Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) soldiers fired their rifles at a market in Namkham before handing out business cards and demanding that vendors pay taxes to the armed group in northern Shan State.
One vendor, who spoke to SHAN on condition that her name not be published, said everyone was afraid of the Ta’ang soldiers when they showed up to Namkham Myoma Market in their uniforms at midday on 25 September. The next morning, the woman said, the soldiers also visited the market. After they left, the vendors closed their shops and went home.
A man, who also requested anonymity, said: “We’re not safe here, but we don’t know what to do about it.” Four months ago, he said the TNLA was collecting taxes from the market vendors.
SHAN called the phone number on the business card the Ta’ang soldiers were passing around, but the officer who answered the phone claimed not to have any information about the forced taxation.
When the armed group showed up at the market on 6 June, the last time they demanded money from the shops, the vendors also closed for the day.
The Burma Army has shot dead several TNLA soldiers collecting taxes in the market in the past.
The TNLA have been forcible recruiting youths from other areas of northern Shan State.