Can ASEAN’S four-month ceasefire principle really work in Myanmar? – Issue 22

From the EAOs point of view

On December 21st, 2018, the military issued a statement about the suspension of military operations in the five military areas in the northern Shan State and Kachin State, for four months until April 21st, 2019. The military said it would hold separate talks with the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) which had not signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) at that time.

The military extended the unilateral ceasefire for two additional months until the end of June. But it cannot be said that the army did not attack the EAOs during that period. Fighting took place even in Shan and Kachin States where the ceasefire took effect. The military council usually gives different reasons for fighting and has already had many excuses. The military usually puts blame on its enemies whenever an incident takes place. For instance, at a time when the ceasefire first took effect during the tenure of the NLD-led government, from December 21st, 2018 to April 21st, 2019, the fighting took place between the army and the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in March, 2019. Fighting took three days from March 9 to 11.

The military council’s troops carried out airstrikes which displaced around 1,000 people from ten villages such as Pankhar, Pankham, Kankwe, Kwantee and Wanhaw. The SSPP/SSA is a non-NCA signatory. More significantly, there were encounters between the SSPP/SSA and the Restoration Council of Shan State and Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) which has signed the NCA, at Pankhar mountain range between Hsipaw Townships and Kyethi Township where the north borders the south of Shan State, where fighting took place between the SSPP/SSA and the military council.

Here, we need to be cautious about the fact that the RCSS/SSA is to cross the areas controlled by the army if it wants to go to the SSPP/SSA-controlled area. The very sorrowful news emerged in Shan State when the army seized power on February 1st, 2021. There was intense fighting between the RCSS/SSA and the SSPP/SSA at a time when the people across the country were defying the military dictatorship. It is not just a normal battle.

Thousands of troops from both sides participated in the battle. Fighting continues till date although Shan people and politicians issued official statements calling for an end to fighting. The military council will be the culprit of the issue.

From organizational point of view

This is the ASEAN’s first attempt to solve the regional problem throughout history. The Asean has no solving methods including necessary technicality and experiences. The Asean’s mediation aims to voluntarily help Myanmar people. The ASEAN plans to continue implementing the five-point consensus. So, there are two major problems—intervention and negotiation among the relevant groups and the Asean’s leadership role in solving the Myanmar crisis.

On the other hand, there are some laws which need careful attention. The most important meeting of the UN is the session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The military council’s allies—Russia and China—have veto power at the UNSC. The UNSC which is the most powerful body of the UN has just called on the military council to avoid violence against protestors. But it has not condemned the military coup yet. It shows that even the UN is unable to take action against the arbitrary acts committed by the military council’s troops. Australian research Rebecca Barber said criticizing the military council without action is the UN’s flaw.

Till date since 1992, six special envoys on human rights Myanmar have already known the UN’s weakness. Myanmar people have come to know that the issuance of statements, criticizing and blaming alone are not working. The UNSC has already held six meetings and issued three statements since the military coup. But the number of violence acts by the military council even continues to increase. Myanmar people shall not pin their hope on the Asean’s efforts to solve the Myanmar crisis which cannot be solved even by the UN.

Review

To sum up, Myanmar’s political problem is very complex. The truth is it is difficult to solve the Myanmar crisis. Taking a look at the above-mentioned three points, it can be said that the Asean’s first attempt to solve the Myanmar crisis would not bring any hopes to Myanmar people.

We can anticipate the Asean’s prospect by just looking at the fact that the Asean had to make coordination with the military council several times to enter the country under the heading of humanitarian assistance which is one of the five-point consensus of the Asean. There is no sign to put collective pressure on the military council through the collection of organizations including the Asean and the UN. The world should solve the problem by listening to the genuine desires of the Myanmar people.

PART_ II

What Happening in the Week?

Chin State

More than 100 police and soldiers have joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in Chin State, within one week after the National Unity Government (NUG) declared the nationwide revolt on September 7th, according to the spokesperson of the Chinland Defense Force (CDF). Two members of the military council troops were killed in the fighting in Htantalan Township on September 9th. Four civilians were injured in the indiscriminate shooting by the military council’s troops, according to the Chin World.

A combined force of the Chin National Army (CNA) and Htantalan-Civil Defense Force (CDF) could seize Lungler military camp in Htantalan Township in Chin State. On September 13rd, the total number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled to Mizoram State of India reached nearly 1,400, according to the Mizzima News. Mizoram State Health Minister Dr. R Lalthangliana pledged that the IDPs shall not face a shortage of food, according to the KNG.

