The Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) that had concluded a ceasefire pact with the Thein Sein government last December announced yesterday one of the three key topics to be discussed at the next union level meeting will be cooperation against drugs.
“It is destroying our new generation and hence the future of our country,” said a draft proposal seen by SHAN last month. “It has also been tarnishing the reputation of the country for so long. But now that a ceasefire has been achieved to resolve our political problems within the country by political means, we think it is time we join hands together to deal with the drug question.”
According to the statement, dated 8 May 2012, that was released yesterday, the SSA South, as the RCSS/SSA is popularly known, had formed a drug eradication committee at the meeting held on 7 May at its Loi Taileng base, opposite Maehongson.
The draft proposal also calls for coordination and cooperation with government departments concerned, the armed movements all of which have been more or less tainted by drugs, the people, neighboring countries and the international community. “We cannot do it alone,” said Lt-Gen Yawd Serk, the SSA leader. “Nobody can do it alone.”
Cooperation against drug is included in the second stage of the peace process declared by President Thein Sein in his speech to the parliament on 1 March.
“Everyone who has a gun is involved,” said a Palaung leader years ago.
Shan State, the biggest state in the Union, boasts a horde of armed organizations beginning with the Burma Army, followed by militia forces run by it and the armed resistance movements that have been either fighting against it or have reached truce with it.
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