Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mongla conducts survey on transforming armed wing

By Hseng Khio Fah

(Shanland) -The National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), commonly known as the Mongla group by the name of its main base, had conducted a 5 day long public survey whether it should transform itself into border guard forces last week, according to sources from the Sino-Burma border.

The survey was conducted from 2-6 June in areas operated by the 369th Brigade, 911th Brigade as well as at its main base regarding the junta’s proposal that all ceasefire groups transform themselves into 326 strong units, commanded by their own officers but supervised by 30 junta officers, said an insider source.

At each public meeting, people were asked three questions:

• Should the NDAA accept the junta’s proposal to transform itself into a border guard force?
• Do the people want war?
• Will the people support the NDAA if there is fighting?

The questions were given not only to the public but also to its military units. The situation of the country since the Panglong Agreement of 1947 up to the present time was also recounted by survey team officers, according to the source.

According to survey team, most respondents had answered “No” to Question# 1 and 2. As for the third question, the 369th Brigade area where the majority are ethnic Shan voted to support the NDAA if there is fighting. The second strongest voice came from the people in the 911th Brigade area and the third from people from its main base.

In Mongla, about 50% of residents had given answers identical to 369th Brigade and 911th areas, while the rest remained silent as most were businesspeople and ethnic Chinese.

Following the results, the NDAA asked people to inform about anything that could endanger its people and military.“We would like to ask for your help. Because it is most important to keep our eyes and ears on the situation.” a villager quoted a survey team officer as saying.

The junta’s negotiator, Military Affair Security (MAS) chief Lt-Gen Ye Myint is expected to be meeting with the NDAA leaders today.

Sources said the significant thing about the meeting is that Sai Leun aka Lin Mingxian himself will be present. He has so far been absent from meetings with junta officials on the transformation question.

Most border watchers say the group’s answer would likely be the same as its allies.

The NDAA-ESS had already sent a letter rejecting the proposal to Brig Gen Kyaw Phyoe, Commander of Kengtung-based Triangle Region Command, on 27 May.

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