Burma’s new President Thein sein gave an address at 1/2011-Meeting held at the President Office in Naypyitaw on 23 April. Thein Sein emphasized that without national unity, the country with above 100 national races cannot have peace and stability. So, the government has to prioritize the national unity, he said.
In addition, he also specified to convince the people from the border areas of the government’s goodwill efforts for peace and stability and development.  By doing so they can come to cooperate with the Union government and state and region governments with understanding and cultivating the spirit of cherishing their own country and regions, added the President.
“If the local people realize government’s goodwill policies and objectives and join hands together for development of their own region, all measures for progress of border areas and national races will be successful,” Thein Sein said, according to the state-owned news media.
However, in contrast, fresh fighting between Burmese armed forces and troops of a non-cooperation faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) continued in Kyaik-don sub-township in Kya-inn-Seik-kyi Township in Karen State on Saturday and Sunday, quoting a DKBA official Mizzima News said.
According to Karen Information Center (KIC), the government ‘Infantry Battalion 543’ under Military Operations Command 5 and Karen Battalions 901, 902 and 908 under DKBA Brigade 5 led by Colonel Saw Lah Pwe, had an armed engagement between Mi-tan and Mi-nan-up villages in Kyaikdon township from dawn to dusk on Sunday.
As said by a DKBA officer, 19 Burma Army soldiers died and 17 wounded in the skirmishing. Among 19 dead, two captain, 1 second lieutenant, 1 sergeant-major, 1 sergwant and 2 corporals. Due to the battles, the government armed forces blocked the Kyaikdon-Paikalan motor-road and people dare not travel in fear of more clashes.
More battles are expected in the coming days, sources said. Unconfirmed reports said that on Saturday, April 23, soldiers in DKBA Battalion 333, which has rejected the government’s Border Guard Force plan, overran a DKBA headquarters (which had accepted the Border Guard Force plan) in the Myaing Gyi Ngu region, where they seized vehicles and set arsenals on fire, The Irrawaddy News said.
An armed-clash occurred at Myaing Gyi Ngu, former headquarters of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) allied itself with the Burmese army in spite of much disagreement to the alliance among its rank and file.
According to the Karen sources close to the BGF, three soldiers were reportedly killed in the clash, while an ammo stockpile and barracks were burned down. Ten rifles were confiscate by unit 1012 during the clash, said Brig-Gen Johnny, the commander of Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Brigade 7.
Col Paw Doh of the Karen National Union (KNU) told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the fighting broke out on April 22 at about 3 pm and it was initiated by Pa Mee. The soldiers burned down ammunition store and barracks. Pa Mee is a commanding officer in BGF 1012 who was a former member of DKBA Battalion 555. Another DKBA source close to BGF 1012 confirmed to The Irrawaddy that Pa Mee led his men in an attack against another BGF unit.
There are frequent reports that many former DKBA soldiers were discontented under the control of Burmese army officers.  This incident proved the condition with violence confrontation. Armed clashes have continued up till now between DKBA Brigade 5 and government troops in the southern Karen State area.
So, citizens have to query President Thein Sein that what goodwill policies and objectives for progress of border areas and national races? Why do his armed forces not stop slaughtering ethnic people in the border areas?  Without ending battles in ethnic areas, how can he persuade the people from the border areas of his government’s goodwill efforts for peace and stability and development?
What is the intention of his current 4-cut strategy using in the border ethnic areas?  Does President Thein Sein believe it will be supportive to build national unity, peace and stability in the ethnic regions?
The answer is exactly ‘no’.  If the new president has true goodwill policies and objectives for development of border areas and national races, the first and foremost thing he ought to do is calling for genuine political dialogue to stop killing each other among citizens under the same roof. Then he must free all political prisoners including the ethnic leaders and ethnic politicians who have been thrown into prison for asking their equal rights.
According to Burma watchers, it is good time for Thein Sein to show his seriousness for the underdeveloped country by joining hands together with ethnic brothers and sisters for development of the entire nation.