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Yawdserk: I will surrender only to the Thais

Written by S.H.A.N.
Monday, 10 May 2010 10:55

Speaking on the ongoing political and military maneuvers of Burma’s ruling junta to divide its
armed opponents and force them into submission in the end, Shan State Army (SSA) South
leader Yawdserk said he would rather surrender to Thailand instead of the Burma Army “if I
have to.”

“Western colonizers had tried to divide us by demarcating boundary lines,” he said. “But nothing
can stand between the hearts of our two peoples.”

Thais, Shans and Laos are historic and linguistic cousins coming from the same racial family.
The word “Thai” is a distortion of “Tai” which Shans call themselves. Conversely, the word
‘Shan’ itself is a corruption of “Siam,” Thailand’s former name, and the name given to the
peoples of Tai stock by the Mon-Khmers.

Following Naypyitaw’s ultimatum last year to the ethnic armed groups that had concluded
ceasefire pacts with the regime since 1989 to become junta-run militias, the non-ceasefire
armed movements including the SSA South have been calling for unified resistance to
overthrow, once and for all, Burma’s almost half a century long military dictatorship.

The regime has been countering the SSA’s efforts by spreading false reports of secret meetings

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Yawdserk: I will surrender only to the Thais

Written by S.H.A.N.
Monday, 10 May 2010 10:55

between the two, said the 51 – year old Yawdserk, who was promoted by the SSA’s annual
meeting last January to lieutenant-general.

According to one of the latest stories taking the rounds among the ceasefire groups, among
which the United Wa State Army (UWSA) is regarded as the strongest, Naypyitaw has been
calling for a joint alliance against drug smuggling armed groups. “The Wa leadership was
understandably deeply disturbed by the report,” said an informed source from the Sino-Burma
border.

Naypyitaw, through a former MTA officer who had surrendered, had recently made overtures to
Loi Taileng, where the SSA is headquartered. “I told him we were ready to negotiate in the
common interests of all groups concerned,” said Yawdserk. “But if it’s only between us and
Naypyitaw, the answer is No. He returned home empty-handed.”

Another was the report that Yawdserk, like the late Khun Sa of Mong Tai Army (MTA), had
plans of his own to woo all anti-Naypyitaw groups to join him and afterwards turn them over to
the regime, just like Khun Sa did in 1996. It was to this story that Yawdserk was responding to
in the first place.

“We need to communicate with each other directly instead of using middlemen to clear away
questions such as these,” he added.

He also urged all the groups concerned to seriously consider a political alliance rather than a
military one. “If it’s only a military coalition, how, in the long run, can we trust each other?” he
asked rhetorically. “More than that, our neighboring countries that have interests in our country,
how can they trust us?”

The SSA South has been calling for total independence from Burma, but Yawdserk assures he
will abide by the common goal agreed by the majority of the yet to be formed alliances
members.

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