Briefing paper on
PSLF/TNLA’s & RCSS/SSA-S Conflict
Myanmar Proxy Army RCSS/SSA-S’s War of Aggression to Ta’ang Region and Brutal Human rights violation
The desire to inform the general public, about the truth with regard to the armed conflict taking place between the Palaung State Liberation Front/Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA) and the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) force, is the only reason for writing this dissertation. It is for enabling the readers to critically analyze the various allegations and false information, emanating during the period of armed clashes between the PSLF/TNLA Army and the RCSS/SSA force. At the same time, a brief presentation has been made to show the root causes of the conflict, the group which has deliberately contrived for the conflict to break out and so on. The questions why the Ta’ang Region has been peaceful before the RCSS/SSA force has come up, – why the region is no longer peaceful after it has arrived, – which organization is violating human rights, – in what ways human rights are violated, what are the aims of the RCSS/SSA force coming into the Ta’ang Region and so on, have been answered with valid evidence. If there is doubt about the points contained in this paper, anyone can make a field study in the various places, where human rights violations have occurred for precise and solid data. The Buddhist monks and ordinary people, who are victims of human rights violations can be interviewed. Invitation is extended to come to Ta’ang Region, for field study.
Root Causes of Conflict in Ta’ang Region between PSLF/TNLA Army and RCSS/SSA Force and Human Rights Violations
- Brief History of RCSS/SSA Force
The RCSS/SSA organization is a splinter group from the Moung Tai Army (MTA), which surrendered to the Burman/Myanmar military government in December 1997, when it could no longer stand offensive by the United Wa State Army (UWSA). The MTA’s main activity was narcotic drug trafficking and it was led by Chinese-Shan half cast Khunsa, a native of Lweh-maw village of Tant-yan Township, Northern Shan State. Though the military government had promised the United Wa State Party (UWSP) to jointly attack the MTA, it did not participate in the actual attack, apart from supplying weapons and ammunition to the UWSA. When the MTA surrendered to the military government, it was found that the military government took in under its control some of Khunsa’s armed groups in various areas, as various local militias, and these militias continue to operate the initial narcotic drug businesses in their areas of control. The prominent ones are Man-pan, Mine-ha and Ho-main local militias.
Only the battalion led by U Yord Serk, under the secret direction of U Khunsa, had remained and, with the continuation of the MTA’s original business of narcotic drug production and trafficking, U Yord Serk was given the duty to muddy the revolutionary movement in Shan State. Before the surrender of U Khunsa, the group led by U Kern Ywet, which had arrived in northern region, entered into ceasefire agreement.
Before entering the ceasefire agreement, during the period when U Kern Ywet group was operating in Namt Kham, Kutkai, Theinni and Upper Mantong Township areas in Northern Shan State, groups led by U Kanna, U Sai Yi (currently RCSS/SSA’s vice chairman), U Kyan Tee Hak, U Ottama, and U Kayma had oppressed and killed Ta’ang people by various means. At the time, the Palaung State Liberation Army (PSLA, former Palaung Army) had newly entered into ceasefire agreement, and citing the muddy situation in Namt Kham, Kutkai and Upper Mantong Townships as a reason, Myanmar government did not allow the PSLA to operate. The list of Ta’ang people, who had died at the hands of those groups is: –
(1) Tah Hla Pe (AKA) Tah Lweh Hsaing (55) years old, of (Par Pein village, Kutkai Township).
(2) Tah Kun Atoon, (57) years old, of (Par Pein village chairman, Kutkai Township).
(3) Mine Atoon (son of village tract chairman, village tract clerk, Par Pein village, Kutkai Township).
(4) Tah Aik Ba, (43) years old, of (Par Pein village, Kutkai Township)
(5) Tah Aunghsa, (40) years old, of (Kaunglaw village, Kutkai Township)
(6) Tah Aik Kyaw, (40) years old, of (Pan Hangyi village, Namt Kham Township, village chairman).
(7) Tah Lau Kaw, (35) years old, of (Sehnay village, Namt Kham Township).
(8) Son of Tah Lau Kaw, (Sehnay village, Namt Kham Township).
(9) Tah Aik Keh (35) years old, of (Pa-pyant village, Namt Kham Township).
(10) Tah Kun Sein (50) years old, of (Pan-yaung village, Mantong Township).
(11) Tah Kyaw Aye (Pan Tawmaw village, Mantong Township).
A total of 16 Ta’ang people, including the 11 shown above, were brutally beaten to death with clubs, made from tea tree trunks.
