Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pyrrhic victory in Myanmar

By Anthony Davis

The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and... there were no others there to make recruits. - Plutarch

The apparently relentless advance of the Myanmar military eastwards towards the town of Laiza, headquarters of the insurgent Kachin Independence Army (KIA), has involved some of the heaviest sustained fighting in the country since independence in 1948.

Predictably, international news coverage has focused on two salient elements of the conflict: the sheer weight of force, including newly acquired air-power, brought to bear by the government; and the yawning gulf between the conciliatory statements emanating from the office of President Thein Sein and the actions of the military, or Tatmadaw, on the ground .

However, reports of air-strikes and cease-fires-that-never-happened have tended to obscure another less obvious but arguably more important aspect of the war: the striking battlefield failings and losses of the Tatmadaw, which over the past 20 years has benefited from the lion's share of government spending, a dramatic increase in manpower and a transformational modernization of its weaponry.

Pitting a conventional army equipped with artillery, armor and air-power against guerrilla forces attempting to defend a fixed position, the battle for Laiza should have been nasty, brutish and short. In the event, it unfolded as a drawn-out, meat-grinder campaign which at best marks a painfully pyrrhic victory for the government.

At worst, the costly failures of the war in Kachin state - and they are probably not yet over - will have significant political repercussions in addition to the substantial military losses incurred. Both in terms of the future relations between the central government and the armed ethnic minorities, and no less importantly the standing of the military as a national institution, the battle for Laiza and the Kachin war more generally may well mark a watershed in the nation's politics.

Targeted broadly at the KIA's Laiza headquarters on the Chinese border, the Tatmadaw campaign, code-named "Operation Thunderbolt", appears to have been aimed either at bludgeoning the insurgents back to the cease-fire agreement which collapsed in June 2011, or, failing that, decapitating the KIA by neutralizing its command center and logistics hub in a manner that would permit a declaration of victory over its scattered residual forces.

After a year-and-a-half of mounting government losses in Kachin state, the offensive also reflected real impatience in the upper echelons of the Tatmadaw over both the intransigence of the KIA - estimated to field a main force of some 7,000 to 10,000 fighters - and the prospect of an open-ended guerrilla war.

The insurgents' political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), has made any renewed cease-fire conditional on the promise of politically substantive, national-level negotiations between the government and the ethnic minorities. Such a position almost certainly implies significant changes to the military-scripted, centralist constitution of 2008.

An optimum scenario for the both government and Tatmadaw would have been a KIO decision last year to renew the cease-fire. But it was also clear that contingency planning and preparations for a major offensive in the current dry season (November- April) - which also served to increase psychological pressure on the Kachins - were in train since at least early 2012.

In March, the Tatmadaw staged a major divisional-level exercise near Meiktila in central Myanmar. Attended by commander-in-chief Vice Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the exercise involved all 10 battalions of the Meiktila-based 99th Light Infantry Division, supported by armored and artillery units, while reportedly using a command post sand-table modeled on the Laiza area. Significantly, the usually secretive military ensured the war-games were given wide media coverage, not least on television.

In April, the military began a protracted build-up of forces deployed in the northern regional command area, moving men, armor and artillery north both by rail to the Kachin state capital at Myitkyina, north of the Laiza area of operations, and by boat up the Irrawaddy river to Bhamo, to the south. Aviation assets, notably light strike jets and a range of helicopters including the Air Force's new Mi-35 Hind-E gunships, were forward-based at Myitkyina, a few minutes flying time from Laiza. Almost certainly the largest single operational build-up in the history of the Tatmadaw, these deployments were closely monitored by the KIA, which saw them as a direct threat.

Significantly, the bulk of the manpower reinforcements were from light infantry divisions (LIDs). Well-trained mobile formations, of which the Tatmadaw fields 10, these divisions operate independently of various regional commands and essentially constitute a large strategic reserve force answering direct to the War Office in Naypyidaw.

Battalions from the 33rd, 66th, 88th, 99th and 101st LIDs - none of which are home-based in Kachin State - are now operating under a theater-level Bureau of Strategic Operations in Myitkyina, headed by Lieutenant General Myint Soe. A tactical military operations command (MOC 21) overseeing the Laiza campaign specifically is based at Bhamo and headed by northern region commander Brigadier General Tun Tun Naung.

Despite this build-up, the KIA failed to blink and the Operation Thunderbolt offensive around Laiza began in mid-December. Since then, one of the most noteworthy aspects of the war has been the striking disconnect between the nine-month lead-time for planning and preparations enjoyed by the Tatmadaw command on the one hand, and the tactically disjointed and frequently inept execution of operations on the other.

Particularly in its opening phases, Operation Thunderbolt, touted in advance as an exercise in "shock and awe", might more accurately have been dubbed "Operation Heavy Drizzle".

Tactical confusion

Broadly, the battle for Laiza unfolded as two overlapping phases in different sectors of the area of operations. Opening on December 14, the first phase focused squarely on the area around Laja Yang. Often described as the gateway to Laiza, Laja Yang is a cluster of villages just north of the Tapin river astride the main two-lane highway between Myitkyina and Bhamo. At the northern end of the bridge across the river, a turn-off from the highway leads east along the Tapin valley leads towards the Chinese border and the KIA headquarters some 15 kilometers away.

