Democratic Voice of Burma: Wa under pressure to surrender their weapons by Burma junta
One of the most powerful armed ethnic national groups which signed ceasefire agreements with Burma’s military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the United Wa State Army (UWSA) has recently been "invited to exchange arms for perpetual peace”, according to a report by Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.) citing Thai and Wa sources. According to the report, the "invitation" came during a meeting held in Tachilek, opposite Thailand’s border town Maesai, on 9 April a Thai source who is in the logging business told S.H.A.N. “When I contacted (phoned) them (UWSA), I was told that it was not surrender of the weapons as such; but exchange of arms for perpetual peace,” S.H.A.N editor Khun Seng told DVB. “Therefore, I asked them if there is any plan for them to surrender their weapons. It will be very difficult for us (to do that), I was told. So I asked them the details. When the meeting was held, where and who attended it, I asked them. They told me that they have no rights (permissions) to say that.” Khun Seng added that there are two significant points about the report as the meeting took place three days after the visit in the city by Lt-Gen Kyaw Win, who commands three military regions: Lashio-based Northeastern, Taunggyi-based Eastern and Kengtung-based Triangle. “Another thing is, this month is the same as the time when SSNA (Shan State National Army) and Palaung (State) Liberation Front were forced to surrender their weapons.” When the offensives jointly carried out by the UWSA and Burmese troops were not successful against the Shan State Army – South last year, the UWSA was also under pressure to lay down their weapons, said Khun Seng.