Later on, U Kern Ywet led the groups, and assuming the name of Shan State North Army (SSNA), left from Khunsa MTA and entered into ceasefire agreement. After the death of U Kern Ywet, during the leadership of U Kanna, when the SSNA laid down arms to Myanmar military government, U Sai Aik Yi, with some followers, joined forces with U Yord Serk. Currently, U Sai Yi has been given the duties of Vice Chairman of RCSS/SSA.
- Attempt by RCSS/SSA Force to Dominate Northern Region
In this northern region, especially in Nam Kham, Kutkai, Namtu, Mantong and Kyaukme townships, the armed revolutionary resistance organizations coexist on pledges and there had been no occurrence of armed conflict after 1983. After the Kachin Democratic Army (KDA) of Special Region 5, which was the former Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Brigade – 4, the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) of Special Region (3) and the Palaung State Liberation Army (PSLA) of Special Region 7 were transformed into local militias, the so-called U Kayma from former SSNA force, taking advantage of lack of activity by the SSPP/SSA, was able to organize Shan youths in the vicinity of Nam Kham.
Later on, on request by U Kayma and U Hla Shwe (AKA) U Htee Hsaing, U Yord Serk sent his confidante, Major Sak Sarm Main, in 2010 to set up Military Region 701 in the area between Shweli River and China-Myanmar border, for the domination of Shweli valley region. U Hla Shwe and Sai Hsan Hsaing were given the tasks to operate by designating Mine-wee and Hopan villages of Namt Kham Township and Monka village of Mantong Township, as organizing areas. They attempted to dominate and control over 60 Ta’ang villages, large and small, by basing on three Shan villages of Mine-wee village (200 households), which is situated between Mantong and Namt Kham Townships, Hopan village (30 households) and Monka village (30 households).
Initially, nearly 30 Shan youths from Mine-wee, Hopan and Monka villages, led by U Hla Shwe, U Hsan Hsaing, U Hsam Tun and U Yi Ngorc, were equipped with small arms, which were hidden by U Kayma in Namt Haing (Monbaw) and Mine-yin areas, before U Kanna had surrendered, and they started to operate, in early 2011. Making a base of Hopan and Monka villages alternately, they began to traffick in narcotic drugs, collected various kinds of protection money from the Ta’ang people, unreasonably bully, dominate and arbitrarily executed the Ta’ang people.
The list of executed Ta’ang people is as follows.
- Aik Yai Hoon, (30) years old, of (Manwun village).
- Tah Aung, (70) years old, of (Pa-ya-saung Pane-Kham ward, Mine-wee village).
- Lway Yay Sa (14) years old, of (Pane-Kham ward, Mine-wee village).
- Mine Lom Yin (36) years old, of (Hsaing-lane village).
In their atrocities, the 14 years old, 8th Standard, girl student, Lway Yay Sa and her uncle Mine Lom Yin, who were returning from Pan Han Lay village to Mine-wee village, were arrested on 26-9-2011, at 2 PM, at the head of Hopan village (a place where they later set up a camp), by a unit consisting of about 10 Shan youths, led by Hopan villagers U Hsam Tun, U Hsan Hsaing and U Yi Ngorc, on the order of U Hla Shwe (AKA) U Htee Hsaing. The two were led away and at a place near upper Namt-wee Stream, Lway Sa Ya was gang-raped in the presence of her uncle and the two were murdered.
There was dissatisfaction with regard to the murder of the two – uncle and niece, Mine Lom Yin and Lway Sa Ya, within the group, and Sai Hsaing Yaw (a Ta’ang national, who settled down in Monka village), and Sai Ngwe Yarp (AKA) A-shay Gyi (Mine-wee villager), who leaked information regarding the incident, were executed to shut up, respectively at Monka Ferry place, on Shweli River, and in Shweli River on the China-Burma border.
U Yord Serk’s Military Region 701 group, based on the other bank of Shweli River in the China-Myanmar border area, has been engaging in all kinds of illicit activities of trafficking narcotic drugs, collecting protection money and operating gambling dens. It is inclined to use terrorist methods of levying protection money from Muse and Nam Kham Towns by hostage taking, threatening to explode bombs and firing guns, especially when the protection money is not forthcoming, after sending a demand letter.
It sent several Shan youths to Loi Tai Lang secretly for military training. It is learnt that many Shan youths from the villages along the banks of Shweli River, in the China-Myanmar border area, including those from Ho-pan, Mine-wee, Namt-ma, Namt Tee, Man-huay and Man-mon villages, had been involved. Before the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) was signed, the RCSS/SSA’s 701 Military Region Headquarters, at Naung Ma Tar Village, near China-Burma border, was attacked and occupied by Myanmar Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army).
- Movement of Massive RCSS/SSA Force to Northern Region after Signing of NCA
Information was received that in the third week of September 2015, over 200 troops of RCSS/SSA started to arrive in the TNLA Brigade-2 Area, in Mine Ngorc Sub-Township of Kyaukme Township and Namh San Township. As soon as the information was received, the TNLA Brigade-2 commander, Major Robert, sent runners to request them not to enter into the Ta’ang Region, several times. Though words were sent indicating the desire for consultation between fellow resistance organizations, and for meeting the commanding officer, if possible, etc., no attention was given, and the troops continued to march on to the vicinity of Pa-laing village of Kyaukme Township. At that juncture, the TNLA Brigade-2 commander sent a letter on 19-9-2015, inviting the RCSS/SSA officer of battalion commander level to Pa-laing village and at the meeting though warning was made again by the Brigade-2 commander not to enter into his operational area for preventing conflict between the two sides, as the RCSS/SSA force came in forcefully, the first clash took place between the two sides, near Kyauk Pyu-lay village of Namh san Township, on 22-9-2015. After that, the RCSS/SSA force changed course by entering into Thibaw Township and went into hiding. It was learnt that in the battle, one was killed on the RCSS/SSA side.
Though the battle took place, there was entirely no response and no communication and, information was received that while hiding in Thibaw Township, it received help from an SSPP/SSA unit at lower level and, with the help of the SSPP/SSA unit, it entered into Namt Haing (Monbaw) area, through Mine Yin area of Namtu Township. At this point, it was clear by all indications that the RCSS/SSA used the NCA and came in with dishonest intentions and, as it was no longer necessary to give further notice and as there was no choice but to drive it out by force, a clash took place again between the TNLA Brigade-1 and the RCSS/SSA force, in the tea plantation of Awl Law village of Mantong Township, on 27-11-2015.
The initial route, mentioned above, pointed to the intention of the RCSS/SSA force to advance through Kyaukme Township into Shweli Valley, for the domination of it, which forms as a junction between Momeik and Mantong Townships. When the plan failed due to debarring by the TNLA Brigade-2, the RCSS/SSA force new plan was to enter Mine-wee-Hopan area for setting up a base, through Mine Yin-Namt Haing (Monbaw) route, for the domination of Shweli Valley, which had been the original goal.
As expected, information was received to the effect that the RCSS/SSA force, cutting in near Monbaw (Namt Haing) village, had arrived near Awl Lweh village in Mantong Township, after crossing over Pankalan Hill from Ma-shu village, and it was headed towards Manwun-Pain-kaing forest. Acting on the information received, Troops of the TNLA Brigade-1, Brigade-2 and Mobile Tactical Command-4, attacked the over 200 strong RCSS/SSA force, which had arrived in Pain-kaing forest. The RCSS/SSA force suffered high casualty, as soon as the battle started, but as the Myanmar Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) troops from Division-77 coming in from Kho-mon Mana village to Ma-waw village on 30-11-2016, and troops from Division-88 coming in from Mine Wee village to Hopan village on 28-11-2016, joined the battle on the side of RCSS/SSA force, the TNLA had to suspend its attack on 7-12-2016.
In 2015, the head-on battles taking place in Ta’ang Region due to the aggression had been one time in September, 5 times in November and 7 times in December.
- After TNLA’s Withdrawal, RCSS/SSA Force Started Setting Up Military Camps under Myanmar Tatmadaw’s Protection
After the battle in Pain Kaing, Lort-naw and Manwun forest, the RCSS/SSA force started to set up military camp firstly, on the hill at the head of Hopan village, under the protection of Myanmar Tatmadaw. Then, under the protection of Myanmar Tatmadaw, the RCSS/SSA came in with a massive force and started to build camps in TNLA Brigade-2 Area in Kyaukme Township and in Thibaw Township.
It was found that strong military camps were built on militarily important hills and ridges, all in the vicinity of Ta’ang villages such as Tort-san (Ka-daw Hsant) village, Nuaung Maung village, Nyaung Pan Hla village and Lweh-yin Hill in Kyauk-me Township, and Shu-nant village, Pan-nin village and Kyauk-taw village etc. in Nam-san Township. It was found that camps were built in the vicinity of only two Shan villages of U-mu in Thibaw Township and Hopan village in Namh Kham Township.
With the camps mentioned above as bases, the RCSS/SSA troops launched a surprise attack on the TNLA camp situated between Pan-wo and Kaw-pao villages in Kyaukme Township, on the night of January 13, 2016, at 0200 hours. In the attack, the TNLA troops lost one RPG grenade launcher and 10 AK-47 rifles. On January 17, 2016, the RCSS/SSA troops again attacked the TNLA Battalion 666 troops in Lwai-sa village of Kyaukme Township, from 0600 to 1400 hours, and as the RCSS/SSA troops lost over 20 men, they became vengeful and beat up the villagers, looted the villagers’ belongings and destroyed houses. Eleven villagers were arrested on accusation of being TNLA soldiers, tortured and taken to Min-gon village. Eventually, the villagers had to be redeemed with money.
