About 20 military intelligence, police and other officials raided the Kyaington liaison office of the Restoration Council of Shan Statethis week but no arrests were made and nothing was seized, an officer with the ethnic group told Mizzima on May 8.
The Restoration Council of Shan State is also known as the Shan State Army (South), whose Lieutenant-Colonel Sai Soe Main said that the raid on May 6 was led by the local commander of Military Affairs Security and included Special Branch police, the Shan State police chief and ward administrators.
The raid began at about 4pm and lasted for about an hour, Lt-Col Sai Soe Main told Mizzima’s bureau in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
“We do not yet know what motivated these actions, they would not tell us; they just said to contact the MAS office if we had any questions,”said Lt-Col Sai Soe Main.
He said attempts were made on May 7 and 8 to contact the officer who led the raid, but his phone was turned off.
Lt-Col Sai Soe Main said the raid had taken place when he was due to attend a scheduled meeting at the Military Affairs Security office in Kyaington. When he arrived at the office, no one was available to meet him, he said.
The RCSS/SSA (South) signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in December 2011 and has since established seven liaison offices througout Shan State.
“Our ceasefire agreement with the government requires each party to give prior notice before visiting each other’s offices so these actions are a violation of trust,” Lt-Col Sai Soe Main said.
U Hla Maung Shwe, a senior advisor with the Myanmar Peace Center, told Mizzima on May 8 that he was unaware of the raid until the media had asked him for comment.
“I would imagine that these were the actions of over-eager local officials who were acting without instructions from their superiors,” said U Hla Maung Shwe.