From December 14, it was immediately apparent that an army with significant conventional capabilities had neither a plan nor the assets to launch a concerted offensive up the most direct axis of advance to Laiza and the Chinese border. Typically this would have involved a combined-arms operation involving armor and mechanised infantry, preceded by artillery bombardments and air-strikes and backed by close air support, breaking through Kachin defences at Laja Yang and pushing as rapidly as possible along the Tapin valley to the border.

Such a thrust would have posed a direct threat to the KIA's nerve-center while at the same time splitting the insurgents' Laiza-based 3rd Brigade from their 5th Brigade based near Maija Yang on the Chinese border to the south.

This would have been the "shock and awe" option. Indeed, it is difficult to exaggerate the impact of such a combined-arms advance involving intense fire-power along a relatively narrow corridor of advance, particularly against lightly-armed guerrillas. As this writer witnessed during Soviet offensives in Afghanistan's Panjshir valley in the 1980s, the combination of armor and mechanised infantry backed by air-strikes and low-flying helicopter gunships is both unnerving and generally decisive.

Rather than seizing the initiative in the battle for Laiza, however, the Tatmadaw appeared to back into the fighting in tactical confusion and with a striking lack of preparation. Reports indicate that the fighting on December 14 escalated as government forces attempted to resupply posts in the Laja Yang area and were then ambushed in strength. On that day alone, the KIA claimed the government had lost 50 dead, a figure which, even if exaggerated, suggests significant casualties.

Despite the swift commitment of air-strikes, the fighting at Laja Yang then bogged down in protracted, piece-meal engagements that remarkably lasted until January 24, when government forces eventually secured the area after taking control of the high ground on both sides of the valley. Despite relatively flat terrain, it appears armor was never seriously committed. 

The second phase of the campaign began around New Year. Blocked on the most direct axis of advance to Laiza, Tatmadaw forces began pushing into the KIA's rugged mountain redoubt to the north and east of Laja Yang. This multi-pronged advance then became by default the focus of operations and involved a series of bitter, meat-grinder contests for the various heights on which the KIA was dug in. As they inched forward, Tatmadaw infantry came to rely less on air power and increasingly on intense bombardments from 105mm artillery and 120mm mortars.

The first key height to fall was Bumre Bum (feature 771) on January 3, followed by the Tibet Post and the Wai Maw Post. From these features, government forces moved into the Hka Ya Hkyet valley then launched a brutal uphill assault on the high ground of Hka Ya Bum. Under heavy artillery fire, the KIA were
finally forced to withdraw from Hka Ya Bum on January 26, bringing Tatmadaw forces to positions effectively dominating Laiza town.

Curiously, the government advance on Laiza played to the few advantages the KIA enjoyed in an otherwise entirely unequal contest: intimate knowledge of the terrain, initial control of the heights and far shorter lines of communication and resupply. For this, the Tatmadaw evidently paid heavily in term of casualties. According to one well-placed local analyst, the capture of Hka Ya Bum cost over 120 government dead and nearly 400 wounded.

The second surprise in the Laiza campaign was the Tatmadaw's failure to exploit air-power effectively. While repeated sorties by both jets and helicopters marked a sharp escalation of the war and attracted widespread international criticism, Kachin reports suggest the actual battlefield impact was fairly ineffectual. Indeed, by the second week in January there was a clear shift away from the near-daily air strikes seen earlier in favor of sustained artillery bombardments - which certainly did have a lethal effect.

The lack of effective air support is likely to have stemmed from two factors. First, close tactical coordination between front-line ground forces and supporting air assets is critical, particularly in rugged, wooded terrain where the lines are often fluid and difficult to see from the air. The nature and location of the air strikes suggests this coordination was inadequate, if not entirely lacking. Unconfirmed reports of a friendly fire incident in December at Pangwa to the north of Laiza, where Mi-35s were first committed, may have contributed to uncertainty in operations near Laiza.

The second factor is the altitude at which air support assets are prepared to operate. Video footage from the battlefield invariably showed both jets and helicopters bombing and rocketing from considerable altitude and suggests that Tatmadaw close air support (CAS) was in fact never that close. It also appears that many air strikes were directed at suspected KIA positions well behind the front lines. As a result, the local forests and wild life appears to have suffered far more damage than the Kachin insurgents.

Fear of ground-fire may also have pushed inexperienced pilots to higher altitudes. But the 12.7mm heavy machine-guns fielded by the Kachin pose only a minor threat to fast-flying jets and heavily-armored, titanium-bellied Mi-35 gunships; and losses were in any case slight. Battlefield reports indicated that one Mi-8 helicopter was damaged on December 14 and seen flying back to Myitkyina trailing smoke. On January 11, both sides confirmed the crash of an Mi-35 over KIA territory.

According to the government, the loss was the result of mechanical failure rather than ground-fire, an account which is entirely credible given the Mi-35's capacity to absorb small-arms fire on the one hand and servicing by newly trained, inexperienced ground crew on the other. Video footage shot on December 31 or January 1 and aired in international news broadcasts also appeared to show one K-8 jet hit by ground fire, catching fire, and dropping in a vertical, uncontrolled descent. But this loss, if indeed there was one, was never confirmed by either side.

Given the failure to use either armor or airpower effectively, it is extremely unlikely that Tatmadaw commanders even contemplated the possibility of air assault operations - the use of helicopters to insert company or even battalion-sized infantry forces behind enemy lines. A regular and highly effective feature of Soviet, and to a lesser extent, US counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan, the tactic permits attacks on enemy positions from the rear, cuts lines of communication and supply, and, not least, sows panic and confusion in enemy ranks.

Low military morale

While incomplete, the evidence emerging over the past month from Laiza suggests strongly that the Tatmadaw is still an army coming to grips with modern war-fighting. A force that has rapidly acquired a wide array of new equipment including armor, artillery, helicopters and jets, it has yet to develop the doctrine, training, logistical support capabilities or operational experience required to use them. In short, the Tatmadaw is still fighting its last major war, which took place over 20 years ago and was quintessentially about light infantry and artillery.

The difficulties of integrating and adapting to new equipment have undoubtedly been compounded by persistent problems of manpower and morale. Despite the rapid expansion of the military's order of battle over the past two decades, it is no secret that Tatmadaw units in the field are woefully undermanned, underpaid and under-supported.

Battalions that typically should number 700 or more troops divided into three or four companies are in the Tatmadaw the size of reinforced companies at best, generally with 200-250 men or less. Unsurprisingly, reports from international human rights organizations of forced recruitment and the use of child soldiers emerge from this terrain.

Equally unsurprising is that higher than acceptable desertion rates have been a focus of documented concern within the Tatmadaw command for years. An internal document obtained by IHS-Jane's in 2007 pinpointed false reporting, haphazard inspections and poor record-keeping as chronic problems, while battalion commanders were criticized for excessive drinking, womanizing, and pursuing private business activities. Morale among enlisted ranks was low, noted the document, contributing to high rates of desertion.

The spiralling human cost of the war can only exacerbate problems of morale and desertion. According to statistics released on pro-government blog-sites, between June 2011 and early December at least 5,000 troops were killed in Kachin state - or more than the combined total of US combat deaths (4,977) in over a decade of war in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Laiza campaign will have contributed a grim addition of several hundred more to that number.

By any standards, such a toll in 19 months of essentially guerrilla conflict is a sobering statistic. While much of the carnage speaks to the resilience and determination of the KIA, there can also be no doubt that shortcomings in Tatmadaw equipment, training, competence and morale are also responsible.

Video footage posted on YouTube in the aftermath of a December ambush of a government convoy on the Bhamo-Myitkyina road provided a bleak insight into this situation. Bodies of dead Tatmadaw troops lie scattered in and around small, burnt-out pick-up trucks: after a year-and-a-half of war, armoured vehicles are nowhere to be seen.

Short of agreeing to national-level negotiations with the still-loose ethnic alliance of the United Nationalities Federation Council (of which the KIO is a member), it remains unclear how the Tatmadaw can extricate itself from the Kachin quagmire. A KIA call for a renewed cease-fire is probably less likely after the capture or neutralization of Laiza than it might have been before. Indeed, the most likely short-term scenario is a reversion to classic guerrilla tactics including the possibility of urban attacks and sabotage beyond Kachin state.

Entirely clear, however, is that the Tatmadaw's operational performance will have been monitored by other armed minority groups. In notable contrast to the military's swift foray into the Kokang Special region in August 2009, the Kachin war will almost certainly embolden rather than intimidate other ethnic guerrilla outfits. This is especially true of the Wa, based along the Chinese border in northeastern Shan state.

Fielding 20,000 regular troops backed by local militia forces, the United Wa State Army is over twice the size of the KIA, generally better trained and certainly better equipped. Since the Tatmadaw takeover of Kokang, it has upgraded an already impressive arsenal, not least with new armored vehicles and Chinese HN-5 series man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). It is also closely allied to the National Democratic Alliance Army in eastern Shan State and more loosely with the Shan State Army-North.

Given that the military and political costs of the Kachin conflict would be dwarfed by a war against this powerful insurgent combine, any major new Tatmadaw campaigns in eastern Shan State in the coming three years are virtually inconceivable. From the perspective of the Wa and other ethnic forces, the Tatmadaw may now be seen as a giant with feet of clay. The implications for negotiations over Myanmar's new political shape are likely to be profound.

Anthony Davis is a Bangkok-based security analyst for IHS-Jane's.