With the Myanmar Tatmadaw’s protection, the RCSS/SSA troops set up strong military camps, one after another, and caused problems to the Ta’ang people by various means. They collected all kinds of protection money and from 10 to 15 villagers had to be sent daily to each camp for standing sentinel, drawing water, gathering firewood, cooking and to do various odd jobs. The travel of the Ta’ang people also came under restriction.
For that reason, on demand by the people, the TNLA had to consider again for driving out the RCSS/SSA troops. In the attack on the TNLA Battalion-468 troops of Brigade-5 in Lort-naw village of Nam Kham Township, on February 7, 2016, at 0400 hours, by the RCSS/SSA troops of Hopan village, it was learnt that the TNLA side lost one company officer, and the RCSS/SSA side lost 5 men. When the TNLA withdrew for fear that the fighting might harm the villagers and damage houses, the RCSS/SSA troops came into the village and destroyed the houses and properties they could not carry and looted the valuables.
On the same day, the TNLA decided to respond to the attack by the RCSS/SSA force, which carried out a preemptive strike on the TNLA Battalion-468 and, at 0600 hours, the TNLA troops attacked the RCSS/SSA camps based in Kyaukme, Nam-san and Thibaw Townships. After the TNLA had captured all the RCSS/SSA camps, the Myanmar Tatmadaw launched a major offensive with a total strength of 10,000 troops, on the stated purpose of area clearing. It sent in Divisions 33, 55, 66 and 99 troops to reinforce the existing Divisions 77 and 88 troops, North-East Command troops, Military Operation Command (MOC) 1 and MOC-16 troops.
In the second-time of major clash of arms between the TNLA and RCSS/SSA forces, battles including assault and capture of military camps, took place 37 times in February, one time in March and one time in April, 2016.
Though the Myanmar Tatmadaw offensive was declared to be for “driving back the RCSS/SSA to the south and scorched-earth annihilation of the TNLA”, but in real practice, instead of driving out the RCSS/SSA forces, Myanmar Tatmadaw was giving protection to them, and the Ta’ang people were targeted for attack. In addition to subjecting the villagers to arrest and torture, homes and paddy were destroyed by burning. There were some cases of death of the villagers, due to long-term detention and torture. Some are still in detention, up to this day.
The time of military operation by Myanmar Tatmadaw was the harvest time of Shwe-phi tea leaves, which occurred only once in a year, and for the Ta’ang people to pick tea leaves in peace, the TNLA troops had to avoid battle as much as possible and move about. Taking advantage of the situation, the RCSS/SSA force built more military camps near Ta’ang villages and started to commit human rights violations, constantly.
- Human Rights Violations by RCSS/SSA Force
During the harvest time of Shwe-phi tea leaves, when the TNLA was reducing military activities, the RCSS/SSA force started to build strong military camps near Ta’ang villages, with the protection of Myanmar Tatmadaw. They were especially near Ta’ang villages of Manwun, Hsaing-lein, Lweh-hoon and Tarpon, situated between Nam Kham and Mantong Townships, Ho-koot and Ho-hsoon villages in Kyaukme Township and Panka etc. villages in Thibaw Township.
Human rights violations by the RCSS/SSA troops started after battles broke out between the TNLA and RCSS/SSA troops during the time from 27-11-2015 to 7-12-2016, and after the RCSS/SSA started to set up camp in the Shan village of Ho-pan. They used various means to give problems to the Ta’ang people. They questioned Buddhist monks, who were travelling, they arrested, tortured and arbitrarily detained the Ta’ang people, on charges of being the TNLA members, they blocked, dug trenches or cut down tree trunks across the main roads, used by the Ta’ang people and threatened the villagers going to buy items from the marketplace. They severely limited buying or carrying the amount of commodities such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, medicine etc. which the villagers bought or sold at marketplaces, which opened only once in every five days. They burnt to destroy the hill forest the villagers had reserved for swidden agriculture, and collected unfairly heavy tax/protection money on commodities such as charcoal (100,000 Kyat per pickup truck), on buffalo (50,000 Kyat per buffalo), on cow (40,000 Kyat per cow), on tea leaves (1,000 Kyat per viss) etc. to maltreat and dominate the Ta’ang people.
