Real battle

The Kachin Post / September 27, 2021

PDF Jungle camp at undisclosed location

The February 2021 coup in Burma could be an assault on democracy for the international community or youth, better called as “Generation Z” but it is not that surprising for common Burmese who had lived more than 60 years under such a regime.

In March-April’ 21, various platforms were created including the shadow govt National Unity Government (NUG) and People Defence Forces (PDF) or Civil Armies in most of the regions. Ethnic Armed Organizations like Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Karen National Union (KNU) came forward to support and extend arms training facilities to urban and rural youth. But the question still remains how many of them were actually committed to the cause or it was just an adventure camp for the rest to embrace nature.

Posting training videos, arms displayed on the social media by some of the models or Miss Myanmar or singers is not warranted. Such acts only show the real intent. Secondly, one should be fair enough about the capabilities. Just making fake claims of killing Burmese soldiers won’t serve the purpose for long. One would be surprised to read the daily bulletin issued by “Free Burma Rangers” only highlighting and exaggerating the strength of PDFs, it is propaganda only, what purpose does it serve finally?

There are people who know Burma better than David Eubank of Free Burma Ranger. There is no comparison between a newly trained PDF cadre and a seasoned Army man. Yes PDF may have better camouflage uniforms, new weapons, communication devices but they lack real time battle experience. PDF can sustain through guerrilla tactics but they can’t fight conventional war even for an hour. Guerrilla warfare is deceptive and terrain plays a more important role.

There is no doubt PDFs have managed to check Burma Army advances in some pockets but order of battle is still with the Burma Army only. Questions remain whether PDF will manage pace of resistance or it will go down. Top Burma Army Commander, Maj Gen Myo Min Tun of Trilateral Region Command (TRC) had directed People’s Militia Forces (PMF) in Tachliek border town in Shan State near to Laos- Myanmar-Thailand border to cut off arms and ammunition supplies to PDF and recruit youth for Burma Army.

So it is a strategic move of blocking resources and consolidating the strength by recruiting locals. Similar moves are being carried by the Burma Army on western border with India. Here Burma Army is greasing the Nagas and this is the reason no CDM in Naga area has a similar situation in Rakhine as they managed Arakan Army.

To counter PDF in Sagaing they are using Kathe (Manipuris) rebels whom they have sheltered for decades. Some PDFs are doing business too as they want to eat cake at both ends. Recently on Sept 17, one PDF called Tamu Security Group (TSG) issued warning to Kathe (Manipuris) for cooperating with Burma Army but to their surprise when they were asked whether they were against them, they changed their stand and expressed solidarity with Kathe rather.

Such groups would be of nuisance value actually as they don’t have a stand or ideology rather do business in the name of cause. The same Kathe rebels targeted the local Burmese and Gurkha community in Tamu in May 2021 but TSG character speaks something else. People should not promote such PDF or hoax groups nor should affiliate with them. Time is not far these so called PDF or Civil defence armies would take the shape of local rebels operating in their areas and doing taxation. Resources will dry up soon, as the economy is on the verge of collapse and the shadow Govt NUG has no control over such entities.

NUG is more like a media company. Nobody knows where NUG Vice President Duwa Lashi La, who had announced “Resistance War” or “D Day”. A battle without a Commander is just like a body without a soul. Shadow hardly lasts, better to be realistic rather. Ethnic-Bamar divide is strong and it will remain forever. For SAC, ethnic people are not a priority, but their natural resources are. Ethnic people too understand whether its NUG or Aung San Suu Kyi led National League for Democracy (NLD), fates are the same.