(Copyright 2013 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)


ယမ္းေငြ႕ေ၀ဆဲ ကခ်င္ေျမ (၃)       PDF Print
 Written by ေနထြန္းႏိုင္   
Monday, 21 January 2013 10:43
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KIA စစ္သားတစ္ဦး၏ နာေရးအခမ္းအနား မတိုင္မီ ေတြ႔ရေသာ KIA စစ္သားႏွစ္ဦးအား ၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္ ဒီဇင္ဘာလ ၃၁ ရက္ေန႔က ေတြ႔ရစဥ္။

ဒီဇင္ဘာလ ၂၈ ရက္ေန႔ မြန္းလြဲပိုင္းေက်ာ္ခ်ိန္မွာေတာ့ တ႐ုတ္ႏိုင္ငံထဲကို ေရာက္ခဲ့ပါၿပီ။ အခ်ိန္တစ္နာရီေက်ာ္ေလာက္ သြားၿပီးခ်ိန္မွာ ကူယံုးၿမိဳ႕ကို ေရာက္ပါတယ္။ ဒီၿမိဳ႕လြန္ရင္ေတာ့ ေမွာင္ခိုလမ္းကို အသံုးျပဳၿပီး လိုင္ဇာကို ခရီးဆက္ရမွာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ကူယံုးမွာ ခဏနားမယ္လို႔ တ႐ုတ္ယာဥ္ေမာင္းက ေျပာပါတယ္။ ေမွာင္ခိုလမ္းမွာ ရဲေတြေရာက္ေနလို႔ ရဲရွင္းမွ ဆက္သြားႏိုင္မယ္လို႔ သူကဆက္ေျပာပါတယ္။

ကူယံုးလြန္ၿပီး သိပ္မၾကာခင္မွာ ေမွာင္ခိုလမ္းကို ျဖတ္ရပါတယ္။ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ကိုင္ေဆာင္ထားတဲ့ နယ္စပ္ျဖတ္ေက်ာ္ခြင့္ လက္မွတ္ဆိုတာ ထိန္ခ်ံဳး-ေရႊလီ အစရွိတဲ့ တယ္ဟုန္တိုင္းအတြင္းထဲပဲ ျဖတ္သန္းခြင့္ရွိပါတယ္။ ကန္ပိုက္တီးကေန ရင္က်န္း၊ ေရႊလီ သြားသူတိုင္း ေမွာင္ခိုလမ္းကို ျဖတ္ရပါတယ္။ အေ၀းေျပးလမ္းမေပၚမွာ ရွိေနတဲ့ လူ၀င္မႈၾကီးၾကပ္ေရး႐ံုးကို ေက်ာ္ျဖတ္ဖို႔အတြက္ ေမွာင္ခိုလမ္းကို အသံုးျပဳခဲ့ရတာပါ။

လူ၀င္မႈႀကီးၾကပ္ေရး႐ံုးက ေပါက္ဆန္းခ႐ိုင္ ျဖတ္သန္းခြင့္ကို စိစစ္တာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ေပါက္ဆန္းခ႐ိုင္ကို တ႐ုတ္ႏိုင္ငံသားေတြပဲ ျဖတ္သန္းခြင့္ ရွိပါတယ္။ ေပါက္ဆန္းခ႐ိုင္ လူ၀င္မႈႀကီးၾကပ္ေရး႐ံုးကို ေက်ာ္ႏိုင္ဖို႔ ေမွာင္ခိုလမ္းကို သံုးရတာပါ။ ေမွာင္ခိုလမ္းက ႏွစ္ခုရွိပါတယ္။ တစ္ခုက သစ္၊ ေက်ာက္စိမ္း အစရွိတာေတြကို ခိုးထုတ္တဲ့ ေတာလမ္းျဖစ္ျပီး ေနာက္တစ္လမ္းက တ႐ုတ္-ရွမ္းေတြ ေနထိုင္တဲ့ ေက်းရြာအတြင္း လမ္းေလွ်ာက္ျဖတ္သန္းရတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ယာဥ္ေမာင္းက ေတာလမ္းကို ေရြးခ်ယ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။
ဒီဇင္ဘာ ၂၈ ရက္ ည ၇ နာရီေက်ာ္ခ်ိန္မွာ ရင္က်န္းကို ေရာက္ပါတယ္။ လိုင္ဇာကို ဆက္သြားဖို႔အတြက္ ပံုမွန္ေျပးဆြဲေနတဲ့ လိုင္းကားေတြ မရွိေတာ့တဲ့ အခ်ိန္မို႔ ကားငွားၿပီး သြားရပါတယ္။ ည ၁၀ နာရီ ၀န္းက်င္အခ်ိန္မွာ လိုင္ဇာ (တ႐ုတ္ဘက္ျခမ္း) ကို ေရာက္ပါတယ္။ လိုင္ဇာ (တ႐ုတ္ဘက္ျခမ္း) က တ႐ုတ္လူ၀င္မႈႀကီးၾကပ္ေရးမွဴး႐ံုး ပိတ္သြားၿပီမို႔ တ႐ုတ္ဘက္ျခမ္းမွာပဲ တစ္ညအိပ္ဖို႔ ဆံုးျဖတ္လိုက္ပါတယ္။

