Ethnic groups should 'drive junta out'

May 18, 2009 (DVB), An official from Burma's largest armed ethnic group, who signed a ceasefire deal with the government in the 1990s, has said that the junta is conspiring against Aung San Suu Kyi and should be driven out of office.

Suu Kyi is on trial today for sheltering US citizen John William Yettaw, who intruded onto her compound on 4 May and spent two nights.

The government alleges that she breached rules of her house arrest and, if found guilty, could be sentenced to five years in prison.

An official from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), who control much of Burma's opium trade and have an army of some 30,000 troops, said that the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) cannot be trusted.

"[The SPDC] is now playing their dodgy tricks to conspire against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is well respected by the international community," he said.

"I have never heard in any country's law about a person whose territory was violated being put under charges.

"I think it's about time we [all ethnic groups] should join hands together and drive these bastards out."

He added that the government's request that the UWSA reduce troop numbers and transform themselves into border patrol troops would not be heeded.

"The plan is all about winning from their side," he said.

"We wouldn't agree with them having their people, give us directions because it's senseless.

"Our army should be run only by us, directed by us."

Reporting by DVB

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