A press conference was held in Bayintnaung Yeiktha in Nay Pyi Taw to explain the background history of Kokang insurgents and its attack on Laukkai area on Saturday.
Altogether 27 news agencies at home and eight foreign news agencies based in the country attended the press conference chaired by Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) together with senior military officers.
Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo said that Phon Kya Shin defected to Burma Communist Party in 1967; in 1989 Kokang group occupied the Northern Bureau in Mongko and seceded from BCP; and on 31 March 1989 Kokang leaders led 2706 troops, under the name of Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, bringing 1345 assorted weapons along with them, returned to the legal fold.
Under the reign of Tatmadaw government, Phon group led by Phon Kya Shin took the lead in politics and administration and Yan group led by Yang Mo Lian took charge in military affairs. As a result of the power struggles among them they became rivals. Phon Kya Shin cleverly controlled the region and engaged in drug trafficking, gambling and other black market businesses. According to the tip off that Phon Kya Shin was running weapon factory in Yanglonkyaing village, authorities concerned seized weapons and ammunitions in Laukkai. A notice was issued to transfer four suspects including Phon Kya Shin but he managed to escape. Displeased with the situation, they arrested Myanmar Police Force members and killed them brutally.
On 14 November 2011 U Sai Lin made an appeal to President to grant amnesty to Phon Kya Shin and the President agreed for the sake of national unity. But, Phon Kya Shin invested money received from drug trafficking and other businesses in China and Mongla. On 25 April, 2014, a combined team arrested 8 Chinese people together with weapons and ammunitions in 3-mile Checkpoint in Tamu. According to the investigation, they joined the Kokang insurgents because of incentives given by the group. As they were not given salary and allowance and were treated badly, they killed the deputy compang commander and fled the group.
Kokang insurgents built their strength to regain their area with the help of UWSA, NDAA, KIA and TNLA. Kokang insurgents were equipped with numerous weapons including Type-81-1 assault rifle said to be manufactured by UWSA (Wa) group.
National Solidarity Army is formed with one unit with the strength of 300 from KIA, one brigade comprising 4 units from UWSA (Wa) group and Kokang insurgents totalling 1000. Their objective is to occupy the whole region of Kokang and then from Myanmar-China border to Myitkyina.
In early 2014, about 1000 troops led by Phon Kya Shin mobilized in Mongla and went under training. With the combined strength of SSA (Wanghai), TNLA and KIA they tried to attack Laukkai and Mongko. But the Tatmadaw got a tip off and combed the area and thus their objective was spoiled and sneaked into villages as ordinary civilians. On 29 December 2014, Phon Kya Shin, in meeting with Global Time news agency, exposed that he had a plan to face Myanmar Tatmadaw.
Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo continued to explain the current situation starting from 9 to 15 February 2015 saying that the Tatmadaw could spoiled insurgent’s
objective. He highlighted that the current situation involved toppling the elected government of self-administered zone and it is relating to the sovereignty. This is amounted to attacking the Government and Tatmadaw will never tolerate such a situation and never give up. The Tatmadaw has warned Mongla group, Wa group, KIA, TNLA and SSA (Wanhai) as they are engaged in the incidents.
Now, administrative mechanism in Laukkai is paralyzed and Tatmadaw has to control the situation.
On 12 February, Phon Kya Shin spread a propaganda through Chinese online page that they were Han tribes and sought help as they were tortured by Myanmar government. On the other hand, he requested the President to show sympathy on them as they are one of the nationalities of 135 national people. On 16 February, he sent an open letter to the president stating that they want to discharge the duty of the state as a family members. Up to this date, seven officers, 48 other ranks sacrificed their lives with 12 officers and 96 other ranks injured. Now, Tatmadaw is engaged in evacuation measures. Enemy’s causalities were about 72 including one with the rank of Brigade Commander and one with the rank of Commanding Officer of Special Attack Force. The Tatmadaw could also seize 115 assorted weapons, ammunitions, landmines, and drugs.
Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo concluded his explanation by saying that Tatmadaw will do their to safeguard the lives and property of the people and curb the attempts of insurgents to take foothold along border areas.
Senior Officers replied to the queries raised by the journalists and they viewed round the documents displayed at the press conference room.