Government jet fighters have been flying close to the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) headquarters in the Wan Hine area of Kyethi Township, Southern Shan State according to an SSP/SSA front line commander.
He said that they flew in the afternoons, when the smog is at its heaviest, from 11 to 15 March.
Another SSP/SSA commander who withheld his name said: “They fly past about two or three times every day between around 2pm and 3pm. Since there is smog in the sky the fighters cannot be seen. They might come from Namsang Town in Southern Shan State or they might be coming back from the fighting in Kokang.”
Sai Long a Kyethi Town resident said: “Normally planes do not pass our area. When we heard the sound of the plane we went out of our homes and watched it in surprise. They fly past about three or four times a day and have been doing that for about three or four days already. We saw that it was a plane, but we did not know what sort of plane it was.
A Lashio Township resident who has been observing the peace process said: “It might be to put pressure on the group to sign, at the upcoming peace talks, the agreement to continue with the peace process that they were asked to sign on Union Day.”
U Aung Min the Union Minister and chairman of the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) told the Shan leadership that there were no plans to attack the SSPP/SSA.
There is a rumour running around amongst the SSA that the government will start an offensive against the SSPP/SSA after the Kokang battles. Possibly on 27 March, which is Burma Resistance Day and commemorates the Burmese rising up against the Japanese invaders in 1945. (It was later renamed Tatmadaw Day by the Army.)
The SSPP/SSA has signed a union level peace agreement with the government.
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI