Maj-Gen Min Aung Hlaing
Mobiles seized, buses stopped for regional commander's visit
Local authorities in Mongton township, eastern Shan State, last week seized Thai mobile phones belonging to villagers and stopped all buses during Triangle Region commander's visit, according to sources from the border.
Maj-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, Commander of Kengtung-based Triangle Region Command and Chairman of Peace and Development Council-Shan State East, from 21-22 May, visited Monghsat, Mongton, Pongpakhem, Nakawngmu, opposite Chiangmai. During his visit, all local transportation buses in the areas of Pongpakhem and Nakawngmu were temporarily halted and mobile phones belong to civilians were seized by authorities.
"The bus services were halted until Maj-Gen went back," said a Nakawngmu villager.
"They [authorities] went from one house to another and took over mobile phones," said a villager from Pongpakhem.
The regional commander on 22 May called for a meeting with civil servants from different governmental departments and village headmen in order to assign them with new duties and responsibilities and said thank you to them because of doing great job to the junta drafted charter on the May 10 referendum day.
The tightened security measures may be due to these reasons, according to one Burma watcher:
- Too many reports about official irregularities during the referendum
- Increased number of clashes during and since the referendum between the Burma Army and the Shan State Army (SSA) South
- Increased tension with the local United Wa State Army (UWSA) after most of their members had boycotted the referendum and a few of them who came to the polls voted No to the draft
According to the draft charter, the UWSA will have to transfer its administrative power along the Thai-Burma border to the Burmese authorities. Its Self Administered Region (SAR) is confined to areas along the Sino-Burma border.
By Hseng Khio Fah