Approximately 30 government Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 81 personnel raided a Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) base in Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State, last Thursday. The MNLA represents the armed wing of the New Mon State Party (NMSP),
Around 12:30pm, on June 17, the IB No. 81 troop unexpectedly turned up at the checkpoint gate of the NMSP’s Thaton District, on ramahwaddy road, Moulmein-Kawpain found at the entrance to Kawthat Village [aka, Kaw Sak], Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State.
The IB No. 81 seized one AK 47 assault rifle, one 9mm pistol and a handheld transceiver from the head of the base Nai Shwe Par Kit at the gate, according to Nai Kyi San, the secretary of NMSP’s Thaton District.
“The IB No. 81 is based in Zar Ta Pyin [village]. About 30 men from the IB No. 81 came here and surrounded the gate. They arrested our head of gate security Nai Shwe Par Kit. However, during the arrest, they told Nai Shwe Par Kit that they don’t want to the gate there and it should be destroyed. Afterwards, they released Nai Shwe Par Kit but kept the guns and the walkie-talkie,” said Secretary Nai Kyi San.
Nai Kyi San continued that by not informing the NMSP of the raid, the Tatmadaw [Burma army] were provoking the NMSP’s troops with force.
Tensions have recently been on the rise between the two forces since alleged annual “donations” collected by the MNLA from locals have been openly opposed by the Burma Army. However, any link that the donations led to the raid is yet unsubstantiated.
Similarly, over the last few months the Burma Army have requested the withdrawal of bases across Mudon, Thanbyuzayat and Kyaikmayaw townships. This request have been accused of contradicting the ceasefire agreement.
Regarding the development project of border ethnic nationalities, the NMSP was granted permission to construct the rahmawaddy road from Moulmein to Kawpain, in 1997-98. To ensure security of the road, the NMSP has provided checkpoints along the way.
The NMSP will continue to investigate the raid and seizure of its checkpoint, according to Nai Hongsar Bong Khaing, a spokesperson from NMSP.
Although the NMSP inked the state-level and union level ceasefire agreement with the Thein Sein government, it is yet to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).