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Two monks approach the Shan State Army-North with a cease-fire offer

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) said on Wednesday the government apparently sent two local monks to talk about a cease-fire, but they could offer no other details or guarantees, according to Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) spokesman Major Sai Hla. The names of the monks were not available.

Troops of the Shan State Army-South  Photo: Mizzima“Sending two monks does not constitute a peace talk offer so our leaders told them to tell the government to withdraw all government troops first from our Wan Hai headquarters area if they really want peace here,” Major Sai Hla told Mizzima.

The SSPP wants peace, but it also wants a nationwide cease-fire, he said.

Government troops launched a major offensive against the SSA-N on July 11. Schools in more than 20 villages are closed and an estimated 1,000 students from a high school, one charity school and 13 primary schools had to flee to safer areas.

Teachers were sent to Wan Hai headquarters on Monday and told to reopen schools.

“The schools were not closed by us. If they really look to the welfare of the children, they must withdraw their troops from this area. Then the schools will be reopened automatically,” Major Sai Hla said.

Currently, government troops are stationed three miles southeast and five miles west of the Wan Hai headquarters. A total of 20 government battalions are positioned around SSPP headquarters, sources said.

The government allegedly bombed a joint force of SSA-N and SSA-S July 13 and Shan forces attacked government troops on July 18 and 20, SSA-South spokesman Major Sai Lao Sai said. The bombing report could not be confirmed by outside sources.

SSA-S chief Lieutenant General Ywet Sit told the media during the  53rd Shan Revolution Day anniversary on May 21, 2011 that the SSA-N and SSA-S are being integrated into a combined force. Major Sai Lao Sai said that technical details were still to be worked out, however.

The SSA-N led by Major General Hse Htin reached a cease-fire agreement with the military government in 1989. When the government put pressure on SSA-N to convert its forces into a People’s Militia Force, troops led by Chief of Staff Major General Kai Pha refused to accept the government’s pressure and converted his army into the SSA/SSPP.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 July 2011 19:10 )  

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