“In either raining or winter season, we must go on our revolution. We work with the drone mission during the rainy season.”—Deputy Platoon Leader of Red Dragon Column Lieutenant Hein Htet (a) Ko Hein

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The Red Dragon Column in southern command of People’s Defence Force under Ministry of Defence of National Unity Government is conducting missions mainly in Kyainseikkyi township, Karen state. It has been fighting against the military junta in collaboration with Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA).

This interview with Deputy Platoon Leader of Red Dragon Column Lieutenant Hein Htet (a) Ko Hein is about ongoing missions of their troop, military situation and their needs.

TLT:  Could you talk about the ongoing missions of Red Dragon Column?

Ko Hein: Our Red Dragon Column was first established together with other columns in southern command. We are still carrying out missions in Kyainseikkyi area together  mostly with the local supporters, and sometimes with allied columns. We are now focusing on Winye township in KNU’s Duplaryar district.

TLT: How about the missions during the raining season?

Ko Hein: We do not suspend our missions, but we have to check enemy’s activities and ours. Moreover, in either raining or winter season, we must go on our revolution. We take a brief pause when we got tired. We confronted the recent offensive of military. We worked together with the drone force even in rainy season.

TLT: Could you explain policy and major activities of Red Dragon Column?

Ko Hein: Our slogan is ‘To promote the role of our national integrity’. We keep on our objective. We have been carried out our missions since ‘Red Dragon Column’ was first established in December 2021. We have allied with the forces of same vision. We should not conduct missions individually or separately. We could defeat the military only if we fight against them collaboratively. We do not expect to appoint ourselves as a general of own army. Instead, we will cooperate with suitable forces which has genuine intention for the revolution.

TLT: What is the relation between NUG and the Red Dragon Column?

Ko Hein: The Red Dragon Column is a troop under the southern command of NUG’s ministry of defence. We conduct our missions with the change of command of EAOs.

TLT: What are the difficulties of Red Dragon Column?

Ko Hein: Our troops need uniform in rainy season, although we have a set of uniform for each member. Everybody expects a new uniform. We have to wear our uniform after being repaired. We solve other shortages by ourselves.

TLT: Which message do you want to give about Red Dragon Column?

Ko Hein: A major mission of our column was a raid on Infantry Battalion 284. It was carried out together with KNLA and the Cobra Column. We also fought together with Special Operation Force. We had other small missions.

TLT: How is the Red Dragon Force supporting CDM soldiers?

Ko Hein: We had some CDM soldiers who defected military junta. We gave cash awards to them in cooperation with MoD if they brought guns together with them. If they did not bring guns, we gave them regular support from NUG and other organizations to continue their life. Some CDM solders have involved in our missions.

TLT: What is your concluding remark?

Ko Hein: Our revolution has been over two years. We had many struggles and challenges during this period. We need to review our attitude since we left our homes in towns and city after we staged protest against the military coup. We want to remind our peers and leaders of resistance forces that we will gain victory in this revolution only if we are in unity, either as allied forces or groups of the common vision. I see the resistance forces are focusing on their own territories. It is not good for all. Our attitude when we started to choose armed struggle was just to fight against the military. Some have deviated from their objectives. We have to rely only on our people for financial resource. We can stand only on their support. We need unity for the victory. Some resistance forces established separate associations with public funds. We should not stand separately, but need to work collaboratively. We need to keep track on our firm determination. This is our advice to all our colleagues and revolution leaders.

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