(27 March-1 April 2017)
Linda K. Burton (1952)
This trip came about after I was invited to participate in the 9th Liaison Officers Conference that was held in Taunggyi, 28-30 March. Since the liaison offices were established following government-initiated bilateral ceasefire agreements with 15 EAOs, this was my first opportunity to attend and learn.
As always, whatever I’ve learned, its yours.
Day One. Monday, 27 March 2017
Where the wind blows too hard, the trees gotta bend.
The Hanging Tree (1959)
Just before I leave for the airport, I have a call from a friend. He tells me that some of the leaders that attended the Third (Wa-hosted) Pang Kham Summit, 22-24 February, are now uttering their misgivings. “(name of leader) had thought that Beijing was 100% on the Wa side when he went to Panghsang (Pang-Kham’s former name),” he says. “But now that it’s clear the Chinese envoy Mr Sun Guoxiang wants them to sign the NCA, telling them the consequences they will face if they don’t (there are some details which I prefer not to dwell upon), (name of leader) doesn’t feel sure anymore.”
Then comes an email message from China that has been keeping track of the United Wa State Army (UWSA). Yesterday it had released a statement by Mr Sun Guoxiang, special envoy for Asian Affairs in Chinese on 14 March. Why it had done only yesterday, not earlier, begs for a question. But to simple people like me, it is certainly an eye-opener...