ဒီဇင္ဘာလ ၂၉ ရက္ေန႔၊ နံနက္ပိုင္းမွာေတာ့ လိုင္ဇာကို ေျခခ်ႏိုင္ခဲ့ပါၿပီ။ KIO က ဖြင့္ထားတဲ့ လူ၀င္မႈၾကီးၾကပ္ေရးဌာန ေရာက္ခ်ိန္မွာ "ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔က ဘယ္သူေတြလဲ" ဆိုတဲ့ ေမးခြန္းကို တာ၀န္က် KIA စစ္သားတစ္ဦးက ေမးပါတယ္။ "ဂ်ာနယ္လစ္ေတြ၊ ရန္ကုန္က လာခဲ့တာပါ။ ဗိုလ္မွဴးႀကီး ဂ်ီးေနာင္ဆီကို ဖုန္းဆက္ထားပါတယ္" လို႔ ေျပာၿပီးခ်ိန္မွာ ခဏေစာင့္ဖို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။  ခဏအၾကာမွာ KIA စစ္ဗိုလ္တစ္ဦး ေရာက္လာခဲ့ပါတယ္။  ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ကို ဘယ္သူေတြလဲလို႔ ထပ္ေမးပါတယ္။ မူလက ေျပာခဲ့တဲ့အတိုင္း ဂ်ာနယ္လစ္ေတြပါ၊ ဗိုလ္မွဴးႀကီး ဂ်ီးေနာင္ကို အေၾကာင္းၾကားထားပါတယ္လို႔ ထပ္ေျပာလိုက္ပါတယ္။ "ဗိုလ္မွဴးႀကီး ဂ်ီးေနာင္တို႔ အစည္းအေ၀းလုပ္ေနတယ္" လို႔ သူက ျပန္ေျပာပါတယ္။ ေနာက္ၿပီး ျမစ္ႀကီးနားဟိုတယ္-၂ ကို လိုက္ပို႔ပါတယ္။ လိုင္ဇာကို ေရာက္ရွိခ်ိန္မွာေတာ့ လက္နက္ႀကီးက်သံေတြကို ဆက္တိုက္နီးပါး ၾကားလာရပါတယ္။

ျမစ္ႀကီးနားဟိုတယ္ကို ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ေရာက္သြားခ်ိန္အထိ KIO ဘက္က ဘာမွတုံ႔ျပန္တာ မရွိေသးပါဘူး။ ဟိုတယ္မွာပဲ ေစာင့္ခိုင္းထားပါတယ္။ လိုင္ဇာၿမိဳ႕တြင္း အေျခအေန သိရဖို႔ အျပင္ထြက္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ လိုင္ဇာေခ်ာင္းနံေဘး ေရထြက္ေပါက္ေတြမွာ ၀င္ေရာက္ခိုလံႈေနတဲ့ လိုင္ဇာၿမိဳ႕ခံေတြ၊ ကေလးေတြကို ျမင္ေတြ႕ရပါတယ္။ ဒီဇင္ဘာလ ၂၈ ရက္ေန႔က လိုင္ဇာၿမိဳ႕ေပၚ ပ်ံ၀ဲၿပီး လဂ်ားယန္ကို ပစ္ခတ္သြားတဲ့ တပ္မေတာ္တိုက္ေလယာဥ္ေတြကို ထိတ္လန္႔ေနပံု ရပါတယ္။ လိုင္ဇာကို ေလေၾကာင္းတိုက္ခိုက္မႈ လုပ္လိမ့္မယ္ဆိုတဲ့ ေကာလာဟလက ပ်ံ႕ႏွံ႔ေနပါတယ္။

လိုင္ဇာမေနာကြင္းနား ေရာက္ခ်ိန္မွာ KIO ျပန္ၾကားေရးဌာနက ထုတ္ျပန္ထားတဲ့ ေၾကညာခ်က္ေတြကို ျပထားတဲ့ ေၾကာ္ျငာဘုတ္ေတြကို ေတြ႕ရပါတယ္။ ၂၀၁၁ ခုႏွစ္ ဇြန္လမွာ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ဘာေၾကာင့္ျဖစ္ခဲ့ရတယ္။ သူတို႔ဘာေၾကာင့္ စစ္တိုက္ေနရတယ္။ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး ေဆြးေႏြးဖို႔အတြက္ ဘယ္လိုေတြ လုပ္ေဆာင္ခဲ့တယ္။ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးေဆြးေႏြးပြဲမွာ ဘာေတြကို ေဆြးေႏြးခဲ့တယ္ အစရွိတာေတြအျပင္ ဘိန္းျဖဴေရာင္းခ်တဲ့အတြက္ ဖမ္းဆီးထိန္းသိမ္းခဲ့သူေတြရဲ႕ သတင္း၊ ဓာတ္ပံုေတြကိုလည္း ျပသထားခဲ့ပါတယ္။

လိုင္ဇာဟိုတယ္အနီးကို ျပန္ေရာက္ခ်ိန္မွာ KIA ျပန္ၾကားေရး အရာရွိတစ္ဦးက ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ကိုေခၚၿပီး ေတြ႕ပါတယ္။ "ဘာေၾကာင့္ လိုင္ဇာကို ေရာက္လာခဲ့သလဲ" ဆိုတာကို ေမးပါတယ္။ "လိုင္ဇာမွာ သတင္းယူဖို႔ ဗိုလ္မွဴးႀကီး ဂ်ီးေနာင္နဲ႔ ဆက္သြယ္ထားပါတယ္" လို႔ ေျပာေတာ့ သူက "ဗိုလ္မွဴးႀကီး ဂ်ီးေနာင္နဲ႔ ေတြ႕ၿပီးရင္ ျပန္မွာလား" လို႔ ေမးပါတယ္။ "တိုက္ပြဲအေျခအေနေတြကို သတင္းယူခ်င္ပါေသးတယ္" လို႔ ျပန္ေျပာလိုက္ပါတယ္။ ဓာတ္ပံုတစ္ပံု၊ မွတ္ပံုတင္မိတၱဴနဲ႔ သတင္းေထာက္ကတ္ မိတၱဴလိုခ်င္ပါတယ္လို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။

လိုင္ဇာၿမိဳ႕ထဲကို ေရာက္လာတဲ့ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔အတြက္ သူတို႔မွာ တာ၀န္ရွိတယ္။ Press Card ထုတ္ေပးမယ္။ လိုအပ္တာေတြ စီစဥ္ေပးမယ္။ သူတို႔ ထုတ္ေပးတဲ့ Press Card မရွိဘူးဆိုရင္ေတာ့ ျဖစ္လာတဲ့ ျပႆနာေတြကို သူတို႔ တာ၀န္မယူႏိုင္ဘူးလို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။ Press Card လုပ္ဖို႔အတြက္ ရွင္းျပတာေတြကို ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ လက္ခံလိုက္ပါတယ္။ ဟိုတယ္မွာျပန္ၿပီး ေစာင့္ေနပါ။ သူျပန္ၿပီး ဆက္သြယ္မယ္လို႔ ေျပာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီလိုနဲ႔ ဟိုတယ္ကို ျပန္ခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ အခ်ိန္ေတာ္ေတာ္ ၾကာတဲ့အထိ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ကို ျပန္ၿပီး ဆက္သြယ္မလာပါဘူး။ ျပႆနာတစ္ခုခု ျဖစ္ေနၿပီလားဆိုတဲ့ အေတြးက ၀င္လာပါတယ္။

ပံုမွန္အားျဖင့္ေတာ့ လိုင္ဇာကိုလာတဲ့ ဂ်ာနယ္လစ္တိုင္းက ေရႊလီဘက္က လာၾကတာပါ။ ျမစ္ႀကီးနား-ကန္ပိုက္တီး လမ္းဘက္က လာေလ့မရွိပါဘူး။ ျမစ္ႀကီးနား-ကန္ပိုက္တီး လမ္းဘက္က ၀င္လာတဲ့ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ေတြကို သူတို႔ဘက္က ယံုၾကည္ပံု မရွိပါဘူး။ ေနာက္တစ္ခ်က္က စစ္ရွိန္ျမင့္တဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ ေရာက္လာျခင္းပါ။ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ဘယ္သူေတြလဲဆိုတာ သိဖို႔အတြက္ သူတို႔ဘက္က စိစစ္မႈကို အခ်ိန္အေတာ္ၾကာ လုပ္လိုက္ရပါတယ္။

မြန္းလြဲ တစ္နာရီေက်ာ္ခ်ိန္မွာေတာ့ KIA ျပန္ၾကားေရးဗိုလ္ႀကီး ျပန္ေရာက္လာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ သူ႔လက္ထဲမွာ Press Card ေတြ ကိုင္လာပါတယ္။ စိတ္သက္သာရာ ရသြားပါတယ္။ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔အေၾကာင္း ျမစ္ႀကီးနားကိုေရာ၊ ရန္ကုန္ဘက္ကိုပါ လွမ္းစံုစမ္းၿပီးၿပီလို႔ သူက ထုတ္ေျပာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ေစာင့္ေနရတဲ့အတြက္ ေတာင္းပန္ေၾကာင္း ေျပာပါတယ္။ အေျခအေနေတြက ေျပာင္းလဲသြားပါတယ္။ "ျမစ္ႀကီးနားမွာ ကင္မရာေတာင္ ကိုင္ခြင့္မရွိတဲ့အတြက္ ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔ ဒီေရာက္လာတယ္ဆိုတာ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ သိထားၿပီးပါၿပီ" လို႔ သူကေျပာပါတယ္။

"ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔ ဘာလုပ္ခ်င္တယ္ဆိုတာကို သိခ်င္ပါတယ္၊ ဒါမွ စီစဥ္ေပးလို႔ရမယ္" ဆိုၿပီး သူကဆက္ေျပာပါတယ္။ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ဘက္က အခ်က္သံုးခ်က္ ေတာင္းဆိုပါတယ္။ ေရွ႕တန္းစခန္း သြားခ်င္တယ္။ ဒုကၡသည္စခန္းကို သြားခ်င္တယ္။ ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ဂြမ္ေမာ္ (ဒါမွမဟုတ္) စစ္ပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာ အဆံုးအျဖတ္ေပးႏိုင္မယ့္သူကို ေတြ႕ခ်င္တယ္။ အစရွိတဲ့ သံုးခုကို ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ေတာင္းဆိုခဲ့ပါတယ္။ 

"လိုင္ဇာမွာ ဓာတ္ပံု႐ိုက္လို႔ မရတဲ့ ေနရာဆိုတာ မရွိဘူး။ ေမးလို႔ မရတဲ့ ေမးခြန္းဆိုတာ မရွိပါဘူး"
KIO ႏွင့္ Jade Land ကုမၸဏီတို႔ ပူးေပါင္းေဖာက္လုပ္ထားသည့္ ျမစ္ႀကီးနား ဗန္းေမာ္လမ္းပိုင္း စီမံကိန္းမွတ္တိိုင္ကို ေတြ႔ရစဥ္။