Arakan State

Khaing Thu Kha, Spokesperson of the Arakan Army (AA) told the DMG that the military council urged the administrators not to accept the administrative affairs of the ULA/AA in Arakan State. It is the military council’s attempt to stymie local rule of law affairs. The Narinjara News which quoted the statement of the Anti-Narcotics Special Squad, covered the news that it seized stimulant tablets worth Ks-360 million near Tarein (Mro) village on Kyeinchaung-Taungpyo road in Maungdaw Township.

Journalists are criticizing the Arakan State Administration Council’s monitoring and scrutiny of private media in Arakan State. Nearly 100,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Arakan State still remain in the IDP camps despite the ceasefire between the military council and the AA. The IDPs said they were concerned about the danger of landmines and the possible resumption of fighting.

Shan State

The camp of the military-backed Seintkywat people’s militia in Lant village-tract between Muse and Namkham, was torched on the morning of September 9th, according to the KNG. The military council reinforced soldiers and police members at the military camps and police stations to defend the Mytel towers in Mongtone Township, according to the Shan Herald News Agency on September 13rd. Local villagers staged a protest against China’s fencing on Myanmar side, in Hethin village in Manhero Sub-Township in Muse Township and destroyed the fence.

The military council troops searched and inspected the house of the NUG’s Acting President Duwa Lashi La in Lashio at night on September 7th after a declaration of nationwide revolt. The military council troops arrested two staff from the electricity office in Nyaungkone ward in Nanmar of Mohnyin Township for no apparent reason, according to the KNG. Fighting took place between the army and a combined force of the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) and the PDF (Phalkhone), in Phalkhone Township located on the Shan-Kayah border, killing five soldiers. After the fighting, two civilians on motorbikes were shot dead by the military council troops in Konesone village-tract in Phalkhone Township, according to the KNDF’s statement.

Karenni State

The military council troops arrested 26 civilians in Demawsoe and Loikaw Townships, according to the Karenni Human Rights Group. A photo of two children from 6th mile model village in Demawsoe Township, whose hands were tied with ropes and who raised three-finger salutes, was circulated on social media. Both were arrested by the military council’s troops on September 8th. Although there was no fighting in Bawlakhae and Demawsoe Townships on September 9th, a female civilian was killed and four others wounded by the heavy shells fired by the military council.

After the firing of light and heavy weapons near the Battalion-54 of the army in Loikaw, at night on September 13rd, the army sent bren-carriers and military vehicles there. A man from the Acre-500 ward was injured and some houses were destroyed due to indiscriminate shooting. According to the Mizzima News, the military council’s troops continue to torch houses in Demawsoe Township for no apparent reason.

The Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) issued a statement, calling for the suspension of tender projects being implemented in partnership with the military group in Karenni State. The KNDF would inspect and take action against them.

Kachin State

Some members of the military council troops were killed in the mine attack near Lajarbwan on Tanaing-Shinbwayyan road, according to the KNG. Around 200 members of the military council who arrived in Dawphoneyan, are marching to the Battalion-19 of the Security Area of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). It may be the army’s reinforcement to carry out offensive operations in Laiza, locals said.

The members of the military council troops are guarding Mytel phone tower in Region-24 in Yanpu ward in Myitkyina Township, according to locals from Yanpu ward. Dr. M Kawn La, Chair of the Kachin National Congress (KNC) Party who was arrested in Nay Pyi Taw on August 25th, was sent to Nay Pyi Taw prison without any court appearance.

South Eastern (Mon, Karen and Tanintharyi)

At night on September 10th, two explosions occurred in downtown Thaton. Following the blasts, the military council’s troops were carrying out inspections, according to the NMG. According to locals, explosions occurred near Basic Education High School in Kyaikmayaw Township on September 7th and at the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) office in Pyinkadoekone village in Kyaikto Township on September 8th.

According to the Thanlwin Times on September 13rd, a combined force of LIB-406 and No.1014 Border Guard Force (BGF) based in Laykay village in Belin Township forced villagers to send wood and bamboo to repair their camp. A local was killed as the military council’s troops fired shots at him accusing of being a drug seller in Sonenanthar village in Yay Township. On September 11th, a local PDF named Daungmin Operation Group made a raid on Thaechaunggyi police outpost in Taungpyauk Station in Thayetchaung Township in Taninthayi Region, according to the Thanlwin Times.

A total of 100 members of Taninthayi Defence Force (TDF) joined the southern command of the Ministry of Defense of the National Unity Government (NUG). The military council troops arrested around 10 passer-bys in downtown Dawei at night on September 7th, for no apparent reason, according to the Thanlwin Times. Padoh Saw Sar Myo Myo, Township Secretary of the KNU told the KIC that the military council troops arrested Padoh Saw Chae, Chiar of Dawei Township, Brigade-4 (Myeik-Dawei District) of the KNU, on the afternoon of September 9th. The KNU has requested the people not to urgently upload the battle news on social media.

A military informant was shot dead at his house in downtown Hpa-An. The military council troops entered some villages in Maewaing Station in Hpapun District and took precious belongings, animals and rations from the houses, according to the DVB. Locals are fleeing to safer places for fear that the army may arrest them to be used as porters as the military council’s troops arrived in Tarpaung village in Hlaingbwe Township, according to the KIC.

Upper Myanmar (Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing)

A ward administrator from Oukkyin ward in Mahaaungmye Township was shot dead. Bombs exploded at the Nanshae Inspection Camp in Mandalay, leaving four members of the military council injured. The military council troops arrived in Tadaphyu village in Madaya Township at 3.30 am on September 10th, arrested some villagers and torched three houses, according to the DVB news. According to the Mizzima News, six military council troops on patrol by motorbike on Yonehtoke-Hteinpan road in the east of Myingyan, were killed in a mine attack by Zero Guerrilla Group.

The military council troops entered Tharlin village in Gangaw Township in Magway Region and torched houses. The military council troops torched Hnakhar village on September 10th and 13rd and destroyed 46 houses there. Villagers there have fled to safer places. At night on September 10th, the military council troops arrested a CDM health staff from Mindon Township, for no apparent reason, according to the NMG. Two civilians were killed in the indiscriminate shooting by the military council troops in Taunglyaung (Ywama) village in Taungdwingyi Township. Four locals were arrested. The military council’s troops arrested five civilians in Ohpauk village on September 13rd for no apparent reason. The military council troops arrested four men and one woman in Ahmikepin village in Natmauk Township, at around 9 pm on September 13rd, for no apparent reason.

Five soldiers were injured in a bomb attack on the military convoy in Saw Township. A combined force of the Yaw Defense Force (YDF) and the Mindat- Civil Defense Force (CDF) attacked Minywa police station in Gangaw Township, killing 35 police members, according to a statement by the YDF on the evening of September 12th. The PDFs carried out mine attacks on the military convoy heading from Kyaukhtu to Pakokku, in Ponetaung-Ponenyar region. Due to the mine attack, the military council troops may suffer heavy casualties.

The military council troops are inspecting passerbys after a bomb explosion at the foot of Panyit Mountain near Myathalun pagoda in Magway Township, according to the NMG on September 10th. At least 11 villagers were killed in the encounter between the villagers (non-PDF members) and the military council troops in Minthar village in Gangaw Township. On September 11th, four military-owned Mytel towers in Sagaing, Pale and Yinmarbin Townships were blown up. A combined force of the People’s Revolution Army and Local PDF carried out a mine attack on the military council troops which arrived in Pale Township by motorbike.

On September 11th, four military-owned Mytel towers in Sagaing, Pale and Yinmarbin Townships were blown up

Seven soldiers were killed and four injured in the attack. On September 12nd, Namtaw police station in Homalin Township was bombed and there were encounters. Local PDF members raided a police station in Kyaukyit village in Myaung Township and detained three police members including the police head. The remaining police members could run away. At around 9 pm on September 12nd, the military council troops torched some houses in Kyaukyit village and shot seven villagers dead, according to the DVB.

On September 9th, local PDFs attacked the police outpost in Shwepankone village in Wetlet Township. Two police members were killed in the attack. Fighting took place between the military council troops and the PDFs in Winmanar village-tract in Kani Township. Local PDFs had to withdraw as the military council troops used fighter jets. On September 9th, local PDF blew up a water pipeline connecting the copper mining blocks run by Myanmar Wanbao and Myanmar Yang Tse Copper Ltd, in Salingyi Township. A local PDF member said the local PDF had to carry out the attack as China turned a blind eye to the democratic desires of Myanmar people and stood by the military council.