The RCSS/SSA troops gave all kinds of troubles to the Ta’ang villagers of nearly 20 villages in Law-naw village tract, Hsaing-lein village tract and Monka village tract, who could buy and sell at once-in-5-day marketplaces. Generally, when the troops ran out of means of giving troubles, they close down the road and forced those coming back from shopping to go back to Mine-wee to spend the night there. They have adversely affected the local people’s once in a year production of Shwe-phi tea and the business of it.
U Aik Kyan (45), son of U Kun Aik Kyan and U Aik Loke (40), son of U Aik Nyan, villagers of Namt Kalok village of Lort-naw village tract, who were on the way to the marketplace on 10-1-2016, were unfairly detained for 14 days in the jungle and tortured. Similarly, U Kun San (47) of Lort-naw village was unfairly detained on 17-1-2016 and tortured and on 23-1-2016, he fortunately managed to escape and run away for life.
One day after the escape of U Kun San, fearing that there would be a leak of information regarding their violations of human rights, the RCSS/SSA force summoned Ta’ang people and responsible persons around Mine-wee area and threaten them not to let the information leak on the matter.
On 7-2-2016, the RCSS/SSA troops came to attack the TNLA troops in Lort-naw village. Fearing for the danger that might cause to the villagers’ lives and property, the TNLA troops avoided battle and exited from the village. Taking advantage of the situation, the RCSS/SSA troops ransacked the villagers’ houses, looted valuables and planted landmines in the village. The landmines killed 3 cows of the villagers. Terrified by these human rights violations and criminal activities, the Lort-naw villagers dared not remain in the village and had to go and live in Mine-wee village as Internal Displace Parson – IDP.
Fearing for the security of the troops, as a result of the human violations committed against the vast majority of Ta’ang people, leaders of the RCSS/SSA force, invited the Ta’ang Buddhist monks and village elders in Mine-wee area, held a meeting on 11-3-2016 and urged them to support the RCSS/SSA force. In return, though the Ta’ang Buddhist monks and village elders called for stability, peace, freedom and security to travel, removal of road blockages, lifting restriction on the quantity of commodity that can be bought and stopping the practice of collecting unfairly high tax/protection money, there was not only any compliance to the demands, but on the other hand, the villagers were seriously warned and threatened.
After that, the RCSS/SSA sent in more troops and made the attempt for the control of Lweh-hoon, Panka, Tarpon, Mansan, Hsaing-lein etc. villages. They set up camps, as strong positions, variously on (Shop) Hill situated between Hsaing-lein and Panka villages, on Tarpon Pagoda Hill, in Lweh-hoon and in Mansan villages. The Panka villagers, not daring to live in their own village, went to stay in Lweh-hoon and Mine-wee villages, as IDP. The RCSS/SSA troops in Panka village dismantled every house in the village and used the materials for the construction of their camp buildings.
On 23-3-2016, the administrative head of Hsaing-lein village tract of Mantong Township, U Tun Naing (AKA) U Kun Aung, office clerk U Aung Kham and car driver U Hla Maung (village head), with a car and a motorcycle, were detained, tortured and interrogated in the RCSS/SSA camp between Hsaing-lein gand Panka villages, and the food items on the car were taken and other items were destroyed by RCSS/SSA troops.
Again, on 9-4-2016, the RCSS/SSA force invited and met with Ta’ang Buddhist monks and urged them to persuade the Ta’ang people to support the RCSS/SSA force. In return, the monks called on the RCSS/SSA force not to commit human rights violations against the Ta’ang people and to allow the people to go freely about for trade and their livelihood, as before. However, there was no positive response to the call made by the Ta’ang Buddhist monks. On the same day, the Ta’ang Buddhist monks and people coming down to do buying at the marketplace were stopped by the RCSS/SSA troops at their makeshift checkpoint on the main road, between Hsaing-lein and Panka villages, and made them to sit on the ground and listen to speeches for support, threats and warnings, and each of them were searched to the point of violating their human dignity.
The RCSS/SSA troops based in Mine-wee and Ho-pan villages forcibly summoned the abbots of Nar Aw lay, Lort-naw, Ton-hoon and Pan-han monasteries for not less than 4 times and urged them to persuade the Ta’ang people to support the RCSS/SSA force, to tell the TNLA not to attack them, to tell the TNLA that the winner was to own the land etc., using the Ta’ang Buddhist monks in various ways, with threats.
On 23-5-2016, leaders of the northern Buddhist monk organization on tour were at Lort-naw, the TNLA Brigade-3 commander held a mass meeting at the monastery and invited the Shan villagers of Mine-wee and Ho-pan villages, but because of the ban and threats by the RCSS/SSA force, they did not attend the meeting. It was learnt that at the meeting, through Mine-wee Ta’ang people’s representatives, the Ho-pan fire victims were given a donation of 5 million Kyat (about USD 4500/-) in the presence of Buddhist monk leaders.
The villagers had to supply rice and carry water for the RCSS/SSA troops, based in Ta’ang villages in Thibaw Township. The Ta’ang villages are far from water source and the villagers have to walk about half an hour to get to the water source. Especially for the RCSS/SSA troops based near Panka village of Thibaw Township, from 3 to 5 villagers, in a system of rotation, had to draw water daily to fill 7 barrels, each with a capacity of 35 gallons. As the villagers had to walk down half an hour to the water source and bring up the water, it was a laborious task. As it was easier to carry water on a motorcycle, the villagers, who did not own a motorcycle had to hire one at the rate of 1,000 Kyat. As motorcycle could be used only half of the way, the villagers had to carry the water buckets for the remaining half of the way, on foot. It was learnt that for nearly 3 months, from 11-2-2016 to 2-5-2016, the villagers were subjected to forced labor of having to draw water for the RCSS/SSA troops. It is learnt that currently, RCSS/SSA has placed its troops in the Ta’ang village of Htan-kyan in Thibaw Township and its troops are continuing to commit human rights violations. (Details of human rights violations are shown in a table attached at the end of this document.)
Township Party Chairman Mai Aung Kham and Secretary Mai Kyan-hsa of Ta’ang (Palaung) National Party (TNP) of Mine-kaing Township in Lwelin District, Southern Shan State, were arrested on 20-6-2016, and kept in detention nearly a month, on the order Ho-mon (AKA) Sart Han Sarm from Area-9 under RCSS/SSA Battalion 371, with the intention of preventing entirely the establishment of the Ta’ang National Party (TNP) branches in Southern Shan State, including Mine-kaing Township, and the two were pressured, with threats, to take down the party signboard and abolish the TNP. Similarly, in the opening of schools collectively by Ta’ang Sangha Organization (Central), Ta’ang Students and Youths Union (TSYU) and Ta’ang Women Organization (TWO), in Ta’ang villages, which were still without schools, in Mine-kaing Township, the person from RCSS/SSA, mentioned above, came to harass frequently, from September to November of 2015, for the closing down of the schools. In a similar manner as what is being done in the southern part, the attempt to dominate the northern region also is for the repression and keeping subjugated all the Ta’ang people totally, under the Shan people and gradual Shannization.
On demand of the Ta’ang people, who could no longer bear the unjust repression and control daily by RCSS/SSA, it has become a duty to resist and fight in accordance with the political goal of the PSLF/TNLA, for the liberation of the entire Ta’ang nationality from oppression and abuse, even when the RCSS/SSA is a fellow ethnic organization, when it starts to bully, dominate, oppress and control.
In the third resurgence of military conflict, 27 large and small battles had taken place, including assault and capture of military camps, from May 1 to 15, 2015.
- Undue Killing by RCSS/SSA
(a) According to eye witnesses, shopkeepers and travelers, on December 1, 2015, between 3-00 and 4-00 PM, Mai Nyi Pe, a resident of Naung-sant Ward of Nam Kham Town and Mai Aik Sain, a resident of Namt-lin village of Nam-san Township, who were returning from Lon-taung village, Shweli city of China – Burma border, in a cream colored SRUF car, were arrested near a shop by a group led by Sai Hsan Aik (a Het-hin villager) on the order of RCSS/SSA Battalion-701 second in command, Sai Kamt Kay, at Man-naung Ferry Place (on Kun Haing village side), which was in the jurisdiction of Kun Haing Police of Namt Kham Township.
Mine Nyi Pe and Mine Aik San, arrested together with the car by the RCSS/SSA force, have not been released up to this day and it is not known where they are being kept in detention. It has been learnt that though the Man-naung ferry is operated under the name of water melon grower U Ohn Kin, a native of Hat-hin village, the real operator is the RCSS/SSA Battalion-701 second in command, Sai Kamt Kay, a native of Man-naung village, and it is supervised by his own younger brother Sai Aik Lain. In the past years, the ferry was operated by U Aye Khaing of Namt Kham Town, the younger brother of U Aye Sai, a local militia force of Hsaing-kyawt.
