Monday, May 20, 2024

SSPP NOT ENTERING CIVIL WAR FRAY: Saber-rattling or lost in translation

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To the delight of the anti-junta groups Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) Info released a piece of news recently that it is embarking on a warpath with the military junta as there is no possibility left to resolve the conflict along the line of Panglong Agreement of 1947 in a peaceful manner.

SSPP Vice-chairman Lt. Gen. Sao Khun Hseng said that this decision was made because the Panglong Agreement, which was signed in order to establish a true federal union, was neglected by successive military groups (regimes) that practiced the racial supremacy doctrine, built on a unitary system, according to the SSPP Info on its Facebook, on 3 May.

“It has been 77 years since the signing of the Panglong Treaty that we met and discussed politics through political means. Successive military groups swallowed (assimilated) indigenous ethnic minorities and did not honored the points agreed and signed in the Panglong Treaty. After the military councils seized power, the political situation in Myanmar become completely impossible to find ways to discuss and negotiate a solution at the table. As the situation isn’t conducive anymore, armed revolutionary path has to be chosen,” said Lt. Gen. Sao Khun Hseng.

In order to fight and destroy the military dictatorship, he urged the people, including the revolutionary forces, to work decisively under the leadership of the SSPP and Shan State Army (SSA) to continue to fight.

SSPP SSA troops Photo SSPP Info
SSPP SSA troops. Photo: SSPP Info.

“We can’t afford to be confused. What we want now is to meet and discuss the political problem through political means for the solution. At this moment there is absolutely no way to find a solution. That’s why battles will be inevitable. If we don’t want to have war tomorrow, we have to have war today. We have to struggle today so that we don’t face difficulties tomorrow,” Sao Khun Hseng said.

The rank and file of the social media crowd were quick to air their affirmative support saying that it is better late than never. Most prominent of the crowd is Than Soe Naing, an ex-communist of Communist Party of Burma (CPB) and a well know political analyst, with extensive experience on non-Bamar ethnic nationality resistance groups, particularly in northern Shan State, as CPB was based there during 1980s until its disintegration in 1989.

Than Soe Naing said in an interview on 4 May with Thet Htwe Naing, a freelance journalist, that the SSPP’s decision to fight the military junta has to be welcomed. Its joining the Spring Revolution or civil war fray is going to be a boon to the people’s aspirations of achieving federal democratic union. SSPP might penetrate into the south and join the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) and heighten the war in southern Shan State, he predicted.

The next day, on 5 May, Than Lwin Times reported the back paddling of the SSPP.

The SSPP/SSA has not entered the stage of decision on whether to fight and overthrow the military council, according to Col. Sai Hsu who told the Than Lwin Times.

In response to the vice chairman’s statement, Col. Sai Hsu said: “To revolt, to wage war or anything in that nature haven’t been decided by our top political leadership. Regarding giving speech, only Shan State Army history of 60 years was discussed and clarified. I just want to say steps to prepare for war and offensive and all are not planned and no such decision have been made.”

An avalanche of negative comments by commentators appeared in the Facebook comment section that lashed out mercilessly at the SSPP.

The question to ponder here is if there is a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the anti-junta crowd; or is it the crowd over enthusiastic wishful thinking that the SSPP will enter the civil war fray and take it as a declaration of war against the junta; when there hasn’t been anything official or clear statement from the SSPP leadership to consider it as such.

At the same time, the SSPP Info inserted such phrases like: “If we don’t want to have war tomorrow, we have to have war today. We have to struggle today so that we don’t face difficulties tomorrow,” make people think that SSPP is definitely on warpath.

Thus, at the end of the day, we are left with a bitter taste in the mouth to make our own conclusions, whether this is just the SSPP saber-rattling and shadow boxing, not cleverly reported by the SSPP Info or just an unfortunate case of lost in translation from Shan to Burmese language.

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