On Monday in his “Mair Huk Hpomp Swy” Shan video podcast, meaning “remold, love, unite, help” program from Taifreedom, RCSS leader Sao Yawd Serk talk about Shan unity, saying that empowering Committee for Shan State Unity (CSSU) is the way to go.
CSSU is formed in 2013 with aims to protect the rights of the Shan people, to pursue Shan self-determination, and to draft a framework for political dialogue.
The CSSU’s members are the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), the Shan State Joint Action Committee, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), and a number Shan community-based organizations.
In the video podcast posted on the Facebook Sao Yawd Serk complained about the SSPP/SSA on its claim that RCSS/SSA to return to the south of Shan State and that Shan north is its stomping ground.
Sao Yawd Serk elaborated that years ago when TNLA wasn’t in existence, Sao Parng Fah, leader of the SSPP/SSA begged him to come to the Kokang’s assistance from the attacking Burma Army. He hastily assembled his troops and dispatched to the north, he said. Since then his troops has been in the north.
His argument was if the Shan armies become one there is no need to argue about territory. Otherwise, they could also work in cooperation with understanding on troops placement. The main task is to protect the Shan people and not fighting for territory, he said.
He also made it a point whether the Shan wants to lead the non-Shan ethnic groups or follow them. If the Shans want to lead they have to be united, otherwise they only have to become underlings and follow, as the SSPP has to be part of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC), which is led by the UWSA.
He said that it is time for the Shan army leaders of both factions to consider the pro and cons in striving for unity.
The SSPP reasoned that it has no back cover and has to rely on the Wa.
He said: “When Mongtai Army (MTA) broke down, I was alone and still I stand on my own two feet. If we combine, we will stand on four feet instead of two, and we will have two heads. We will be able to make more money and buy more guns.”
The Mong Tai Army was founded in 1985, after the merging of two rebel factions; Khun Sa’s Shan United Army (SUA) and Moh Heng’s “Tai Revolutionary Council” or Shan United Revolutionary army (SURA). Ten years later in 1995, the majority of the MTA laid down their arms and surrendered to government forces. However, around 3,000 split and formed a new faction and resumed the name of SURA which later became the RCSS/SSA, of which Sao Yawd Serk is the leader.
“Actually I don’t worry about money and about guns either,” he continued.
“I’m only worried about how to protect our people from harms way and our people lack of understanding about our revolution.”
He said the Burmese are afraid that the CSSU will be united and empowered.
“Anyone who destroys CSSU is destroying Shan unity. This also means back-stabbing the Shan national cause,” he pointed out.
“CSSU has to be empowered and make it grow stronger for the sake of Shan unity,” he explicitly stressed.
Whether Sao Yawd Serk clear advocating statement that the two Shan armies fusion will make Shan revolutionary movement a major player in the spectrum of ethnic armed organizations and if stay divided, the Shan will never be able to lead, will instill some logical sense to the leadership within the SSPP remains open.