National Defence and Security Council of the Republic of Union of Myanmar holds meeting 3/2023

Nay Pyi Taw November 8

The National Defence and Security Council (NDSC) of the Republic of Union of Myanmar held the meeting 3/2023 at the meeting hall of the State Administration Council Chairman’s Office here this afternoon.

Present were Pro Tem President U Myint Swe, Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commanderin-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, Union Minister for Defence Admiral Tin Aung San, Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs U Than Swe, Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Tun Tun Naung, and SAC Secretary Lt-Gen Aung Lin Dway, Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, Chairman of Kokang Self-Administered Zone U Myint Swe, who were specially invited participants.

First, the Senior General said he would like to explain the current situation in Shan State (North) and its related situation. He said on October 27, MNDAA insurgents launched attacks with Chinshwehaw in Laukkai region as the main target. Normally, it was an MNDAA attack, but it has historical background. In 2009, there was the Special Region (1) led by Pheung Kya-shin in Laukkai region. As Tatmadaw received information about the illicit drugs trafficking and arms and ammunition production in the region, it ordered to stop the said illegal businesses. As the order was disobeyed, he led the Tatmadaw troops in eradicating narcotic drugs. During the operation a number of drug and gun factories were seized together with a large amount of illicit drugs. Due to the Tatmadaw’s anti-drug operation, Pheung Kya-shin and his group left the area. The group led by U Bai Xuoqian was assigned the temporary administrative duty of the area to restore Kokang region.

After the 2010 election, U Bai Xuoqian was assigned as the chair of the Leading Body of Kokang Self-Administered Zone. The group led by Pheung Kya-shin retreated to Special Region (4). Later, he asked for a pardon on health grounds. Tatmadaw was acting in accord with its long-term view on peace. But Pheung Kya-shin was rebellious and always trying to oppose the government and restore his power in Kokang area. His son Pheung Daxun was the leader in creating the recent problems.

The group was strengthening itself with the proceeds from drug trafficking. Tatmadaw was launching counternarcotic campaigns effectively in Shan State (North) till 2016 before the NLD took office. But drug trafficking and producing was on the rise in Laukkai region after 2017 and the region was also involved in other illegal activities, especially, gambling business. Then the investors from the other country joined in the illegal businesses. In the later period of COVID-19 pandemic, they turned into online gambling business.

At that time, Pheung Kya-shin group made demands to settle down in and run Laukkai region as the Special Region 1 again to restore its influence. Laukkai has the Pheung group and the Yang group. Pheung/Yang crisis broke out in roundabout 1998-1999. Battles occurred in the later parts of Pheung/Yang crisis and the Yang Moelyan group was placed in some places of the country. They were not happy with the assignment of U Bai Xuoqian group in the region after 2009. Hence, they made preparations to launch attacks.

Muse and Chinshwehaw are main border trade centres and Laukkai is the town of Kokang Self-Administered Zone. Hence, the MNDAA launched attacks to restore its power. The group started the preparations in 2022. MNDAA held talks with its allies many times to lay down battle plans. All the allies and friends of MNDAA had knowledge of the preparations to attack. The Tatmadaw is standing firmly on the NCA and has invited all EAOs to honour it. While serving the State responsibilities, the Tatmadaw emphasized solving the COVID19 problems and unrests. So,the Tatmadaw lessened its emphasis on Laukkai region. MNDAA insurgents wish to get profits from drug production and to resume their influence, so these events happened. With regard to seizure of narcotic drugs in Laukkai and surrounding areas, there were 18 heavy drug cases from 2006, arresting 140 persons in 82 times and seizing drugs worth Ks-71.59 billion. Due to these benefits from drugs, MNDAA group is attempting to occupy Laukkai region.

In 2022, online scams cases boomed in the region. Such cases were committed by those from the hotels owned by citizens from other country. A total of 153 hotels are located in Laukkai and Chinshwehaw. Among them, 12 hotels were built under the permission of the Myanmar Investment Commission. And, remaining 141 hotels were built under the arrangement of Laukkai Region Administrative Body without permission. Most of the hotels were invested by those from other country. After 2018, the 12-13 storeyed high-rise buildings were built within a year. Due to scrutiny, online scams and other illegal measures are being committed at these hotels. In taking action against these hotels, a total of 7,780 persons comprising 7,395 Chinese, 189 Vietnamese, 162 Thais, 32 Malaysians and two Laotians. Among them, 6,892 Chinese have been handed over to China. The remaining persons are under verification. In accord with the agreement with the Chinese Minister of Public Security not to cause online scams and illegal measures in the region, task forces will be formed between the two countries.

MNDAA made preparations in Wa region and its main strengths were deployed to attack Chinshwehaw via Namtit Bridge on 27 October. In the morning, they passed Namtit Creek and deployed excessive strengths in attacking Chinshwehaw. Security camps in Laukkai and Chinshwehaw regions served duties of local security but military operation camps. MNDAA used a large number of drones and drop bombs in attacks. In the incident, MNDAA joined hands with KIA, TNLA, AA and PDF terrorists. Mainly, the attacks were committed by MNDAA and TNLA groups.

