Myanmar Spring Chronicle – January 08 Scenes
MoeMaKa, January 09, 2023
Some members of the Inle PDF were arrested; The upcoming election & political path of anti-dictator opposition groups
There are hardly any PDF forces affiliated with NUG or allied with NUG in Southern Shan State, Eastern Shan State, and in southern and northern parts of the Shan State where Pa-O ethnic groups are living. Now, for the first time, there are reports that some members of PDF forces, about 10 members, have been arrested near Intaim Village, which is said to be the southern edge of Inle Lake.
Shan State, the largest ethnic state in Myanmar, has each of ethnic armed groups in the northern, eastern and southern parts of the Shan State. Most of them follow the status quo policy with the military council that came up after the military coup, and most of the groups do not choose the path of confrontation. There are not many local PDF forces emerging in these areas. In the past year, some PDF forces formed and operated in the Ywangan and Pindaya regions, but because they are separate from the ethnic armed regions, and have difficulty getting weapons and financial support in the long term, they cannot be active for a long time. The recently arrested PDF group was one of those active around Intaim Village on the southwest edge of Inle Lake.
After the protest in Taunggyi, there were some activities by the PDF forces, but they were not able to stand for a long time and gradually moved to other regions. According to Shan State’s border, in the regions bordering Kayah State, PDF groups such as the KNDF, which emerged locally in Kayah State after the military coup, are strong and active.
If you look at the political background of Shan State, you can see how important ethnic issues are in the political process of the country. Various ethnic armed groups in Shan State are standing with their policies based on various political views and practical interests, such as the Wa ethnic group having its own armed force, police force, and administration; the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) fighting against the military council; the Pa-O ethnic group that accepted the transformation into the BGF, had a united relationship with the military, and ruled the public like a warlord; the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), the two most powerful ethnic armed groups among Shan ethnic groups; and the Northern Alliance, containing alliance forces frequently fighting against the military council troops. It can be seen that the emerging PDF groups in those regions cannot overcome these political and military alliances.
Myanmar democracy issue and the overthrow of the military dictatorship are not as simple as it seems like black & white and it is true that the correct policy, stance and approach are needed to solve the problems of ethnic federalism and inter-tribal relations together. Some of the problems did not just arise in 1988 and 2021 but were based on the days before independence, so it must be said that it is not as simple as it seems.
It is seen that there is a need for the anti-dictatorship revolutionary forces to discuss and define strategies and tactics regarding the upcoming elections to be held by the military council. In the next few weeks, it is expected that the military council will make announcements about elections that are not exciting, free or fair. It is true that there is no reason to be excited, free or fair, but some political parties and political forces may want to go through the upcoming elections. It is now necessary to consider in detail how to respond to political parties and politicians who wish to engage with the military council and participate in the military council-sponsored election, as well as the situation of rural and urban communities in Myanmar who may be pressured and threatened to vote. The term “election” as a political outlet for the military council can have several meanings, and it is more accurate if it is a political tactic aimed at reducing political pressure.