Burmese parliament to debate Shan conflict

Burmese parliament to debate Shan conflict

Burma’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday accepted a motion by the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), expressing concern over the growing conflict in northern Shan State.

The motion, put forwarded by the USDP’s Maung Thin, noted concerns over “sovereignty, the rule of law, stability, and peace after civilians were killed, injured or forced to abandon their homes due to attacks, bombings and destruction by the KIA [Kachin Independence Army], MNDAA [Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army] and TNLA [Ta’ang National Liberation Army].”

The proposal was supported by a majority of MPs in the lower house session on 29 November and will therefore be tabled for debate in the coming days.

Maung Thin, who represents Meikhtila Township, said he was worried that the ongoing conflict could be detrimental to the national peace process, which is being led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Meanwhile, the Burmese military has claimed that a Tatmadaw convoy delivering supplies from Kutkai to Muse was ambushed by a combined force of KIA and TNLA soldiers at 3am on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Defence said that around 30 rebels blew up a bridge with an IED in Sonlong village outside Muse as the convoy drove past, and attacked government troops with small arms fire and heavy weapons. One serviceman was reportedly injured in the ensuing firefight.

According to Burmese state media on Wednesday, the State Counsellor’s office has accused the two ethnic armed groups of extorting money from local factory workers in Muse, as well as deploying artillery fire on residential neighbourhoods in the town.

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