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Home > Main Library > Internal armed conflict > Internal armed conflict in Burma > Non-Ceasefire Groups

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Non-Ceasefire Groups

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Daniel Pedersen.org
Description/subject: Website of author and journalist Daniel Pedersen, devoted largely to the military struggle of Burma's ethnic nationalities, with a strong focus on the Karen. Videos, photos, frontline reports, newsfeeds etc.
Source/publisher: Daniel Pedersen.org
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 January 2011


Individual Documents

Title: We Are Not Rebels… We Fight for Democracy: Ta’ang (TNLA) Soldiers
Date of publication: 13 July 2015
Description/subject: "Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the armed wing of Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), is one of the ethnic resistance armed organisations that vows not to lay down arms until there is a guarantee of political negotiations. Burma Link spoke with two TNLA soldiers, Mai and Mai Main, who were sent by their leaders to study human rights and politics in Mae Sot, so that they could go back to Ta’ang land and educate other soldiers. These two soldiers studied in Mae Sot for a year, and believed it is their responsibility to go back to Burma to educate others and safeguard their people’s rights. In this interview, they share their story on how and why they became involved with the TNLA and why the Ta’ang people so strongly support their army. Mai and Mai Main, aged 23 and 26, are now back in the battle fields of northern Shan State." ..."END NOTE: Although TNLA is a member of the ethnic alliance United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), the government has tried to exclude the group from the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) talks. TNLA is an ally of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and fights alongside the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in northern Shan State, to obtain freedom and to establish a genuine federal union. TNLA also fights to eliminate cultivation, production, sale and use of drugs in their traditional lands. Read more."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2016


Title: Ta’ang (Palaung) Leader Tar Aik Bong: ‘Without Proper Political Solutions, There Will Be No Lasting Peace’
Date of publication: 11 November 2014
Description/subject: "Tar Aik Bong is a leader of the Ta’ang (Palaung) people, one of Burma’s ethnic nationalities that continues a daily struggle for survival in largely inaccessible areas in northern Shan State. He joined the Ta’ang liberation movement in 1987, and currently serves as Chairman of Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF) and Head of the military commission of Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). TNLA is one of the few ethnic armies that continues to fight against the Burma army and vows not to lay down arms until equal rights and a lasting political solution is achieved. TNLA fights to “obtain freedom for all Ta’ang nationals from oppression, to form Ta’ang autonomous regions that guarantee democracy and human rights, to oppose and fight against dictatorship and any form of racial discrimination, to attain national equality and self-determination and to establish a genuine Federal Union that guarantees Ta’ang autonomy and to eliminate cultivation, production, sale and use of narcotics.” Tar Aik Bong is also a member of the ethnic alliance United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) council and Foreign Affairs Department. In an exclusive interview with Burma Link, Tar Aik Bong talks about the causes and current situation of the Ta’ang conflict, the role of the UNFC, and the brutal tactics that the Burmese military uses against Ta’ang civilians in order to cut the opposition movement. Tar Aik Bong also discusses the Burmese military’s instrumental role in the epidemic drug usage in Ta’ang areas, and TNLA’s plan to eradicate the drugs."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2016


Title: The world's longest ongoing war (video)
Date of publication: 11 August 2011
Description/subject: "For more than 60 years, Karen rebels have been fighting a civil war against the government of Myanmar...In February 1949, members of the Karen ethnic minority launched an armed insurrection against Myanmar's central government. In pictures: Sixty years of war. Over 60 years later, the conflict continues, with more than a dozen ethnic rebel groups waging war against the army in their fight for self-rule. Now, the war is entering a new and bloody stage. Myanmar is the only regime still regularly planting anti-personnel mines. But it is not only the army that uses them. Rebel groups also regularly use homemade landmines or mines seized from the military. As the conflict escalates, civilians are trapped in the middle of some of the worst fighting in decades. 101 East travels to Myanmar, home to the world's longest running civil war."
Language: English, Karen (English sub-titles)
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
Format/size: html, Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
Date of entry/update: 27 December 2011


