An interview with MNDAA spokesperson Li Kyarwen on the accusations of the military council leader and the current military situation
The Myanmar’s military council, which has suffered a setback from the “Operation 1027” launched by the Three Brotherhoods Alliance, convened a meeting of the National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) on November 8, which is normally convened after the emergency period ends.
At the meeting, junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing accused the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) of initiating “Operation 1027” because they wanted to use the profits from the drug trade to expand their influence, and vowed to take the necessary countermeasures.
In this interview with Than Lwin Times, MNDAA spokesman Li Kyarwen comments on the ethnic army’s response to the military council’s accusations, the current military situation and the outposts it has captured.
Q: The leader of the military junta accused that the problems in Shan State are due to drugs and power-seeking. How would the MNDAA respond to the allegations that it is also involved in online gambling and scam operations (Kyar Phyant)?
A: Regarding the allegations about drugs, as Special Region (1) under the leadership of U Phone Kyar Shin, we eradicated drugs around the year 2000. In 2000, we were able to eradicate drugs and grow other food crops such as tea leaves and sugarcane. It is only now that we are being accused of generating revenue from the drug trade. One thing I don’t understand is whether there are still drugs in the area.
If there are really drugs in the area, then it must be Kokang puppet groups dealing in drugs. If they are producing drugs, how can they manage without the help of the military council? We need to think about whose pockets these revenues are really going into. As for online gambling scams, this is already obvious to the whole country. Online gambling is most prevalent in Laukkaing.
It was only when we launched the military operation that they started to send back the people involved in gambling and try to eradicate it. Before that, they hadn’t made any effort to eradicate it. The so-called eradication of online gambling simply means that the gambling bosses are being relocated by plane and lower-level employees are being sent back to China. Where have all these gambling bosses gone now? Where have they relocated to? Perhaps they are already preparing to resume online fraud elsewhere?
Q: The junta chief said the MNDAA is fighting for power in the Kokang region, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) for the state of Palaung and Kokang for the state of Kokang. What do you think of these statements and what is your position on them?
A: That is their narrative. We have already explained the aim and objectives of this military operation. These points are not only in our open letter and in the statement of the Alliance of the Three Brotherhoods. I have nothing special to say about this.
Q: In the security council meeting, the junta’s acting president U Myint Swe said that Operation 1027 could divide the country into pieces. What do you say to that?
A: We need to reflect on the fact that the acting president U Myint Swe attended this meeting. We need to think about the status in which he attended this meeting, what his status has been since the military coup and why he came to this meeting at this time. His statement that the nations may split into pieces is not acceptable to us. The goal of our military operation is to eliminate military dictatorship, build a federal democratic union and eradicate online gambling operations. If anything could be destroyed, it would be the military regime, not the country. We are rebuilding the country.
Q: It’s been two weeks since the Three Brothers Alliance’s Operation 1027. How many bases, outposts and temporary camps have you captured in these two weeks?
A: During the two-week operation, the Three Brotherhoods Alliance has captured about 150 bases, outposts and temporary camps.
Q: What is the current situation in northern Shan State? In particular, what kind of counterattacks are being carried out by the military council?
A: In northern Shan State, the military council is trying to increase its troop strength. And they are constantly carrying out artillery and air strikes.
Sent by Than Lwin Times.