Border affairs ministers visited the Wa capital Panghsang yesterday and are due to arrive in Mongla, the main base of the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) today, according to sources from the Sino-Burmese border.
This is the first time Panghsang and Mongla are entertaining Burmese VIPs since the last meeting in December.
Sources are as yet not sure whether the minister from Naypyitaw is Lt-Gen Thein Htay, Border Affairs Minister himself, or his deputy Maj Gen Zaw Win. “But the guy from Taunggyi is Col Aung Thu (Shan State Minister for Security and Border Affairs),” said the source.
SHAN so far has been unable to get in touch with Wa officials to ask what was discussed yesterday.
To date, the two sides have signed three agreements:
- September 2011 - Ceasefire agreements
- October 2011 - Cooperation in the elimination of drugs
- December 2011 - To continue negotiating for Wa and Mongla to represent themselves in the country’s three-tiered legislatures
Both the Wa and Mongla, who are allies with each other, have yet to agree to Naypyitaw’s proposal to set up parties, enter elections and work for their aims according to the 2008 constitution.
However, both have long demanded that Mongpawk (under Wa control) and Hsaleu (under NDAA control), which adjoin areas under the two groups, should remain with them, and not under Mongyang, which is under the control of the Burma Army.
In the event that both reach an agreement with Naypyitaw, the Wa will have 12 more MPs and NDAA 3 MPs in the 2015 elections.
Asked what the Wa think about recent reports that Naypyitaw’s two negotiating teams have been dissolved to form a new integrated one, one source replied: “The Wa, especially Wei Xuegang, may be disappointed, because he is known to be very close to U Aung Thaung (who had retired citing age and family health).”
Wei Xuegang, Commander of the United Wa State Army (UWSA)’s 171st Military Region, is wanted in Thailand, China and the United States on drug charges.
10 May 2012
According to UWSA spokesman U Aung Myint aka Li Julie, who said he was busy, told SHAN the Naypyitaw delegation, led by Lt-Gen Thein Htay, discussed development issues with the Wa leadership. No further details. (SHAN)
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