Jul 15, 2008 (DVB)–The Chin National Front has vowed to carry out sniper attacks on government and Union Solidarity and Development Association officials if they obstruct the group’s efforts to boost development in Chin state.
The CNF said they have started an operation named People Power 20, or PP20, to encourage development in Chin state in cooperation with the Chin people.
According to the CNF’s guidelines, the operation aims to promote regional, education and health development, and prohibits hunting in the Chin forests and using explosives to catch fish in rivers.
CNF military coordinator Pu Solomon said the armed group has also formed special operations squads to conduct assassinations of government officials who disrupt their operation.
"First, we will give notorious military officials and USDA personnel a warning that we will take their lives in sniper attacks," said Pu Solomon.
"If they ignore the warning then we will take real action against them," the coordinator said.
"We have conducted special training for sharpshooters in our group for the sniper operations."
Pu Shwe Kha, joint-secretary of the CNF, said the group has also decided to cut taxes collected from the Chin people to the bare minimum.
"Before, we used to collect 3000 kyat annual tax from every household – but now we have reduced that to 10 kyat," said Pu Shwe Kha.
"Our operation aims to help the people in Chin state to deal with their struggles," he said.
"We will accept the 10 kyat tax from the people just to show them our appreciation of their contribution to the revolution."
The CNF previously held talks on a ceasefire agreement with the government military officials in March 2007 but these ended without an effective resolution except for an agreement on both sides to resume talks at a later date.
"We believe we will resume the talks in future – we are studying the strengths and weaknesses of the ceasefire groups and we will find a peaceful answer for our country's political situation," said Pu Shwe Kha.
The CNF was formed by fighters in Chin state after the 8888 uprising and it is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation.
Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min