(b) According to accounts by a Ta’ang woman, who has settled in Ho-pon village and a passing-by motorcycle rider, on 5-5-2016 at 10-00 AM, car driver Mine Naing Tun Oo, (20), son of U Nyan Maing and Daw Aye Poo of Man-pan village of Manpan village tract in Namt Kham Township, and driver assistant Mine Nyi Ngwe (19), son of U Soe Myint and Daw Hmway, were transporting from Nam Kham Town to Man-pan village bricks, cement and water pipes for use by the monastery, in a dirty green colored truck of 245-type, owned by Mine Ngo Mai (a native of Manpan village), a resident of Aung Chan Tha Ward of Nam Kham Town. On arrival at the main road of Ho-pon village, the RCSS/SSA force members, who were Ho-pon villagers, pointed their guns and stopped the car, and told the driver to drive the car into a bamboo grove, near a spirit house, behind Hopon monastery and detained the two persons and the car. At dusk, the car was driven out from Namt-ma village side and, from Nam Kham Town, it was driven to the other side of Shweli River
Ho-pon and Namt-ma villages are situated on Nam Kham-Mine-wee highway and are about 2 miles from Nam Kham Town. Almost all the youths and young adults of the villages are RCSS/SSA members.
- Unjust Accusations by Shan Media, Shan Political Parties and Shan CSOs against TNLA
They accused that the TNLA troops:
(a) Burnt to death the Abbot of Nyaung Maung monastery of Nyaung Maung village, Kyaukme Township.
(b) Executed, after committing rape, 5 primary school teachers of Nyaung Maung village of Kyaukme Township.
(c) Beheaded, after committing rape, a Mon-baw (Namt Haing) village woman, near Lweh Aw village.
(d) Put Ho-pan village on fire and beheaded a halfwit.
Later on, true information came out to prove that all the above accusations were baseless. It was the deceitful RCSS/SSA force, which gave out false information as a propaganda against the TNLA.
- Intention of RCSS/SSA Force Attempting to Enter Ta’ang Region
(a) Starting from 1983, to Shannize (to make people adopt Shan language, traditions and culture) the 33 Ta’ang villages, including Tort-san (Ka-dort-sant) village, and the entire Ta’ang Region, in like manner as the way of Shannization Project of the SSPP/SSA force;
(b) To arm the Shan-ni (Red Shan) people in Kachin State;
(c) To control the China-Burma border area and monopolize the economy, and if necessary, to pressure and intimidate;
(d) To produce narcotic drugs and expand the markets in the China border, India border and Parkant Gem Land.
Though the Shan State bears the ethnic name of “Shan” people, only close to half
of the population in Shan State is Shan. The rest is made up of the ethnic nationalities like Ta’ang, Wa, Pa-oh, Aka, Lahu (Muser), Kachin, Intha, Danu, Lisu, Kokang, Chinese, Barmese, Myaung Zee, Kolon Lishaw, Kayan (Padaung), Yin-net, Yinkya etc., and they live together. Among them, the Ta’ang, Wa and Pa-oh are second and third numerous peoples. The Shan people have the habit of choosing to live near rivers, streams and lakes. They especially live in the areas, where wet rice cultivation is possible. The Shan people are able to do only wet rice and vegetable cultivations, using draft animals like buffaloes or oxen to till the land, and they are not able to do tea plantations and swidden agriculture. The Shan doing plantation or swidden agriculture, if any, are very few.
The Shan plateau is generally hilly and the plain areas are rare. The Shan people choose to live on the plain areas, which together are not even 1% of the total area of the land. On the vast land areas of the hills and mountain ranges, the non-Shan peoples of Ta’ang, Wa, Pa-oh, Kachin, Kokang, Aka, Lahu etc. live. Especially, as the Northern Shan State, including the Wa, Kokang and Ta’ang (Taung-Peing) regions are very hilly and covered in thick jungles, the population is low.
In the nearly 60-year long revolutionary resistance struggle, the ethnic Shan resistance organizations attempted several times to set up a base area in the northern region. The first time, in around the years of 1958-60, the bandit group led by Bo Kern Ywet (head of the group), U Hsay Yit (second head of the group) and U Kham Kan (younger brother of Bo Kern Ywet), with base in Kauk-kok village in the area between China-Burma border and Shweli River, and Lauk Kyan group of the Kuomintang (white Chinese) stragglers, assuming the name of Hsay Tai (AKA) Hsay Noon cooperated but later the cooperation broke up. The second time was when the PNF broke away from the Shan State Army (SSA) and when the PNF was under attack, though the SSA forces managed to reach Manton Township, Kho-mon, Man-na and Mon-ka regions, they had to retreat as far away as Chaythee Mansan in middle Shan State, when the PNF and KIA, in joint military operation known as “Operation Nweh-daw” launched a major offensive. After that, though some Shan armed groups came to operate with understanding, as allies, as there were no Shan people on the militarily advantageous hills and ranges. If they did not stay with the allies, they often were annihilated by the Myanmar Tatmadaw.
