All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF)

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SUMMARY

Founded: 1 November, 1988

Headquarters: KNU Controlled Territories

Active Territories: Within KIA and KNU-controlled territories

Branches: US and Australia

Strength: More than 1500

Chair – Comrade Than Khae

Vice-Chair – Comrade Myo Win

General Secretary– Comrade Sonny

The ABSDF, which was born out of the democratic uprising in 1988, signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on 15 October 2015, and participated in the peace process. The ABSDF faced a lot of criticism as it attended a ceremony to mark the sixthnniversary of the NCA held by the military council. It issued a statement on 24 October 2021, saying that attending the ceremony was not the central committee’s decision.

At around 5 pm on 2 November 2021, the military council soldiers and police members arrived at the liaison office of the ABSDF in Myawaddy and then arrested four people, including leaders Aung Baw and Tin Soe. Regarding the military council’s invitation for peace, the ABSDF chair has said that peace cannot be achieved through dialogue with the ethnic armed resistance organizations. The ABSDF’s name is included in the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), which is working towards the end of military dictatorship, with the union vision of building a peaceful federal democratic union which guarantees freedom, justice and equality.

In its statement on the 34th anniversary of the establishment on 1 November 2022, it has trained and grouped the new generation comrades and is fighting the military council together with its allies. Acting President of the NUG Duwa Lashi La praised and honoured the ABSDF for teaching military tactics and strategies for the new generation during the Spring Revolution and the handover of advantages and disadvantages to the revolutionary armed forces.

In his speech delivered at the ABSDF’s 34th anniversary celebration held at Daung Taman camp on 1 November 2022, ABSDF Chairman, Comrade Than Khae said that at present it must stand with the public and the Spring Revolution and establish a new country that is free from the military dictatorship for future generations.

On the 35th anniversary of the 8888 Democracy Uprising on 8 August 2023, the ABSDF issued a statement saying that it regards the armed revolution as a main struggle of the current Spring Revolution and called on all the forces that are fighting against the military dictatorship to work in unity. In the current Spring Revolution, the ABSDF has already established links with Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations (EROs), including the National Unity Government (NUG).

Clashes with the military council forces There was one clash in 2012 and five till August, 2023. The ABSDF, which openly participates in the Spring Revolution, has been waging a resistance war against the military council forces in cooperation with the People’s Defense Forces/Local Defense Forces (PDF/LDF).

Ceasefires and Peace Process
Signed NCA – October 15, 2015
Fighting after signing NCA
2015-16 – unknown

Official Representative Team
U Myo Win (UPDJC)
Salaing Yaw Aung (JMC)

Liaison Offices
1. Myawaddy
2. Muse
3. Proposed – Loikaw, Kalay, Phayathounsu and Myeik

Alliances
ABSDF Northern Myanmar camps are in KIA controlled area

Contact
Email : [email protected]

Phone:+66 808 7725

CEC Members
1. Comrade Than Khe – Chairman
2. Comrade Myo Win – Vice Chairman
3. Comrade Sonny – General Secretary
4. Comrade Myint Oo – Secretary 1
5. Comrade Htut @ Hla Htay – Secretary 2
6. Comrade Lwan Ni – CEC
7. Comrade Mi Su Pwint @ Ma Lay Lone – CEC
8. Comrade Maung Oo – CEC
9. Comrade Salaing Yaw Aung – CEC


Ceasefire & Peace Process

NCA signed: 15 October 2015

# Post-NCA Signed Clashes:
2015-16: unknown


The ABSDF is a student army that formed after the 1988 uprisings. Their objective is to fight for democracy and human rights in Myanmar alongside other democratic and ethnic nationality forces. They have 7 camps along the Myanmar-Thailand border, 3 camps along the Myanmar-India border and 3 camps on the Myanmar-China border. The ABSDF also has foreign branches in the US and Australia.


 


