Some members of the ALP armed group were assassinated in Sittwe; India, Thailand, and the Military Council discussed border issues

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 02 Scenes

MoeMaKa, July 03, 2023

Some members of the ALP armed group were assassinated in Sittwe; India, Thailand, and the Military Council discussed border issues

On July 1, on the way to the university in Sittwe, the vice-chairman of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) and 2 other armed forces members were killed by gunmen in civilian clothes, according to news reports. The ethnic armed group, commonly known as the Arakan Liberation Party, signed the national ceasefire agreement (NCA) in 2015 and has been actively participating in the peace talks offered by the military council since the military coup. After disagreements within the ALP group in recent months, Daw Saw Mya Yarzar Lin made announcements that she had re-established the group herself, leaving behind some of the former ALP leaders. The deputy chairman, Khaing Ni Raung, who was among those who were shot was from the group formed by Daw Saw Mya Yarzar Lin.

The ALP released a statement regarding the attack, accusing it of being the handiwork of the ULA/AA Arakan Army led by Tun Myat Naing, abbreviated as AA. The AA denied the allegation, and it was also reported in the news that the ALP members could have assassinated each other due to differences of opinion.

There was an incident in which the deputy commander-in-chief and some members of the ALP attending the Independence Day celebration in January this year were also shot and killed. The ALP accused the AA of the incident, while the AA denied it.

According to the current situation, there are 2 ethnic armed groups in Rakhine State, and the ULA/AA group is the group that is more powerful than the ALP and the group that has received the majority of support from the Rakhine public. It can be concluded that the ULA/AA group does not want other rival armed groups to exist or emerge in Rakhine State, and that they have taken the view that there must be only one armed group for the Rakhine people.

Heavy armed clashes took place with the military council once in 2018-19 and once in 2022, and many civilians lost their lives in addition to members of both armed groups.

During the armed clashes that took place from 2018 to 2019, many local residents were forced to flee, and some refugees have not been able to return to their homes until now.

Another news item for today is a meeting between the Indian government and the military council regarding border security between the two countries. At the same time, in recent days, high-ranking military officials from Thailand and Myanmar have discussed issues related to border security in Chiang Mai.

It is reported in the news that the former Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of India visited Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, and met with senior officials of the Ministry of Defense of the military council.

According to news reports, India and Myanmar’s military council discussed cross-border crime and drug issues and agreed not to allow things that could harm the other country.

It can be concluded that India is discussing cooperation between the two countries to deal with the recent ethnic riots in Manipur State and the northwestern border areas of Myanmar, where armed groups are fleeing across the border, and weapons trading is usually taking place.

India’s current ruling government, the so-called nationalist Modi-led government, has good relations with the military council. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nay Pyi Taw military council objected to the recent statement about Myanmar made by the Indian Prime Minister during his visit to Washington.

Apart from the issue of the statement, India is only interacting with the military council government that currently controls the power of the country, rather than interacting with the Myanmar Democratic Forces and the NUG government that adheres to the armed revolution. The UN special envoy’s report also states that India is selling weapons-related parts to the military council that seized power.

Regarding border issues with Myanmar’s next neighboring country, Thailand, the military council has regular direct communication with the Thai army. Recently, it was reported that a meeting on border issues between the two countries was held in Chiang Mai from June 28 to 30, attended by Lieutenant General Nyunt Win Swe from the Myanmar side.

Lieutenant General Nyunt Win Swe served as military commander of Yangon Command for years after the military coup, and is currently the Commander of the Bureau of Special Operations in charge of operations in the Mon-Karen regions.

Armed conflicts are intensifying in the areas bordering Thailand, and the sources of weapons for armed activities in central and lower Myanmar are dependent on the areas bordering Myanmar-Thailand. It is expected that the military council will discuss issues such as the purchase and import of weapons, border crossings, and air flights when fighting occurs at military bases near the border of the two countries.