‘We want the two Shan armies to merge and become one,’ says one monk.
Monks from across Shan State wrote a letter last week urging Shan armed groups and political parties to overcome divisions.
The monks, who represent 13 districts in the state, sent the letter to the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) and the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) on October 18.
“We want the two Shan armies to merge and become one,” said a monk from Panglong, referring to the RCSS and SSPP. “We want them to look after all Shan people and monks. We are brothers and sisters. If we won’t help each other no one will help us.”
He said that it was in that spirit that he also hoped the two political parties—the SNLD and SNDP—would also consider working together.
“We want the two Shan political parties to merge,” the monk said, adding that he felt this would allow “Shan people and monks to live peacefully.”
The monk also commented on the ongoing armed conflict in the state, citing the murder of the abbot in Shwe Kyin monastery in Kyaukme by unidentified gunmen earlier this month.
“Shan monks don’t want to see this type of killing in the future,” he said.
Monks throughout Shan State also chanted the dhamma together on August 20 as a gesture for peace.