Lower Myanmar (Yangon, Irrawaddy, Bago)

An unidentified group threw a bomb into a military vehicle at the junction of Baho and Bargayar Streets in Shanchaung Township. Two soldiers were killed and many others injured in the bomb attack, according to the Mizzima News. On September 11th, Hlaingthayar Urban Guerrilla Group carried out attacks on the Chinese-owned factory in Hlaingthayar Township at 10- minute intervals, with three remote-control bombs. The attacks resulted in casualties of soldiers, according to the NMG.

Around 100 police and soldiers are hired for more than 30 Chinese-owned factories in Myaungdagar Industrial Zone

Around 100 police and soldiers are hired for more than 30 Chinese-owned factories in Myaungdagar Industrial Zone in Hmawbi Township, according to the Mizzima News. At night on September 12th, the military council’s troops blocked and searched Anawmar Ward-1 in Thaketa Township. They arrested at least 10 civilians for no apparent reason.

A lance corporal died in Kyaukai village in Thayawady Township in Bago Region after accidentally being hit by the bullet while a second lieutenant was clearing his gun, at around 1 pm on September 9th, according to the Mizzima News.

The military council troops arrested the abbot and some nuns after a bomb exploded in the compound of Zeyathikdi Monastery in East Ngawongyunthar on Mingyi Road in Pathein Township, at 6 pm on September 12nd. A bomb exploded in Zayathla village in Yaykyi Township at around 3.30 pm on September 8th.

The military council troops arrested democratic activists Ko Myint Aye and Ko Soe Zaw Shein on Khaingshwewah street at No.6 Ward in Maubin at midnight on September 10th, posing as the philanthropic members, according to the NMG. Locals said they were anxious as they heard the sounds of alarms shortly after the emergence of “our cause”, “our cause” chants from Pathein Prison in No.4 ward in Pathein.

National Unity Government Vs Military Council

National Unity Government

Military Council

  • NUG officially announces the People’s Revolution to Resist the Military Council
  • NUG issued a statement that all People militia Force_ PDF soldiers must follow to the 7-point principle
  • The NUG has declared an emergency and closed government offices indefinitely
  • Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Rumors of Talks with Military Council
  • Myanmar’s Shadow Government Prepares Evidence of Junta War Crimes
  • The NUG said it would end the military by uniting people not international
  • NUG warns of attacks by the military Council Armed Forces in Myanmar
  • The NUG announced that 580 military council people had died in the August
  • The military council called on diplomats to clear that the coup was not a coupThe military council asked the EAOs about their standpoint on emergency declaration of the NUG
  • The military directive to force CCTV in department offices
  • Terrorist leader says he thanks Cambodia, Chinese and Thailand
  • The military council is demanding a Covid -19 loan from businessmen for low incomes
  • Myanmar Junta Denies Accepting ASEAN Ceasefire Proposal
  • Thai Police Under Orders to Arrest Members of Myanmar’s Shadow Govt
  • Myanmar’s Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Sick; Court Hearings Postponed

International Arena

The international Community was worried about (NUG) has announced that it will fight the coup d’état in a military way. The British government issue a statement to supports the peaceful efforts to restore democracy in Myanmar. British strongly condemned the military coup and inhumane acts. In the one clause in statement said they did not want to hurt more vulnerable people in the ensuing conflict. The US Department of State answered the RFA by email, saying it they did not accept the ongoing crisis by planning arm attack from NUG in Myanmar.

The Special Advisory Council said that the NUG and the people of Myanmar were sympathetic, while Malaysia foreign Minister considered the NUG Declaration is a failure of ASEAN intervention in Myanmar. China has agreed with the United States to prevent the UN General Assembly from joining the military. The IIMM is preparing to present evidence of human rights abuses, violation in Myanmar to international Court. Pakistan Defense delegation made unannounced visit to Myanmar capital in Second week of September. More than 300 civil society groups have called on the international community to accept U Tun Tun as a UN representative of NUG. The Union of Medical its related Student Union, which is composed of 17 unions, is preparing to move internationally and internationally. Despite some split in NCAs EAO which base in Border, there have been seven political goals set out to address the current political crisis in Myanmar of the 10-member Peace Process Group (PPST), which has signed a peace agreement.

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