The Myanmar Army has dispatched reinforcements to the Loi Say-LoiLeng area in northern Shan State's Tangyan Township, where a Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) base is located, according to an SSPP/SSA information officer.
He said that over ten vehicles from the Myanmar Army were heading towards Tangyan on 24 April. Last week, the Myanmar Army’s North Eastern Command ordered the SSPP/SSA to withdraw from the Loi Say-LoiLeng ridge in Tangyan Township by 22 April. This ridge is located to the west of the Salween River near territory controlled by the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
On 22 April the commander of the North Eastern Command ordered the SSPP/SSA to allow joint field inspections to be conducted on 27 April.
SSPP/SSA spokesperson's Colonel Sai La said: “We haven’t replied to their demands yet. We haven’t even held a central committee meeting yet. We have no place to stay. We won’t withdraw. They said the same thing in the past and attacked us. Now, we have to make ourselves ready for combat. The military wants us to stay only in Wan Hai [the SSPP/SSA headquarters]. Nobody has finalized who should stay where yet. We have been living here for more than 50 years now.”
When S.H.A.N. contacted the Pyidaungsu Institute's U Khun Sai he said: “The Burmese military seems to want to secure as much land as it can before political dialogue starts with the new government. These kind of acts affect trust.”
According to the SPP/SSA since 2012 the Myanmar Army has made similar requests to visit and inspect their bases before launching attacks on SSPP/SSA positions.
The Myanmar Army previously requested to visit the vicinity of Tar Phar Saung Bridge, which is located between Ke See and Hsipaw, before attacking it in 2014.
Although the SSPP/SSA has not participated in the signing of the nationwide ceasefire agreement the group participated in the drafting of the ceasefire agreement. It also signed a union-level and state-level ceasefire agreement with the Thein Sein administration.
Courtesy of BNI