KIA ျပန္ၾကားေရး အရာရွိက ေျပာခဲ့တာပါ။ ဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ ေမးခြန္းတစ္ခုကို ေမးလိုက္ပါတယ္။ အမ်ားျပည္သူအသံုးျပဳေနတဲ့ ရထားလမ္း၊ ကားလမ္းေတြကို KIO က ဘာေၾကာင့္ ဖ်က္ဆီးသလဲဆိုတဲ့ ေမးခြန္းပါ။

"ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ေဖာက္ခဲ့တဲ့ လမ္းေတြ၊ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ေဆာက္ခဲ့တဲ့ တံတားေတြ၊ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ အခ်ိန္မေရြး ျပန္ေဆာက္ေပးလို႔ ရပါတယ္။ စစ္ေရးအရ ဒါေတြကို မလုပ္ရင္ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ဌာနခ်ဳပ္ကို အလံုးအရင္းနဲ႔ ၀င္တိုက္လိမ့္မယ္"
ဒီလိုအရာေတြကို သူတို႔ မလႊဲမေရွာင္သာ လုပ္ခဲ့ရတယ္၊ လုပ္တဲ့အခါမွာ အလံုးစံု ပ်က္စီးေအာင္ မလုပ္ခဲ့ဘူး။ အစိုးရတပ္ယာဥ္တန္း၊ ရိကၡာပို႔ေဆာင္မႈ ရက္အနည္းငယ္ အဟန္႔အတားျဖစ္ေအာင္ တံတားတစ္ျခမ္းတည္းကို ပ်က္စီးေအာင္လုပ္တယ္လို႔ သူကေျပာပါတယ္။ စစ္ဗ်ဴဟာအရ သူတို႔လုပ္ရတယ္လို႔ ေျပာလာတာေၾကာင့္ ေစာဒကတက္စရာ မရွိေတာ့ပါဘူး။ ဆဒံုးလူသတ္မႈကိစၥ အတြက္လည္း သူတို႔မွာ အေျဖရွိေနခဲ့ပါတယ္။

"ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ နယ္ေျမထဲကို ေရာက္လာတဲ့အတြက္ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ေကာင္းေၾကာင္းေရးရမယ္လို႔
မေျပာခ်င္ဘူး။ ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔ကိုယ္တိုင္ ေလ့လာပါ။ ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔ကိုယ္တိုင္ ၾကည့္ပါ။ မီဒီယာဆိုတာ အမွန္တရားကိုပဲ ေရးရမယ္ဆိုတာ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ နားလည္ပါတယ္။ သမၼတႀကီးလည္း စတုထၴမ႑ိဳင္ဆိုၿပီး ေျပာထားတာပဲ" လို႔ ဒီဇင္ဘာလ ၃၀ ရက္ေန႔မွာ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ကို လဂ်ားယန္ စစ္ေျမျပင္ ေခၚသြားတဲ့ KIA ျပန္ၾကားေရး စစ္ဗိုလ္တစ္ဦးက ေျပာခဲ့တာပါ။

လဂ်ားယန္ကို သိမ္းျပီးျဖစ္လို႔ လဂ်ားယန္ စစ္ဆင္ေရးကိုသာ ရပ္ျခင္းလား။ ပန္၀ါဘက္မွာ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ဆက္ျဖစ္ေနမလား။ ဖားကန္႔ဘက္မွာ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ဆက္ျဖစ္ေနမလား။ ကခ်င္ျပည္နယ္ တစ္ခုလံုးအတြက္ ထိုးစစ္ရပ္ျခင္း မဟုတ္ဘူးလား။ ေဒသခံေတြက သိခ်င္ေနပါတယ္။ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ဆက္ျဖစ္ေနဦးမယ္ဆိုရင္ေတာ့ ကခ်င္ျပည္နယ္မွာ ပ်ံ႕လြင့္ေနတဲ့ ယမ္းေငြ႔ေတြဟာ လြင့္ျပယ္ဦးမွာ မဟုတ္ေသးပါဘူး  .  .  .

