UWSA: We Are Not Rivals of the Burma Army

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) has said that it is not competing with the Burmese government or the Tatmadaw, in a statement released last week.

On April 17, the UWSA held an extensive commemoration for the 30th anniversary of their ceasefire with the government’s armed forces, which included a military parade and cultural performances in Panghsang, the Wa headquarters.

Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo, who is chairperson of the Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team, said in a press conference on June 2 that UWSA was presenting itself as a parallel army to Burma’s own military.

Although the Tatmadaw did not interfere with the April commemoration, there is a limit to our tolerance, another officer, Maj-Gen Tun Tun Nyi, said.

The UWSA published a statement on June 4 explaining that the ceremony was not held to overshadow the Tatmadaw, and that members of the military should not interpret the event as anything more than a celebration of an important occasion. It also stated that the Wa Self-Administered Region�which they referred to as Wa State�was not a rival of either the Burmese state or other ethnic armed organizations.

Wa State firmly stands on the principles of not breaking away from the Union, not demanding independence Wa State is an important part of the Union, the statement said.

Source: The Shan Herald Agency for News