They attacked Chinshwehaw, and at the same time, they penetrated Kunlong with the infiltrated troops. TNLA interrupted the communication route to Hsenwi and disturbed Lashio with firing. They interrupted the Mandalay-Lashio communication route near Nawnghkio. When MNDAA was attacking there, KIA deployed excessive strengths in attacking a small camp on the communication route to Kachin State. The Tatmadaw responded to them. At present, the Tatmadaw can control there. MNDAA group faces a large number of casualties. The Tatmadaw will carry out necessary response to them.

MNDAA understands that Muse and Chinshwehaw regions are of importance in border trade between Myanmar and China. So, an arrangement has been made that new Kunlong Bridge built with the assistance of China will be commissioned into service on 11 November. As such, it is seriously noticeable for attacks of MNDAA on that region. Such an event can harm relations between Myanmar and China. Officials from both sides solve the issue that bullets from Myanmar fell in China. The Tatmadaw specially restricted military operations as that area is a border region. However, other organizations carelessly committed their acts and intentionally manage the misunderstanding between the two countries. Moreover, they attend to causing injuries to ordinary civilians.

At a time when these events happened in Shan State (North), PDF terrorists attacked in some areas of Sagaing Region. In this regard, PDF terrorists commit attacks together with KIA and AA groups. Such situations were submitted to the National Defence and Security Council. In Laukkai incidents in Shan State (North), MNDAA groups mainly used drones. These drones can be bought at the market and these are manufacture-used drones in China. It can be seen that local people are not eager to participate in the events. However, there are people who participated because of forced recruitment. Most of the militia are cooperating with the Tatmadaw. At the time of these incidents, the local people sent the news of the MNDAA group to the Tatmadaw and it was seen that they could respond effectively. The MNDAA group is trying to restore power in the Laukkai region, while the TNLA and the Kokang are trying to establish Palaung State and Kokang State respectively. Since the past few days, the people have been helping with the needs of the Tatmadaw. In Yangon and Mandalay military command headquarters and in the townships where state governments are located, public well-wishers donated money and supplies to the front-line military personnel. The donated items are being delivered to the frontline military personnel. Charity organizations are also cooking and delivering food to the frontline military personnel. To ensure sovereign power and the rule of law and protect the lives of the people, necessary retaliatory measures will be taken in cooperation with the public, he explained.

Then, Vice President U Henry Van Thio and Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw U T Khun Myat spoke about State stability and peace, the rule of law and the provision of humanitarian aid to people fleeing the battles.

After that, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win explained the situation of the fighting in Shan State (North), subversive acts committed by the terrorist organizations and the Tatmadaw’s efforts to restore regional peace and stability.

Then, the Union Minister for Defence, Union Minister for Home Affairs, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, Union Minister for Border Affairs and special invitees explained armed terrorists’ attacks on small military bases, police stations and fire stations, incineration and destruction of governmental buildings, roads and bridges in the areas of the Northern Command, Northeast Command, Southeast Command and Northwest Command, NUG-backed so-called PDF terrorists’ collection of extortion money in villages and brutal killings of local people, response measures against the terrorists to be taken by the people and the Tatmadaw in cooperation, measures to restore the rule of law and regional peace and stability as quickly as possible and matters related to providing aid to the displaced people by opening relief camps.

In response to the reports, the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services pointed out two key factors saying that they are anti-narcotics and capacity building of the Myanmar Police Force. The beginning of the problem that is happening in northern Shan State today is the drug problem. They tried to continue their survival through armed struggle line to gain power with the money obtained from drugs. Other illegal businesses like gambling were conducted. Therefore, drug eradication, which is the source of the problem, must be carried out effectively. In order to do so, the capacity of Myanmar Police Force must be raised for stability and law enforcement. There are two types of police forces: community peace and law enforcement police and armed police. Although the Tatmadaw has the main responsibility for national defence, according to the history of the country, they had to suppress internal insurgencies. Therefore, the Myanmar Police Force will have to improve its capacity more than ever. Coordination is being carried out to bring back the civil servants and the local people fleeing from Chinshwehaw region. We are paying close attention to China-Myanmar bilateral relations. The Tatmadaw will continue to pursue necessary security operations to ensure regional stability, peace and the rule of law and protect the lives and property of the people.

After that, Pro Tem President U Myint Swe said that if the Tatmadaw did not take such strong action regarding the issue of insurgents in the border region, the country might be divided into pieces. This issue needs to be handled carefully and systematically. At this critical time for the country, the whole country needs to support the Tatmadaw. He said that the Tatmadaw has been able to perform its life-saving duty to protect the country and that it is achieving a certain degree of stability. Then, he said, today’s discussions were recorded and the meeting ended.

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