At least 10 Burma Army soldiers were reportedly died in action including a battalion commanding officer and 15 injured in the combat that occurred on 16-17 April.  The Shan army also seized five RPG launchers and 6 backpacks from Burmese troops, quoting a civil servant from Tangyan Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.) reported.
None of the members from Shan army were injured or killed, the source said. The two-day siege was led by Major Sai Hseng with over a hundred men from Brigade No. 36, according to the SSA.
The SSA’s First Brigade-turned Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) is reportedly expanding its controlled area to Namtu, Namhsan, Mongmit and Kyaukme townships while combating against the Burma army, as said by the local residents. The clashes between the two sides are reported almost everyday since 13 March. The SSA was given an ultimatum to lay down arms by Burma Army on 1st April. But up till now the SSA is still reportedly take no notice of it.
Throughout these days, several soldiers from Burma Army troops warring with the Shan State Progress Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in Shan State South have reportedly been deserting from the battlefields, local sources reported via Shan Herald Agency for News.
Up to now, the identified deserters were as many as ten; all of them were from Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) 513 and 542. The two battalions have been fighting against the Shan soldiers on 16-17 April, in Tawng Hio village in Tangyan Township, a local source said.
“The soldiers deserted during the fighting. They changed into civilian clothes and passed through the village. Five soldiers came out on 17 April and another five on 19 April,” said an eye witness.
According to a source Burma army soldiers took shelter under villagers’ trenches, bunkers and monastery to avoid shooting from the Shan armed forces. The battles between the Shan army and the Burma Army have begun since 13 March up to date and had injured and killed dozens of civilians including soldiers.
Meanwhile, the Burma Army demanded the Shan army to withdraw all of its troops that had moved to the north of Mandalay-Lashio highway. However, the Shan army has yet to give any response and is still active in the areas together with the Shan State Army (SSA) “South” led by Yawd Serk.
Last week, six Burma Army soldiers from Infantry battalion (IB) 152 based in Kholam sub-township of  Namzarng township, surrendered to the SSA ‘South’ along with their weapons due to discrimination, abuses of power and forced labor, according to the SSA ‘South’.
At the same time, ten villagers in Kyaukme, Shan State North, have been detained and tortured over suspicion of collaboration with the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’, quoting local sources Shan Herald Agency for News said. They were detained by troops from Light Infantry Battalions 501 and 502, based in Kyaukme together with troops from Mogok, Namlan and Mongmit.
On the other hand, the family members of the detained victims are expecting helps from elected Shan representatives.  The SNDP leader Sai Ai Pao is a State Assembly representative for Hsenwi and state minister for Industry and Mines. Besides, Sai Naw Kham is also a State Assembly representative for Hsipaw as well as state minister for Construction.
However, this war upon ethnic populace launched by Burma Army produces not only deserters from Burmese military but also victims from Shan villages. In addition, it forces to flee political exiles, illegal migrants and refugees into neighboring countries.
Currently, political activists in Burma have been taking historic risks with a signature-campaign to release political prisoners who are behind bars for speaking out against what they say is injustice by the government.
Some political analysts believe releasing over 2,000 political prisoners and stopping the aggressive wars on ethnic people are the most important topics to address by the new ‘Thein Sein government’. Releasing political prisoners and calling peace to armed ethnic groups would prove to the international community that new government is going along political change through the real democratic values.

read more: