Military council seeks to use Pa-O militias in battles

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Kyauktalongyi, March (9)

The junta army, which has shrunk in size, is attempting to use Pa-O militias in battles to ensure the military dictatorship’s survival, the Pa-O resistance forces told Than Lwin Times.

On the morning of March 7, the military leader met U Aung Kham Hti, Patron of the Pa-O National Organization-PNO/PNA.

U Aung Kham Hti’s residence in Kyauktalongyi Township, Pa-O Self-Administered Zone, Southern Shan State, was visited by the military leader in two helicopters.

Following the meeting with the military chief, the Pao militia PNO/PNA released a statement in the Pao language on March 7 evening saying that Pao youngsters should enlist in the military and that those who do not are unpatriotic.

Chairman of the Pa-O National Federal Council (PNFC), Khun Myint Tun, said that the coup leader’s meeting with the leader of the PNO/PNA was an attempt to use the Pa-O militias in battles and to reinforce the military council’s forces in areas where soldiers are needed.

Khun Myint Tun urges the PNO/PNA to review the military council’s attempts to use the Pa-O people as human shields, to sow discord among ethnic groups, including the Pa-O people, and not to cooperate with the military council.

In early March, the Pa-O National Army (PNA) sided with regime forces and clashed with resistance forces on the Shan-Kayah border, losing 15 militiamen.

Family members planned to donate alms dedicated to the dead Pao militants, but the PNA did not allow it, according to locals.

A Pao soldier participating in the Spring Revolution said that since the military coup, the Pa-O militia PNO/PNA has been arresting protestors and collaborating with the enemy as per the wishes of the military council, and will attack them as enemies.

Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA)’s armed wing, the Pa-O National Army (PNA), also referred to as the Pa-O Militia, was established in 1949 and signed a cease-fire agreement with the junta on April 11, 1991.

Following that, the PNA remained active as a revolutionary militia and ran as a political party in elections.

Regarding the military leader’s visit and the stance of the PNO/PNA, Than Lwin Times contacted PNA officials, but received no response.

News-Than Lwin Times

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