Junta Commander Sought Assistance from Yawdserk
Junta Commander Sought Assistance from Yawdserk's Ex-Boss Countering SSA's Anti-Drug Operations
Reports coming recently across the border spoke of some SPDC commanders seeking assistance from a respected ex-Shan Commander in countering the Shan States Army's operations against drug activities.
S.H.A.N. sources at the border across from Chiangmai Province reported early this month that a meeting was held on 20 July in the Mongtaw-Monghta area, Mongton Township, Monghsart District, where junta officers proposed that ex-Shan Commander, Col. Sangmon, formed a militia unit in support of the Tatmadaw's "relentless campaign against destructive elements".
The principal spokesman for the Army
was Maj. Nyan Myint, Deputy Commander of Battalion 225, who was
reported earlier by S.H.A.N. as giving protection to refinery
Ex-Major. Hla Aung and Li Zhigao, both of whom were known Chinese operators of the drug laboratory in the area, were also present at the meeting.
"It was them that convinced the junta commanders to persuade Sangmon into setting up a militia unit", said one source. "They expected that with his presence on the scene, Yawdserk could be softened into cooperation with their drug activities".
"They already had men, guns and money. They only needed him to front for them".
Sangmon, who was over 65, was reported to have replied that he was "too old for this sort of thing". The meeting ended inconclusively, said the source.
Sangmon, a native of Kesi, joined the resistance since its beginning in 1958, served outstandingly as an intrepid and cool military commander. He surrendered in 1996 and continued to live in Pang Surhtao, his old headquarters, across the border from Wianghaeng District, Chiangmai Province.
Yawdserk, the commander-in-chief of the Shan States Army, who, since November last year, has been campaigning against drugs, joined Sangmon, then Commander of the First Detachment of the Shan United Revolutionary Army, in 1976. Yawdserk was 17.