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Instead of negotiating for peace with ethnic armed groups, the Burmese military is still employing tactics of conflict, the Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) has said.
“While we strive to resolve issues through political means, we see that our Tatmadaw counterparts are increasingly applying military pressure on us, rather than pursuing negotiation,” Tar Pan La, foreign affairs coordinator of the Palaung army, or TNLA, said.
The TNLA had over 200 clashes with the Burmese army in 2014 and twice received no response when seeking discussions with the government’s negotiators at the Union Peace-Making Work Committee, he said, adding that ethnic armed groups should “grow stronger” to defend themselves from the Tatmadaw, a common term for the Burmese army.
In recent years, Naypyidaw has sought to secure regional and union-level ceasefire agreements with the various armed groups of Burma, with the exceptions of the TNLA, Arakan Army and the Kachin Independence Army, with whom ongoing conflict exists.
On Monday the TNLA marked the 52nd Ta-ang Resistance Day in Shan State’s Kutkai, Namhkam and Mongton townships by burning narcotics seized throughout the last year, highlighting the group’s effort to crackdown on drug trafficking in the region.