ဒီဇင္ဘာလ ၃၀ ရက္ေန႔မွာေတာ့ လဂ်ားယန္ စစ္ေျမျပင္ကို ေရာက္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ တပ္မေတာ္ ဂ်က္တိုက္ေလယာဥ္ေတြရဲ႕ ပစ္ခတ္မႈကိုလည္း ျမင္ခဲ့ၾကရပါတယ္။ အဲဒီေန႔မွာပဲ KIA ရဲ႕ ေရွ႕တန္းတပ္စခန္း ပိြဳင့္ ၇၇၁ ကို တပ္မေတာ္တပ္ေတြက သိမ္းယူခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ပြိဳင့္ ၇၇၁ လက္လႊတ္လိုက္ျခင္းက လိုင္ဇာလံုျခံဳေရးအတြက္ စိုးရိမ္စရာ ျဖစ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီစိုးရိမ္မႈက ဒီဇင္ဘာလ ၃၁ ရက္ေန႔မွာ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ကို လိုင္ဇာကေန ထြက္ခြာေပးဖို႔ အေၾကာင္းဖန္လာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ "ကိုယ့္အသက္ကိုယ္ အာမခံၿပီး ေနမယ္ဆိုရင္ေတာင္ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ နယ္ေျမထဲမွာ ျဖစ္ေနတဲ့အတြက္ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔မွာ တာ၀န္ရွိေနပါတယ္။ အခုခ်ိန္က စိုးရိမ္ရတဲ့ အေျခအေန ျဖစ္သြားပါျပီ။ ခင္ဗ်ားတို႔အတြက္ ဆက္ျပီး မကူညီႏိုင္တာကို ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ေတာင္းပန္ပါတယ္။ မီဒီယာကို အားကိုးပါတယ္။ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ ျငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးရဖို႔ မီဒီယာတစ္ခုတည္းကပဲ လုပ္ေဆာင္ႏိုင္ေတာ့မယ္ဆိုတာ သိေနပါတယ္။ ေနာင္တစ္ခ်ိန္မွာ ျပန္ဆံုခ်င္ပါေသးတယ္" လို႔ KIO ျပန္ၾကားေရးအရာရွိက ထပ္ခါတလဲလဲ ေတာင္းပန္ရင္း ေျပာၾကားခဲ့ပါတယ္။

အစိုးရဘက္က တိုက္ပြဲသတင္းေတြကို ဘာမွမေျပာတဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ လိုင္ဇာဘက္ကို သတင္းေထာက္ေတြ ေရာက္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ သတင္းေရးခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ ကိုယ္တိုင္လည္း အေျခအေနေတြကို ထိေတြ႕ခဲ့ရတယ္။ ေရးတဲ့သတင္းေတြက ဘက္လိုက္ခဲ့ၾကတာ မဟုတ္ပါဘူး။ "မမွား သို႔ေသာ္ မမွန္" ဆိုတဲ့ အေျခအေနတစ္ရပ္မွာ ဘက္ႏွစ္ဖက္စလံုးက အမွန္တကယ္ ပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာမႈရွိခဲ့မယ္ဆိုရင္ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ရဲ႕ ေရးသားမႈေတြက ပိုၿပီး သက္ေရာက္မႈ ရွိမွာပါ။ တစ္ဖက္က ပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာမႈရွိၿပီး တစ္ဖက္က ပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာမႈ မရွိရင္ေတာ့ ဒါဟာ ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔အတြက္ ခက္ခဲတဲ့ အေျခအေနပါပဲ။

ဇန္န၀ါရီလ ၁၈ ရက္ေန႔မွာ တပ္မေတာ္တပ္ေတြက လဂ်ားယန္ကို သိမ္းႏိုင္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ညပိုင္းမွာေတာ့ သတင္းထုတ္ျပန္ေရးအဖြဲ႕က သတင္းထုတ္ျပန္ပါတယ္။
ကခ်င္စစ္ပြဲ စစ္ရွိန္ျမင့္တဲ့ေနရာမွာ လဂ်ားယန္၊ ပန္၀ါ၊ ဖားကန္႔ စတဲ့ေနရာေတြမွာ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ျဖစ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ လဂ်ားယန္နဲ႔ ပန္၀ါဘက္မွာျဖစ္တဲ့ တိုက္ပြဲေတြက ပိုၿပီး အရွိန္ျမင့္ခဲ့တယ္။ ေလေၾကာင္းတိုက္ခိုက္မႈေတြ ပါ၀င္ခဲ့တယ္။

လဂ်ားယန္ကို သိမ္းျပီးခ်ိန္မွာ လဂ်ားယန္ေဒသ နယ္ေျမရွင္းလင္းမႈ စစ္ဆင္ေရးကို ဇန္န၀ါရီလ ၁၉ ရက္ေန႔ နံနက္ ၆ နာရီအခ်ိန္မွာ ရပ္ဆိုင္းမယ္လို႔ ေျပာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ လဂ်ားယန္ကို သိမ္းျပီးျဖစ္လို႔ လဂ်ားယန္စစ္ဆင္ေရးကိုသာ ရပ္ျခင္းလား။ ပန္၀ါဘက္မွာ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ဆက္ျဖစ္ေနမလား။ ဖားကန္႔ဘက္မွာ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ဆက္ျဖစ္ေနမလား။ ကခ်င္ျပည္နယ္တစ္ခုလံုးအတြက္ ထိုးစစ္ရပ္ျခင္း မဟုတ္ဘူးလား။ ေဒသခံေတြက သိခ်င္ေနပါတယ္။ တိုက္ပြဲေတြ ဆက္ျဖစ္ေနဦးမယ္ဆိုရင္ေတာ့ ကခ်င္ျပည္နယ္မွာ ပ်ံ႕လြင့္ေနတဲ့ ယမ္းေငြ႕ေတြဟာ လြင့္ျပယ္ဦးမွာ မဟုတ္ေသးပါဘူး။

ယမ္းေငြ႕ေဝဆဲ ကခ်င္ေျမ
ယမ္းေငြ႕ေဝဆဲ ကခ်င္ေျမ(၂)


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