Press release on the failure of RCSS/SSA to attend fourth anniversary of signing of NCA
(29 October 2019)
1. In issuing a news release dated 27 October 2019 in connection with the failure of the RCSS/SSA to attend the fourth anniversary of the signing of NCA held on 28 October, it is said that during the informal meeting with officials of Peace Commission (PC) in Chiang Mai in Thailand on 18 October 2019, RCSS/SSA chairman and some representatives informed in advance that they would come to Nay Pyi Taw from Taunggyi via Homein Township in Langkho District.
2. As regards the trip, Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) received a letter from President’s Office asking it to provide coordinated security for RCSS/SSA chairman and members who would come by car on 25 October through the Homein-Langkho-Mognai-Namhsam-Loilem-Taunggyi-Nay Pyi Taw route, only on 24 October. So, there was no sufficient time.
3. Regarding the security of the trip, Homein people’s militia and Pa-O people’s militia which have exchanged arms for peace, and the PNLO which has signed the NCA, are based along Homein-Langkho road. The RCSS/SSA had clashed with Pa-O people’s militia and PNLO around the villages of Pan Pi, Naung Cho and Wan Hat in Mongpan Township between November, 2018 and January, 2019. Clashes forced local villagers to flee from their homes to Kham Pa and Tatmadaw had to provide security for their resettlement.
4. For example, there were five clashes between the NMSP and the KNU near Three Pagodas area in Mon State on 17, 18, 21 and 23 October. It is difficult to solve the conflicts that arise between EAOs themselves.
5. It is over 400 miles long journey from Loi Tai Leng through Homein and Taunggyi to Nay Pyi Taw. And Tatmadaw was only informed about the trip on short notice and there was no enough time to make preparations to provide security for the RCSS/SSA delegation. Besides, there are disputes between the RCSS/SSA and the armed organizations based along the route which the RCSS/SSA has to take to come to Nay Pyi Taw. As all of these can contribute to undesirable results, Tatmadaw suggested the President’s Office that the RCSS/SSA delegation should come to Nay Pyi Taw by air via Tachilek as they did three times before including the signing ceremony of the NCA in October, 2015.
6. The RCSS/SSA’s statement suggests that they only coordinated the trip carelessly at the ground level in coordinating with officials of the NRPC; they failed to report back the concerned authorities, but only notified the Tatmadaw of its planned trip just a few days prior to the trip. As they arrived in Homein in 4 civilian cars to welcome the visit on 24 October evening without reporting to the command headquarters concerned, continued measures had to be taken after the command headquarters made investigation and step-by-step reports due to security reasons.
7. Although NRPC officials made further coordination for attending the NCA anniversary, RCSS replied that Thai authorities must be informed about travelling to Tachilek via Mae Sai three to five days ahead. So, NRPC officials arranged a day trip from Thailand and a chartered flight to Nay Pyi Taw.
8. Despite the Tatmadaw’s arrangements for the best and secure trip, the RCSS/SSA chairman and members did not attend the fourth anniversary of NCA signing. It is hereby announced that such a failure to attend the anniversary is only the concern of RCSS/SSA.
Tatmadaw True News Information Team