democratic and federal government. The question, then, is does the upcoming election offer the possibility of such a transition as even they remove their own men Shwe Mann with the use of force? After all, the last thing that the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) want is to sign a false peace and then watch the dictatorship steal the election. They would then have participated in legitimizing military rule forever. Instead, the only logical course is for the EAOs to postpone signing anything until after the election, to see what happens.

Burma’s Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing says there is “no prospect for peace” with the ethnic Kokang militants of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDA) as it was they who provoked fighting in Laogai by attacking government forces first. This rationale clearly pointed out the typical Mahar Myanmar mentality because they considered themselves to be the existing Imperial Colonial army of Burma little realising that it was the Tatmadaw that attacked the Kokang group first way back in 1989 when the cease-fire by the military government at that time name SLORC (State Law and order Restoration Council) spearheaded by Khin Nyunt, with the Kokang-led MNDA, which had recently split from the Communist Party of Burma, Kokang prospered under the supervision of Peng Jiasheng, the able leader of MNDA, construction of wide new boulevards and high-rise buildings—mostly hotels and entertainment complexes is underway everywhere. Locals and visitors are almost entirely Han Chinese, but virtually all the construction work is being undertaken by thousands of Myanmar laborers, from the plains. This was galling to the Mahar Myanmar Generals who sees that the development of the ethnic nationalities was an insult to them. Of course the major source of income was opium and its derivative heroin and also synthetically produced methamphetamines. Guns from China, smuggled across northern Burma to northeastern India, a hotbed of local, ethnic insurgencies where there is a huge demand for any kind of military hardware. The income from these pursuits financed development projects in Kokang and investment in the hotel business, retail trade, real estate and construction. That lasted until August 2009, when the Tatmadaw first attacked Kokang in an operation masterminded by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the incumbent General of the Tatmadaw but at that time was head of the military’s Bureau of Special Operations 2. The fall from grace of Peng’s mentor, Gen. Khin Nyunt, in October 2004 had no doubt made the offensive possible. Peng was deposed, fled to Thailand, and was replaced by a local Kokang officer, Bai Suoqian, a proxy handpicked by Tatmadaw. The small MNDAA faction loyal to Bai also became a government-recognized Border Guard Force.

Now when Peng Jiasheng came back and forcibly rested back from the Tatmadaw, giving them a bloody nose, the generals were mad. That is the reason of why Min Aung Hlaing is so bitter about Kokang and refused to talk with them even though Kokan had offered an olive branch after declaring a unilateral cease-fire.

At that time of fighting more than 30,000 people were forced to flee to China, prompting protests from Chinese authorities. The Burmese Generals cannot construe that Peng was the real leader supported by the local population and he came back just before Union Day this year, when fighting broke out and Tatmadaw suffered a major defeat. Bai had to be flown out of Kokang by helicopter to safety in Naypyidaw. Hence this Kokang became the sticking point in the cease-fire Agreement.

Now the ethnic nationalities then approach Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who bluntly told them “Don’t rush into cease-fire” when she met with Maj. Htoo Htoo Lay of KNU and Harn Yawnghwe at her home on University Avenue Road in Rangoon on 22 August, to discuss the ethnic alliance’s plan to sign a ceasefire and hold political dialogue with the Tatmadaw. “Peace is mentioned in line with the law. Some ethnic armed organisations are announced as unlawful by the government. It is questionable whether the negotiations between the ethnics and the government peace delegation are lawful or unlawful, Armed conflicts have occurred since we have not regained our independence. The best answer is political dialogue. We have to take our time. The ethnics will have to consider not to quickly signing the NCA. Signing the NCA must be meaningful. Everyone will have to follow it.

Some will sign the agreement, but some won’t. In this state, it is not easy for our political party to understand It.” said Daw Aung Suu Kyi, Tanta mounting to just a little punch at the stomach of the traitors of the ethnic cause. Later Daw Suu Kyi has added that she would like to see a “meaningful” nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), concluded as soon as possible but not before the November general election as there are examples in world history where ceasefire agreements can be easily violated. Peace will only occur if all stakeholders sign a ceasefire agreement which is honored by all sides, she told Radio Free Asia and have offered herself to be a signatory in the genuine signing of the cease-fire agreement. What more can she do as a Pyidoungsu Myanmar? Out of the 17 organizations, the government wants to exclude six organizations, including three armed organizations that had recent skirmishes with the Tatmadaw. It also doesn’t want to recognise some smaller ethnic groups as they don’t have the guns. But according to ENAC Briefing No. 13 27 August 2015, the National Cease-fire Agreement could be possible if the government agree to all the EAOs inclusive proposal. The die is cast already. The real patriotic leaders will not sign the NCA if all are not included as they clearly sees the traditional “Divide and Rule” policy of the Tatmadaw while some Karen and Shan leaders will do it because the saw the money, prestige and position dangling in the background.