Only the Lweh-maw Force of Khunsa, repackaged as Mong Tai Army (MTA), was able to be active in the north, for a considerable time, in Lasho Township, Mine-yaw region and Tant-yan Township, where opium production was the highest, and where Khunsa worked hand in gloves with low level Myanmar Tatmadaw units by oiling them with drug money, for narcotic drugs production and trafficking. The SSPP/SSA forces intermittently came to operate in Mine-yin and Mine-pa regions.
Towards the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006, a Shanni force led by a former member of ABSDF force and with assistance from the RCSS/SSA, came into Northern Shan State, but it was soon encircled and attacked by Myanmar Tatmadaw, and a group of the force had to surrender near Ho-pon and Namt-ma villages of Nam Kham Township, and another group had to surrender near Ma-ha-si Yeiktha. That force started the march from Loi Tai Lang, headquarters of the RCSS/SSA.
The RCSS/SSA force, coming after the year 2010 in civilian guise, based itself in the area between Shweli River and China-Burma border, where the Shan people were numerous, and focused only on collecting protection money, before signing the NCA. When the RCSS/SSA headquarters of the so-called Military Region 701, based in Naung Ma-tar village in the area between Shweli River and China-Burma border, was crushed by Myanmar Tatmadaw, the RCSS/SSA troops of about 20-30 of Ho-pan could only operate in hiding, selling narcotic drugs, collecting protection money and terrorizing, arresting and killing people arbitrarily.
At 5-00 AM on March 20, 2016, when Myanmar Tatmadaw force of about 60 troops from Division-88, attacked and captured the RCSS/SSA’s amphetamine drug production camp, operating under the disguise of “Camp for Treating Drug Addicts,” in Hsaing Tauk village of Man Hero Sub-Township, Muse Township, the troops found narcotic drugs, equipment for drug production, precursor chemicals used in amphetamine production, 15 small arms, 5 pistols, the camp in charge and a total of 67 workers (65 men and 2 women), forced to work in the drug production. Of the 67 workers, 5 were known to be Ta’ang nationals. They were:
- U Hsan Kyaw, aged 37, son of U Tauk Pu of Myo Thit village, Namtsan Township;
- Mine Nyo Win, aged 27, son of U Aik Nyein of Myo Thit village, Namtsan Township;
- U Aung Hla, aged 50, Son of U Sai Hein of Nant Hweh village, Muse Township;
- Mine Aik Yaing, aged 30, son of U Aik Ngo of Pan-ka village, Namt Kham Township; and
- Mine Myint Naing, aged 30, son of U Aik Hsaing of Ho-naung village, Muse Township.
Therefore, it is evident that the RCSS/SSA’s signing of the NCA has no other purpose
than to use it advantageously for taking a firm foothold and operate in this northern region, where it would not be possible to operate without signing the NCA, and carry out its main and long-term plan of Shannization of the Ta’ang people with massive force, like the Shannization of Tort-san (Ka-daw Hsant) region of Kyaukme Township. Its short term purpose is to control the border area and engage in narcotic drugs production and distribution.
Document by –
A Former Palaung State Liberation Organization’s Leader – PSLO
Photoes documentary of Human Rights Violation by RCSS/SSA-S in Ta’ang Region in 2016
Ta’ang villager been killed by RCSS/SSA in June- 2016 – 09
Ta’ang villager been killed by RCSS-SSA in June- 2016 – 05
Ta’ang villager been killed by RCSS/SSA on 14 -June – 2016
Ta’ ang villager been killed by RCSS/SSA on 11- June – 2016
Ta’ang villager been killed by RCSS/SSA 12- June – 2016
Ta’ang villager been killed by RCSS-SSA on 14- June – 2016
Ta’ang villager been killed by RCSS/SSA bombing when he go to his own farm in 02-June -2016
On June 24, these two young men Mai Lom Yin and Mai Naing Tun were disappeared and their families’ belief thar both of
|On 05, May 2016 Mai Tun Oo and Mai Nyi New been arbitrary arrestby RCSS/ SSA between Namkham and Man Pan Village and until today both of them had disappeared.|
Namkham Ta’ang people at the funeral of two men killed by RCSS/SSA
The bomb mining setup on Ta-ang village to village road in Namkham Ta’ang village in June 2016
The rural main road between Namkham and Mantong been destroyed and block by RCSS/SSA
The rural main road between Namkham and Mantong been destroyed and block by RCSS/SSA
Sharply handmade weapon of RCSS – SSA have setup in Ta’ang tea farm in Ta-ang Region
PDF file download available here; Briefing paper on PSLF-TNLA RCSS-SSA-S Conflict