Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wa anniversary has positive, negative responses in Thailand

(SHAN) -According to Thailand’s security, that has been closely following Wa developments, the recent Wa celebrations marking their 20th anniversary of what it calls “Peaceful Construction” was both a satisfying and disappointing event.

“We’ve been using its 10th anniversary pictorial publication like a bible on Wa up to this day,” a senior security officer told SHAN as he fondly ran his fingers through his newly received 392 page 20th anniversary publication, priced at Y188 (roughly $27) per copy in Panghsang, the Wa capital. “Whenever we wanted to know who’s who in Wa, we always refer to the volume. The new one is even better, and more detailed.”

For instance, while the 1999 volume did not carry photographs of the Wei brothers, wanted in both Thailand and the United States, the 2009 volume has two colorful prints of Wei Xuelong, the eldest and Deputy Minister of the Wa State Government’s all powerful Finance Department, and Wei Xuegang, the youngest and Deputy Commander of the 171st Military Region that covers areas opposite Thailand’s Maehongson, Chiangmai and Chiangrai provinces.

[“I wish the SSA (Shan State Army “South”) takes its cue from this one,” he added. The group has 5 main bases across the border.]

The only disappointment was that no latest snapshots of the most well-known brother, Wei Xuegang, was again not included the new volume. “Which means we are stuck to the only two available photos we have of him,” said another.

“We can do nothing about that,” said a Wa official who requested anonymity, “because it is his explicit wish. He attends only close door meetings. He’s so paranoid you can’t expect his presence in any meeting where there are 30 participants upwards.”

The other disappointment was about the lack of any display of United Wa State Army (UWSA)’s military might on 17 April, when around 2,400 of its troops took part in the military parade.

The Wa is reported to have acquired at least 2 Chinese-made armored vehicles, each Y 2.8 million ($400,000) recently, aside from a number of sophisticated anti-aircraft guns, mortars and field guns. This reluctance was in contrast to its former nemesis the Mong Tai Army (MTA) of the late Khun Sa who never failed to fascinate its civilian supporters with a show of its weaponry.

The UWSA, held a 4-day celebrations, 15-18 April, at its main base on the Sino-Burma border, attended by hundreds of its allies and thousands of guests from China.

The UWSA and the Thai Army have fought each other on several occasions since 1996, most notably in 2002, when the latter launched a military exercise code-named Surasi.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too