covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Burma

UWSA Leader Calls for ‘Solid, United’ Wa State


By WAI MOE Friday, April 17, 2009


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The leader of Burma’s largest armed ethnic group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), vowed to strengthen Wa State as thousands of Wa people celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the coup against the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) on Friday at Panghsang in northeastern Burma.

Bao You-Xiang, a UWSA commander and the chairman of its political wing, the United Wa State Party (UWSP), said in his speech before thousands of Wa supporters that he would build a more solid and united Wa State, according to sources on the Sino-Burmese border. 

However, Bao said that while the UWSA would create a more solid and united Wa State, they would negotiate peacefully on any matters of disagreement with the Burmese junta.

The anniversary event was held at the UWSA headquarters in Panghsang, a Sino-Burmese border town in northeastern Burma. Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Burmese analyst who was present for the celebrations, estimated that nearly 20,000 people attended the ceremony. 

April 17, 1989, is celebrated by the UWSA as the date when Wa soldiers revolted against the CPB who had been masters of the Wa troops within the Communist party since the late 1960s.

On Friday, the UWSA marked the anniversary of the revolt as 20 years of “peace building.” 

Aung Kyaw Zaw said that Bao You-Xiang also talked about community development in the Wa region (also known as Special Region 2).

The Wa leader also spoke of his appreciation of the Wa’s allies that had helped in the development of Wa State during the past 20 years, including Chinese officials. He also thanked the United Nations for development projects in the Wa area.
 
About 2,400 Wa State soldiers participated in a military parade as part of the ceremony, the Burmese analyst said. 

Col Khine Zaw, along with Lt-Col Min Hein and Lt-Col Thein Tun Than, attended the Wa ceremony as representatives of the Burmese junta.

However, observers said that the attendance of relatively low-ranking Burmese officers at the event reflected the strained relations between the UWSA and the junta. At previous Wa ceremonies, high-ranking Burmese generals represented the regime, particularly before Gen Khin Nyunt was ousted from power in 2004.  

In recent months, tension between the Burmese army and the UWSA has increased as the junta pushes the Wa to disarm its troops and to withdrew from strategic positions in southern Shan State, along the Thai-Burmese border.

In late 2008, there were reports of clashes between Burmese and Wa troops near a Wa town, Mong Hsat, in southern Shan State.

The UWSA has begun using the term “government” to refer to itself since 2008. In the invitations sent out for its 20th anniversary celebrations, the Wa leaders referred to themselves as the “Wa State Government of Burma’s Special Region 2.”

Hundreds of delegates from other ceasefire groups— such as the Kokang group of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), the Kachin Independent Organization and the Shan State Army (North)— attended the ceremony in Panghsang on Friday.

Sources said that former CPB members who were comrades of the Wa leaders during the 1970s- 80s also attended the celebrations, as well as authorities from China’s Yunnan Province.
 
The UWSA signed a ceasefire agreement with the ruling military junta after the collapse of the CPB in 1989. Observers say the UWSA has an estimated 20,000-strong army.

The US State Department has named the UWSA as “the dominant heroin trafficking group in Southeast Asia, and possibly worldwide” and has offered a US $2 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Wei Hsueh-Kang, a UWSA leader who reportedly attended the celebration in Panghsang on Friday.

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Anawrahtar Wrote:
21/04/2009
Wa and Rohingya are two completely different people. One should not even mention Rohingya when talking about the Wa. It is very disgusting and no respect to the Wa people if someone tries to compare them.

Rohingyas nowadays are not genuine Rohingyas anymore. Majority of them are from the neighboring country who have encroached into Myanmar.

In fact, Rohingyas are not indigineous ethnic minority national of Myanmar in the first place.

It was very old old story to say that Rohingyas came from Arab country in the 7th century and settle here. So what?

Everybody can say that, right?


MyoChitThuNYC Wrote:
21/04/2009
There is no evidence that the Rohingyas are demanding an Islamist state within Burma. They just want some basic human rights—the right to own land, to get married, more jobs, food, etc. You, Okkar, like to spread lies, rumors, and fabricated information to confuse the readers of The Irrawaddy.

desmondmaha Wrote:
20/04/2009
If the success of the Wa is regarded as a bad omen for Myanmar, I would like to strongly suggest the writer studies the Wa people more—the most indigenous ethnic group of the Southeast Asian mainland. They never did grab a chunk of land from their brethren—vice versa.

Anawrahtar Wrote:
20/04/2009
Wa people are indigenous ethnic nationals of Myanmar, unlike the "Kokang," who were a part of China before the British annexed Burma. Because of the choice of the British, the Kokang have become ethnic nationals of Myanmar.

But Wa people, being used by the now defunct Communist Party of Burma and bordered with China, are naturally close to and influenced by Chinese culture. This was since ancient days.

So, just get along and treat them as brothers and sisters.

okkar Wrote:
20/04/2009
At least they are not like Rohingyas demanding the creation of an Islamic state within Buddhist Burma based on fabricated and distorted historical records. The UWSA signed a ceasefire agreement and work inside the legal framework to attain their goals. Other insurgent groups should take a leaf out of their book and learn the lesson.

rakkO Wrote:
19/04/2009
Most of the people of Wa State are ethnic Chinese, a race which no Burmese government has recognised. Wa State should stand on its own feet and cast the shackles imposed by Burma into the Irrawaddy River.

nono Wrote:
18/04/2009
Every ethnic ceasfire group should learn from UWSA.

Kyansitthar Wrote:
18/04/2009
Beware folks. This is a bad omen for Burma.

Than Shwe made his father of mistakes letting UWSA run the drug business. Today, they are claiming a chunk of Burma as their territory, no doubt with China's blessing, trust me.
Remember ethnic Russians claiming a part of Georgia as theirs and Russian troops came into Georgia and killed a lot of people, some years back?

Than Shwe's temerity has endangered Burma and us all today. Burma would soon become a province of China I fear. Than Shwe will rue the day when he kneels before the likes of Bo You Xiang and Wei Seuh Kang, the Chinese puppets, no doubt.

Though Than Shwe may be dumb he is not stupid I pray. Pushing the envelope any further with his road map to hell makes no sense for the monk murderer specifically and us on both the short and long runs. His only way out is to cut a deal with Daw Suu and others and go into history only.

Or he can kiss the feet of drug traffickers, proxies of the Chinese communists. The choice is his.

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