“As a matter of fact, we are taking bitter pills for the terrible disease caused by the bad military dictatorship whether we want to take it or not.” Khun Myint Tun, Chair of the PNFC.

Caption - Khun Myint Tun, Chair of the PNFC.

An interview with Khun Myint Tun, Chair of the Pa-O National Federal Council (PNFC) about the current situations regarding the ongoing fighting in Hopone and Hsihseng.

Fighting erupted between the Pa-O National Organization (PNO)-transformed Pa-O militia which cooperates with the military council and the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) after the military convoy of the PNLA was blocked in Sanphu village in Hopong Township in southern Shan State on 21 January.

After that, the military council bombarded Hsihseng Township where the PNLO headquarters is located. Since then, the fighting has spread from Hopong to Hsihseng. The PNLA and its allied revolutionary forces attacked and captured the military council’s camps, police station, court and the general administration office in Hsihseng Township.

Among the PNLA’s allied revolutionary forces is the Pa-O National Federal Council (PNFC). Khun Myint Tun, Chair of the PNFC, also served as a central committee member of the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) led by Colonel Khun Okka.

The PNFC was formed after the Pa-O National Federal Conference held in December 2021.
The PNFC has announced that it will join the establishment of a federal democratic system by making revolution against various authoritarian regimes, including the military dictatorship.

The military council is conducting airstrikes in order to regain control of Hsihseng town. In addition, it forces the Pa-O militia- PNO to recruit new soldiers and equip them with weapons.

The Shan News interviewed Khun Myint Tun, Chair of the PNFC, on the current situations.

Q: In the battle, the PNO, which has been transformed into a militia, is fighting together with the military council. What do you think about the fact that there have been conflicts between Pa-O people? What do you want to say?

A: The main thing is that fighting between Pa-O ethnics and the fight against the military dictatorship is totally different. During the last period of our historical war, Pa-O was divided on the basis of the ideology. Fighting took place among the Pa-O group which accepted the people’s democracy, the White Pa-O which accepted nationalism and was led by PNO U Aung Kham Hti and the Red Pa-O or Shan State Nationalities People’s Liberation Organization (SSNPLO) led by U Tar Kalae. Fighting took place between Pa-O groups on the basis of such different ideologies of Pa-O leaders rather than the ideologies of Pa-O people. Now the current problem has nothing to do with ideology.

The PNO was a revolutionary force in the past. We made a ceasefire. We were eventually forced to transform into a militia force from the revolutionary group that made the ceasefire. Whether they want to do it or not, they have been transformed into a militia force. They have to do what the army wants. That is why we are now fighting the military dictatorship. We are not fighting the PNO. We are not fighting the Pa-O people. We are just fighting the military dictatorship. I think we can’t label fighting in the military system as a fight between Pa-O.

Q: In addition, the military council issued weapons and armed the PNO militia group in the area they controlled. There is a report that they are forced to work as soldiers. What do you want to say about this?

A: The military council will use anyone to protect their interests for their military council and military group. The military council is using Pa-O people as pawns and human shields. Now the military council is using all youths across the council including Pa-O people to protect their interests through the activation of the People’s Military Service Law. It is common for a military dictator.

Q: Now that the fighting is taking place in the towns and villages between Hsihseng and Hopong, how do you take measures to minimize the damage to IDPs and locals? Also, please let me know how the public needs to prepare.

A: Yes. Anyhow, these issues are the ones that we don’t want to happen. As a matter of fact, we are taking bitter pills for the terrible disease caused by the bad military dictatorship whether we want to take it or not. We have established a principle. Apart from self-defense and protecting the interests of the ethnic people, including Pa-O, we will do our best to avoid any conflict between Pa-O and between Pa-O and other ethnic groups. We uphold the principle that if there is a problem, we will discuss it peacefully. We have upheld our most basic principle. We can’t distinguish the military council’s order and those who participated in the attack from the side of the military council. We have established that principle as much as possible. At this time, the public should try to avoid these dangers as much as possible when the undesirable things they don’t want are happening. I would like to request the public to help each other and the international community to help us politically and provide humanitarian aid. We are working on these matters.

Q: Finally, what would you want to add?

A: Now we are working with great caution. The military council is using our people as pawns and human shields. On the other hand, it is laying many traps to create religious and racial conflicts with other ethnic groups. The key point is the public and revolutionary forces need to know and avoid the junta’s many traps.

Sent by Shan News.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here