Title: Burma's Longest War: Anatomy of the Karen Conflict
Date of publication: 28 March 2011
Description/subject: "Political grievances among Karen and other ethnic nationality communities, which have driven over half a century of armed conflict in Burma/Myanmar, remain unresolved. As the country enters a period of transition following the November 2010 elections and formation of a new government, the Karen political landscape is undergoing its most significant changes in a generation. There is a pressing need for Karen social and political actors to demonstrate their relevance to the new political and economic agendas in Burma, and in particular to articulate positions regarding the major economic and infrastructure development projects to be implemented in the coming years. The country's best-known insurgent organisation, the Karen National Union (KNU), is in crisis, having lost control of its once extensive 'liberated zones’, and lacks a political agenda relevant to all Karen communities. Meanwhile the government's demand that ceasefire groups, such as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, transform into Border Guard Forces under direct Burma Army control throws into question the future of various armed groups that have split from the KNU since the 1990s. In this context, Thailand-Burma border areas have seen an upsurge in fighting since late 2010. Nevertheless, the long-term prospect is one of the decline of insurgency as a viable political or military strategy. Equitable solutions to Burma's social, political and economic problems must involve settling long-standing conflicts between ethnic communities and the state. While Aung San Suu Kyi, the popular leader of the country's democracy movement, seems to recognise this fact, the military government, which holds most real power in the country, has sought to suppress and assimilate minority communities. It is yet to be seen whether Karen and other ethnic nationality representatives elected in November 2010 will be able to find the political space within which to exercise some influence on local or national politics. In the meantime, civil society networks operating within and between Karen and other ethnic nationality communities represent vehicles for positive, incremental change, at least at local levels."
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
Format/size: pdf (2MB - OBL version; 2.3MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/TNI-BurmasLongestWar-AshleySouth-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011


Title: Terror
Date of publication: 14 July 2007
Description/subject: Am Montag, dem 24. Januar 2000 besetzen zehn burmesische Terroristen das Zentralkrankenhaus im thailändischen Ratchaburi unweit der Grenze und nehmen Belegschaft und Patienten als Geiseln. Schnell ist in der Presse ausgemacht, dass es sich um die ‘God’s Army’ Rebellen der Zwillinge Johnny und Luther Htoo handeln muß. In einer Kommandoaktion thailändischer Spezialeinheiten werden in der Nacht zum Dienstag alle Geiselnehmer erschossen. KNLA; God`s Army; Kindersoldaten, Child Soldiers
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Burma Riders
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


