Min Thu Tha – The Tatmadaw (Burma army) forced the New Mon State Party (NMSP) to evacuate their base this week in Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon state. The NMSP received a warning earlier by Colonel Aung Min, from the Advanced Military Training School No. (4), in Waekalee village, and other senior military officers. Colonel Aung Min had been ordered by the South-East Regional Command to inform the NMSP to move out from their base in Yee Tha Kon village near to the Thanbyuzayat to Three Pagodas Pass (TPP) highway.
One NMSP official that requested anonymity told IMNA they knew about the order before, but took offence to the evacuation that was executed by government soldiers.
The Tatmadaw forced out 25 men from the NMSP base, more from the administration office in Yee Tha Kon village. NMSP officials have complained about the incident to the state government.
“The Yee Tha Kon (base) (same name as village) is located in 3 acres of rubber plantation land that was offered by owners U Kwae and Daw Nyiem more than 15 years. The Tadmadaw now gives a reason for the area that belonged to Yee Tha Kon School, and demands us to move out,” said the NMSP official.
The base that was approved by the South-East Regional Command has been in existence since 1998, said the NMSP official. Following the 1995 ceasefire with the then ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) it’s positioning provide stability in the region during the construction of the Thanbyuzayat to TPP highway, part of a larger border development project.
Nai Htun, a rubber plantation worker from Yee Tha Kon village worried that now with NMSP soldiers being dispatched to another base in Ze Hhnint Pin village his community is in danger of theft and extortion at the hands of the Tatmadaw.
Previously, a group of armed bandits have allegedly robbed villagers, according to sources.
One prominent monk from Thanbyuzayat town said the ceasefire that was signed with the government in February 2012 isn’t a lasting resolution to the conflict.
“Ceasefire does not mean peace. It is only agreement that both sides have made not to fire at each other. It can be broken at any time.”
The army wants to test the NMSP, in advance of the government initiated a national wide ceasefire, the monk said.
This wasn’t the first time that the Tatmadaw violated the terms of the ceasefire. In July, soldiers attacked a NMSP post killing two Mon soldiers and later burned down at least 20 homes. However Tuesday’s forced evacuation was the first time since the recent ceasefire was inked that they forced the NMSP at gunpoint to abandon a base.