By- Hseng Leang
Villagers fled their homes after news circulated that an armed organization was forcibly recruiting civilians in Burma’s Lashio Township.
About 218 fled from Nawng Hpawt village-tract this Tuesday (September 1) and sought shelter at Thiri Mingalar Mang Hsu Shan Buddhist monastery in the city of Lashio. The civilians came from the villages of Pan Khan and Nam Maw Sawt.
Sai Wan Leng Kham, a Lashio parliamentarian, told SHAN that he did not hear of any fighting occurring near their villages, only near Mong Yaw and Mong Kyet. The councillor has yet to speak to the villagers but said he plans to visit them soon.
A local helping the villagers at Mang Hsu Shan Monastery said they didn’t tell him which of the groups were to blame for abducting civilians into their army.
Irrawaddy reported that the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) was responsible for forcibly recruiting villagers, most of whom were Ta’ang but some were Shan.
Ashin Bandanda Pannya Nanda, abbot of the monastery, said the Garuna Foundation and other local groups have donated food to displaced villagers.
The TNLA, Shan State Progressive Party, Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army, Burma Army, Kachin Independence Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and many different People’s Militia Forces all maintain forces in northern Shan State.