Title: The Longest Fight
Date of publication: March 2006
Description/subject: "After 57 years of fighting for independence from the Burmese, the Karen National Union is beset by internal divisions, a lack of resources and an aging leadership..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung and Harry Priestley
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Mae Sot under the Microscope
Date of publication: February 2006
Description/subject: Australian journalist looks closely at life in a Thai border town... "Restless Souls. Refugees, Mercenaries, Medics and Misfits on the Thai Burma Border, by Phil Thornton, Asia Books, Bangkok; 2005. P240 Borders everywhere attract their fair share of humanitarians, traders, mercenaries, messiahs, opportunists and loons. The beautiful, rugged and long-suffering Burma-Thailand frontier region seems to have exceeded its quota of all of them some time ago, and the Thai border town of Mae Sot is now clogged with foreigners existing as a sort of parallel species to Thai, Burmese, Karen and Muslim inhabitants. Such is its fascination as the entrepôt for trade, refugees, drugs and conflict over the border that Mae Sot and its surroundings represent a microcosm of the deep malaise of Burma. Phil Thornton is an Australian journalist who has lived in Mae Sot for more than five years, working with a range of Karen groups and collecting stories of everyday survival. Restless Souls is a painfully authentic tour through the lives of ordinary people living in a zone of low-intensity conflict in the world’s longest and most ignored civil war, the 58-year struggle of the Karen people against the Burmese military..."
Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No.2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Soldiers of Misfortune
Date of publication: February 2006
Description/subject: Born in 1988, when students fled to Burma’s eastern border, the ABSDF army is now only a shell... "The All Burma Students’ Democratic Front was born out of bloodshed and political necessity. Many of its founding members fled Burma after the 1988 uprising and the brutal military coup that followed, and they formed the ABSDF in Karen National Union-controlled area near the Thailand-Burma border. Years of fighting a relentlessly cruel and well-funded army, diseases endemic to their jungle habitat such as malaria, dengue fever and a variety of respiratory illnesses, and the attrition of their forces, have taken their toll on the ABSDF. Most of the soldiers come from Rangoon or other urban areas, and the adaptation to a jungle environment is slow and difficult. A mere 300 of Burma’s kyaung-thar tatmadaw, or student army, remain in the field..."
Author/creator: Text by Yeni; photos by Paddy O’Hanlon
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No.2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: A Soldier's Duty
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: The troops of KNLA Battalion 101 stick to their guns... "...The KNU is one of Burma’s oldest and strongest armed ethnic opposition groups, and it has waged war with successive administrations of the Burmese government since 1949. Government troops overran KNU headquarters at Manerplaw in 1995, and since that time the group has lost ground in its fight for greater regional autonomy. In the last decade, other political developments have weakened the KNU. Neighboring Thailand had for many years adopted a policy of tacit collaboration with the Karen and other armed ethnic minority groups along the Thai-Burma border, hoping that they would establish a buffer zone against any encroachment by Burmese forces. This policy has changed in recent years as Thailand seeks to strengthen its economic and political ties with Rangoon. Despite more than a half century of armed conflict, the KNU has since 1995 made several efforts to open diplomatic lines of communication with Burma’s ruling junta to negotiate an equitable ceasefire agreement. In 2004, then deputy chairman Gen Bo Mya flew to Rangoon to hold peace talks with ex-prime minister Gen Khin Nyunt. The meeting—backed by some of Thailand’s top military and business leaders—produced a “gentleman’s agreement” to end hostilities in Karen State. Khin Nyunt’s subsequent ouster later in the year, however, ended any momentum towards an official ceasefire..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Uncertainty Reigns in Shan State
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Conflicting claims, suspicion and arrests create confusion... "Although the Rangoon regime insists that Shan State is stable, one armed opposition group, the Shan State Army (South), continues to hold out against government pressure to disarm. Relations between Shan groups and the regime are also strained because of the arrest in February of several ethnic leaders, including 82-year-old activist Shwe Ohn. Complicating the situation still further in Shan State is the status of the United Wa State Army, which maintains a de facto ceasefire with the regime while allegedly continuing to engage in a drugs trade protected by their own armed forces. The first ceasefire agreements between Shan ethnic groups and the regime were signed in 1989. The original agreements granted the groups business concessions, particularly in logging, and tax collection autonomy. They also allowed the groups to remain armed—but from early this year the regime has been pressing them to disarm under a program dubbed “Exchange Arms for Peace.”..."
Author/creator: Aung Lwin Oo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Bo Mya: In His Own Words
Date of publication: June 2002
Description/subject: "The recently published memoirs of former Karen leader Gen Bo Mya offer a glimpse into the inner workings of Burma's longest-running insurgent struggle..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 5, June 2002
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: It's a Jungle Out There
Date of publication: June 2002
Description/subject: "The "Kachin Massacre" was committed in northern Burma by members of the All Burma Students� Democratic Front (ABSDF), an armed group fighting the military. February 12th is a date of great significance for Burma. On that historical day in 1947, national hero Aung San and ethnic nationalities leaders signed the Panglong Agreement, which granted equality and national self-determination for all the people of Burma, and the date has been commemorated ever since. But on the 45th anniversary of what is now known as Union Day, in the jungles of Kachin State, a group of Burmese democracy activists were murdered under shadowy circumstances in 1992..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe, Naw Seng, Ko Thet
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 5, June 2002
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Drugs, Lies and Videotape
Date of publication: June 2000
Description/subject: Internal conflict and ideological differences have taken their toll on the decades-old Karenni insurgency, but the Karenni National Progressive Party remains one of the few ethnic-based political organizations in Burma still actively engaged in armed resistance against the Rangoon regime. Now, reports Neil Lawrence, the KNPP is facing a new challenge, as opium and other narcotics once confined to neighboring Shan State make their way into territory controlled by Rangoon's Karenni allies.
Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Every Karen Must be Involved in Political Destiny
Date of publication: June 2000
Description/subject: Padoe Saw Ba Thin Sein, chairman of the Karen National Union, spoke to The Irrawaddy recently about a host of issues affecting Burma's longest-running insurgency. In this frank interview, he discusses rumors of "secret meetings" with Rangoon, as well as claims that the KNU has been receiving military support from Thailand and Britain. He also touches on his own role in the KNU and the group's policies on drugs, Internally Displaced Persons, and ICRC visits in Karen State.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8, No. 6
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/interview_show.php?art_id=3573
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Ta’ang (Palaung) Leader’s Message to the International Community: ‘Come and See the Real Picture in Our Areas’
Description/subject: "The Ta’ang, also known as Palaung, are one of Burma’s myriad ethnic groups who have been fighting for basic human rights and autonomy for decades. Despite the international enthusiasm over Burma’s reform process, the reality in Burma’s ethnic borderlands remains dire, and the Burmese military continues its brutal offensive against ethnic civilians. Tar Aik Bong joined the Ta’ang struggle in 1987, and is now the Chairperson of the Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), the Head of military commission of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), as well as a member of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) council and Foreign Affairs Department. The PSLF/TNLA is one of the few prominent ethnic armed groups yet to sign a ceasefire with the Burmese government. The following is Tar Aik Bong’s message to the international community."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2016