Monday, August 17, 2009

Ceasefire groups put business expansion on hold

by Phanida
Monday, 17 August 2009 12:20

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Four ceasefire groups, which have an alliance and have flatly refused the junta’s proposal to transform into the Border Guard Force (BGF), are putting on hold their business expansion plans for the moment.

This has been hinted at by the four ceasefire groups namely the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Maila a.k.a. the National Democracy Alliance Army (NDAA).

An official of the Bugar Company’s Rangoon Office, which runs KIO owned operations in gems, tours and travel, roads and bridge building told Mizzima, “We are only continuing with our present business. We do not have any expansion plans for the moment”.

An official of the UWSA, which focuses on rubber plantations said, “There are no new and significant business operations. We are into plantation of substitute crops in lieu of opium, which is mainly rubber. We have not stopped this business but there is no expansion”.

It is learnt that MNDAA (Kokang) has also stopped investments in tea and rubber plantations along the Sino-Burma border.

“They have no plans to continue business operations inside Burma. For the time being, they have stopped the incomplete business ventures and accepting new contracts. They will consider resuming all these business operations only after 2010,”a source close to MNDAA told Mizzima.

Despite rumours in circulation about recalling their men based in Rangoon because of the palpable tension between the Burmese Army and these ceasefire groups, officials of the KIO, and the Shan State North Special Region (Shan State Army-North) SSA-N have denied it.

But a Rangoon based official of another ceasefire group the Kayan New Land Party, Kayah State Special Region 3 said that he had heard that the members of the Kokang and Wa based in Rangoon had returned to their mother units. But he did not know the details.

An officer from the Shan State South Special Region No. 6 Rangoon office said that it was true that UWSA and KIO had recalled their Rangoon based officials to their headquarters.

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