Last, but not the least is the pathetic pro-democracy movement ABSDF (All Burma Students Democratic Front) where in 1988, the whole country had pinned their hopes with more 22,000 students that cut across the ethnic lines. But ironically these Burma’s hope are now finding their one time leaders on the side of the dictators. It should teach a lesson to the younger generation who really wants to change the country. “Men may come and men may go but I go on forever,” says Lord Alfred Tennyson so also since 7th July 1962 waves of students have fought the military dictatorship and had gone, what Burma’s pro-democracy movement needs is that it must go on.

The pro-democracy camp needs new and determined leaders, such as the student leaders who are now under arrest and the younger officers now rising through the ranks of the EAOs. The current leadership who are already septuagenarian has failed miserably. It has been too timid. They need to make room for younger individuals, and to redirect their goal to real peace, freedom and democratic change, not the false peace and false reform that they have been outmaneuvered - by both the generals and the West lead by the U.S. - to accept the status quo.

The younger generation knows that Tatmadaw indirectly control by Than Shwe is a racist and believe that Burma is and always should be an ultranationalist Myanmar State. All the other ethnic nationalities including the genuine democratic movements should always be subservient. He and his hand-picked subordinates will never permit equality, nor genuine democracy.

Now that the ethnic have made known their unanimous decision, there should be no NCA, until the imperial colonial Tatmadaw withdraws from the ethnic areas. It is a mistake and a pointless exercise to go to Naypyidaw again, to plead with Thein Sein and Min Aung Hlaing, who are just puppets and have no freedom to act. The master of the jigsaw puzzle is Than Shwe and he is very crafty, cunning, and ruthless being brought up from the psychological warfare department.

If the ethnic leaders mistakenly imagine themselves that the Tatmadaw will back down and agree to their demands will be entirely wrong. They are very crafty and can easily put all of the delegation in custody as they have often done before. It is far better to stick to your demands, never to waver and stay in their respective places as the Tatmadaw has a good records of nasty, crafty and ruthless methods, the world understands determination, commitment and courage of the resistance leaders. Indeed, it is the only thing it understands, or respects. Listen and serve your people.

It has been more than half a century of fighting since before independence, and the ethnic leaders should know what their goal is and must be a racist like the Tatmadaw and should be able to differentiate who are the Mahar Myanmar and who are the Pyidaungsu Myanmar. Those who stood by them through thick and thin, like Min Ko Naing, 8888 Democracy Movement, and of course the daughter of the illustrious Bogyoke Aung San, who started and promised the Federal country. Throughout these 60 years the Tatmadaw have betrayed the ideal and goals of the architect of modern Burma (Bogyoke Aung San), where every ethnic trust and have faith in him. It is only because of the Tatmadaw betrayals that all ethnic nationalities have unanimously fought the successive dictators, let us continue to fight until true democracy and federalism is achieved.

Remember we can be trapped by our daily routine when we can’t see a larger purpose. Let us carry on to the finished line for the next administration which is bound to have more democrats rather than head nodding robots of USDP. The NCA will be far more authentic, livelier than the one offered by the sordid and vehemently hated dictators. We just need the stamina and the skills to reach the finish line as we have reaped the advantage of unity.


Min Mang;Lun Armed ethnic groups back ceasefire with ‘guarantees’ Myanmar Times 26-8-2015

Battles Intensify as EAOs’ Leaders Prepare for NCA Talks in Naypyitaw Kachin Land News 26-8-2015

Watson; Roland, Burma Elections Scenarios Dictator Watch 17-7 2015

Ibid NCA negotiations

No prospect for peace’ with Kokang, says Burma’s army chief DVB News 25-9-201

Kramer, Tom (July 2009). "Neither War nor Peace: The Future of Cease-fire Agreements in Burma". Amsterdam: Transnational Institute

Lintner; Bertil; Kokang: The Backstory the Irrawaddy 9-3-2015

Don’t rush into ceasefire, Suu Kyi warns ethnic leaders DVB News 26-8-2015

Nyein; Nyein Suu Kyi Calls for Prompt but ‘Meaningful’ Peace Pact The Irrawaddy 27-8-2015

Daw Suu Speaking on Radio Free Asia’s bi-weekly program “Hard Road to Democracy” on Thursday morning

Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Arakan Army

The Wa National Organization, the Lahu Democratic Union, and the Arakan National Council.

The Oos (Aung Naing Oo, Zaw Oo, Min Zaw Oo, Than Myint Oo) traitors who help to reduce the students from over

20,000 to less than 200 are now all shining lights in the dictatorships.

Watson; Roland, Burma Elections Scenarios Dictator Watch 17-7 2015

Watson; Roland An appeal to the Ethnic Nationality leaders Dictator Watch 27-8-2015


Words of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

“Our Daily Bread” Purpose in Routine 27-8-2015

- Asian Tribune -

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