Meetings

 #  Date  Location  Militia rep  Govt Rep  Details
1 17/01/2012 Mae Sot, Thailand Vice-chairman Myo Win Aung Thaung ABSDF presented a ‘peace talk’ paper that defined their position. They accepted the government’s peace offer as a constructive first step and ready to talk if they are allocated equal rights. The government sent a formal letter offering to engage in peace talks with the ABSDF on Jan.10, 2012.
2 09/02/2012 Mae Sot, Thailand Vice-chairman Myo Win Major Saw Khin Soe (representing Aung Thaung) No agreement was made, but both sides agreed to meet again for further negotiations.
3 09/11/2012 Chiang Mai, Thailand Chairman Than Khe, General secretary Myo Win and 4 others Aung Min Both parties agreed on two points: (1) allow an ABSDF delegation to safely conduct a series of studies on the conditions in Myanmar (2) to continue political dialogue with the government Hla Maung Shwe, Nyo Ohn Myint were present
4 18-24/12/2012 Naypyidaw and MPC Yangon Chairman Than Khe, Secretary Sonny Mahindra and 7 others Aung Min and MPC members An ABSDF delegation organized a study trip to better understand the government’s development and implementation of the peace process in the country. During the trip, they consulted with 88 Generation Student Group leaders, SNLD leader Khun Htun Oo and other ethnic political party leaders. The ABSDF delegation also met with their respective families.
5 21/05/2013 MPC ABSDF U Aung Min Ko Kyaw Ko and Ko Sonny Mahindra led the ABSDF met with U Aung Min at MPC on May 21. ABSDF said “peace and national reconcialiation is important and priority to implement”. they discussed about continuing peace talks. Representatives from northern region did not turn up as the govt did not provide assistance or security.
6 12/07/2013 Chiang Mai, Thailand ABSDF technical team MPC technical team No resulted
7 05/08/2013 Yangon-MPC ABSDF- total 34- 24 from CEC, 5 from northern and 5 from India UPWC/ MPC 4 agreement, 1. starting from august 5 to ceasefire, 2. ABSDF members must be free going around without weapons 3. Liaisons office open at Myawaddy and other places etc. 4. Union level discussion will be on 10 August for the official representative. 12 points proposed by ABSDF.
8 10/08/2013 Yangon-MPC ABSDF Chairman Than Khe, Vice-Chairman Myo Win, General Secretary Sonny and CEC members U Aung Min and U Thein Zaw,Lt-Gen Thet Naing Win, U Ohn Myint, U Khin Yi and U Zeyar Aung,U Zaw Min, Deputy Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, the Kayin state advocate-general, the state security and border affairs minister, the senior military officers from the Office of Commander-in chief (Army), members of Myanmar Peace Center 12 points agreement
9 08/11/2013 Yangon-MPC General Secretary Sonny and CEC members UPWC technical team Informal meeting
10 09/11/2013 Yangon-MPC ABSDF/ ALP UPWC- Aung Min Informal meeting
11 20/11/2013 Nay Pyi Taw ABSDF UPWC- Aung Min UPWC and ABSDF meets in Naypyitaw for the ceasefire terms during the union level talks.
12 30/05/2014 Naypyitaw Ko Sonny and Ko Kyaw Lin Minister of Commerce U Win Myint Business

Developments

Demands:
release all political prisoners
stop offensives in Kachin state and start political dialogue
nationwide ceasefire
build mutual trust and respect all-inclusive dialogue

Initial Agreements:
The government requested for the ABSDF to surrender their arms and set up a political party.


Activities with partners

The ABSDF supports the KIA in military campaigns. (1988-96, 2011-ongoing)

During the ABSDF delegation study trip in December 2012, they met with NLD patron Tin Oo Ethnic Shan, Arakan and Mon leaders from the United Nationalities Alliance and 88 Generation Students group.


Statements

10 December 2020 – ABSDF released a statement regarding CEC meeting
1 November 2020 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 32nd Anniversary of ABSDF
1 November 2019 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 31st Anniversary of ABSDF
7 February 2019 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 72nd anniversary Shan State National day
31 January 2019 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 70th Anniversary Of Karen Revolution Day
17 August 2018 – ABSDF released a condolence message for Ma Thin Thin Aye aka Ma Mee Mee
1 November 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 29th Anniversary of ABSDF
13 August 2017 – ABSDF released a condolence message For U Aung Shwe.
8 August 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 29th Anniversary Of 8888 Uprising
14 March 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding KNU 16th Congress
7 February 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 70th Anniversary of Shan State National Day
7 January 2017 – ABSDF released a statement regarding detention of comrade Min Htay
1 November 2016 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 28th Anniversary of ABSDF
24 September 2016 – ABSDF released a condolence Message for U Aung Htike
24 September 2016 – ABSDF released a condolence Message for Daw Aung Nu.
12 August 2016 – ABSDF released a statement regarding 66th Karen Martyrs’ Day
23 July 2016 – ABSDF released a condolence message for comrade Nay Aung aka comrade San Htoo
30 March 2016 – ABSDF released a statement regarding president of Myanmar Mr Htin Kyaw speech
12 December 2015 – ABSDF released a statement for 3rd anniversary of KSSU
15 November 2015 – ABSDF released a statement regarding NLD’s victory
17 August 2015 – ABSDF released a statement regarding CEC meeting(MM)
17 August 2015 – ABSDF released a statement regarding CEC meeting(Eng)
10 May 2015 – ABSDF’s message for 79th anniversary of ABFSU
10 Mar, 2015 – ABSDF released a statement on police cracked down on students protest
31 January 2015 – ABSDF released a statement for 66th Karen Revolution Day
Nov 20, 2014 – ABSDF released a statement on Myanmar army attacked KIA academy
Aug 10, 2013 – UPWC and ABSDF signed 12 points Union Level peace agreement (Eng)
Aug 10, 2013 – UPWC and ABSDF signed 12 points Union Level peace agreement (Bur)
Aug 05, 2013 – 4 points agreement ABSDF and UPWC
Jul 30, 2013 – ABSDF’s statement on peace talks
Jan 07, 2013 – War conflict in Kachin state
Jan 07, 2013 – Requesting Buddhist monk
Jan 03, 2013 – Press conference in Yangon
Dec 18, 2012 – The first field trip to Yangon
Mar 31, 2012 – Postpone the Union level meeting date
Feb 09, 2012 – Preliminary meeting
Nov 08, 2011 – Ceasefire and peace process


Reference: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process – A Reference Guide (2022 – 2023)


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