On Saturday afternoon, Burma’s military attacked the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) in the latest clashes with the armed group in northern Shan State.
“When SSPP soldiers were inspecting the Hko Lawng area in Lashio District, a police vehicle and a military truck arrived from the town (Mongyai),” said a 30-year-old local. He explained the military fired first, but then both sides traded light and heavy weapons for an hour near the Hko Lawng Bridge, on the Hsipaw – Mongyai – Lashio road, a mile from the town.
“There are some casualties on the SSPP side,” he said.
More soldiers from both sides arrived until the military finally retreated to Mongyai, where the regime’s Light Infantry Battalion and an artillery battalion are stationed.
In the evening, junta soldiers returned in a military truck and spent an hour questioning shopkeepers and residents living near the bridge.
In January, SSPP spokesperson Lt- Col Sai Hsu told SHAN that a Yak-130 flew over its Wan Hai headquarters in southern Shan State. He said the armed group was not informed before the aircraft made two overflights, the first at 500 metres and the second at 300 metres.
Last year, the regime flew airstrikes against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Kachin Independence Army, the latter killing scores of people.
Both groups are in the Federal Political Negotiation Consultative Committee (FPNCC) with SSPP and United Wa State Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Arakan Army and National Democratic Alliance Army.
SSPP leaders have met twice with the regime’s National Solidarity and Peace-making Negotiation Committee (NSPNC) led by Lt-Gen Yar Pyae in Naypyidaw for so-called peace talks. The Restoration Council of Shan State, which has been fighting the SSPP for several years, is also meeting with the NSPNC in the capital.
None of the other FPNCC groups have met with the regime’s committee.