Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wa nab suspected spies

By S.H.A.N.

Two Burman civilians, one a retired Burma Army man, were taken into custody last week in Mongphen in the Wa territory, according to a source close to the Wa leadership in Panghsang.

The unidentified men were arrested on 24 June after they were found visiting locals without authorized escorts. “They told the villagers they were there to see how they could help to improve their crops,” he said. “On their persons were military maps, marking coordinates of our positions.”

Mongphen is in the disputed Mongpawk area. While the Wa claim it has been under their control for more than 30 years, Naypyitaw insists it is in Mongyang township, 102 km north of Kengtung, the capital of eastern Shan State.

“We have information that the Burma Army has placed big guns in Mongkhark (south of Mongphen),” he added. “Even Chinese authorities have warned them (the Burma Army) that the guns have put the people on the Chinese side of the border at risk.”

The Wa and its allies, Kokang (to its north) and Mongla (to its south) have been on the alert since the Burma Army demanded in April that they become border security forces under the Burmese command. Their other ally National Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) has already accepted the proposal, according to Mizzima and Kachin News Group.

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