Will the Yangon guerrillas survive?


 "Armed Forces Day" is celebrated on March 27, every year in Myanmar. This celebration is like a festival. The tradition of this celebration dates back to the revolution against Japanese led by General Aung San during World War II. 

The Bamars relied heavily on their armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw. Those Bamars are now facing Tatmadaw. Even a few months ago that was unimaginable. 

Definitely there will be a huge difference in the celebration of 27th March next year. In the homes of cities in central Myanmar, such as Yangon, Mandalay, or Bago, people now turn a deaf ear to the sound of gunfire. Their new love is the pro-democracy teen's People's Defense Force or 'PDF'. Gradually, an all-out guerrilla war is spreading across the country, from village to town.


The military casualties in Tatmadaw are increasing


Guerrilla warfare is nothing new in Myanmar. But major cities such as Yangon and Mandalay have seen less of a fire in the recent past. For so long the ‘guerrilla zone’ was the distant mountains of Shan, Kachin and Karen. 

Now the cities are entering the atmosphere of guerrilla warfare overnight. In two incidents on 22 and 23 June, about 20 soldiers from Tatmadaw were killed in Mandalay and Sagain. There was a lieutenant colonel too, named Aung Maiyo. 

This is their biggest loss in a single operation since the military seized power on February 1. This happened after a long time in the urban areas of Mandalay. 

After a group of soldiers from Tatmadaw raided a PDF hideout, it was understood that the teenage group already knew about the operation. The soldiers easily fell into that ambush. Some teenage guerrillas of the PDF also died in this operation. Six people were also arrested.


No matter how bad the situation is in Myanmar, there is still no major inconvenience for the military junta in the realm of international diplomacy. Along with China, Russia is also helping them well. Even big powers like Japan and India have not started to stand against it.


The incident has also appeared with international significance. At the same time, Tatmadaw's chief of staff, General Min Aung Hlaing, was on his way to Moscow to show that the situation was "normal."

Outside of such large-scale attacks, small quantities of ammunition are being fired by the PDF at various locations every night. Tatmadaw himself cordoned off and searched various areas. 

People are fleeing the city at night as soon as they see the signs of search. Government forces are then arbitrarily burning houses and farms. When an armed force goes to war against its own citizens in this way, there can be nothing more self-destructive than that.


Yangon is adapting to guerrilla culture
The situation is more or less the same everywhere in Myanmar except Rakhine. Among the marginalized provinces, China, Kachin and Karen are experiencing large-scale counter-attacks.

 On 10th June, 27 soldiers, including an army captain of Tatmadaw, were killed in a clash with the Chinland Defense Forces in the Chinese province. 

As much as these are the aftermath of the old regional war, it is also a new bet to advance the democratic struggle in a military style. For example, the Chinland Defense Force is a completely new organization. The emergence of such armed groups in their own names is being seen in many regions.

In particular, the way a military vehicle was blown up by a cold-blooded guerilla attack in Yangon on 16 th June, it indicates that the country's main city will continue to report on guerrilla operations in near future. 

The bomber struck shortly after 3:30 a.m. in front of the office of the pro-military USDP party, which had been in Talk of the Town in Yangon for several days. Before and after the incident, pro-junta officials were regularly attacked at various places in Yangon.

China, Russia are in race of selling arms
Although Myanmar's cities are no longer as normal as the junta expects, the military balance is definitely leaning towards them.

 This is because PDF does not have advanced tools. Although there has been a flurry of bombings using formulas borrowed from old memorabilia and collecting country guns, it is seldom worked in front of Chinese weapons of Tatmadaw. 

The damage done by defeating the tyranny of the new century with the weapons of the old century is certainly greater. Apart from this, there is no single leadership of the local resistance that is spreading in different departments and provinces yet. 

The military weight of this war is still unclear. Of course, such a situation falls within the framework of guerrilla warfare. 

The smooth development of the guerrilla war was hampered by the need to control it as a regular force; On the contrary, the counter-regular forces that are gradually formed through such wars are much more effective.

The basic condition of guerrilla warfare is public support. That is more than expected for the young people of Bama right now. This means that Tatmadaw now only has to survive through torture, persecution and surveillance throughout Myanmar.


But no matter how bad the situation is in Myanmar, there is still no major inconvenience for the military junta in the realm of international diplomacy. Along with China, Russia is also helping them well. 

Even big powers like Japan and India have not started to stand against it. However, on June 20, General Min was greeted at the Moscow airport by Alexander Fomin, the country's deputy defense minister. 

This discomfort must have been embarrassing for Min Aung, when it was seen that the Russian state news agency was referring only to the general as the "military chief" instead of the "head of state" of Myanmar. He is currently the President of the State Administrative Council (SAC).

But no matter how uncomfortable it is, General Min needs Russia. Russia, along with China, is the second-largest source of weapons in Tatmadaw, and General Min has been there mainly to collect weapons.

 As guerrilla warfare spreads in the country, so does the opportunity for Sino-Russian arms sales. But the extent to which weapons can solve the current political crisis remains a big question mark.


Where the power of guerrilla warfare is in Myanmar


Myanmar is one of the hot cakes in the international media since 2017. After the Rohingyas, the country is now a regular news headline due to the pro-democracy movement. 

However, many experts say that the unruly militancy of the students and youth against the strong and ruthless regular force of 400 thousand members like Tatmadaw will not survive at all.

 The information that such proponents emphasize is that Tatmadaw is the only armed force in the world that has consistently experienced 75 years of guerrilla warfare. 

But the same information also proves that they have not won a complete victory against Shan, Kachin, Karen, Rakhine of the country. Only occasionally winning some skirmishes.

The remarks of a young man from Mindat, Chin, seem to make sense: "We are resisting, not with weapons, but with a belief."
This is also being avoided in the military analysis of the current situation in Myanmar, the first time in history that Tatmadaw has faced resistance from the main nation, Bamars.

 The military implication is that almost all major ethnic groups in Myanmar are now opposed to Tatmadaw. This is a big strategic crisis for Tatmadaw.

Second, the basic condition of guerrilla warfare is public support. That is more than expected for the young people of Bama right now. This means that Tatmadaw now only has to survive through torture, persecution and surveillance throughout Myanmar.

 One of the main beneficiaries is the old guerrilla territories of the minority nations. They have started to increase the scope of their respective occupations. Their advance is becoming a safe haven for Bama protesters fleeing the city. 

This has created an unprecedented political alliance between Karen, Shan, Kachin and the Bamars, which is the second strategic crisis for Tatmadaw.

It is true that Tatmadaw is many times ahead of the PDF in numbers and weapons resources. But the experience of the Bangladesh war of 1971 showed that from almost unpreparedness, a guerrilla war could be won against a strong regular force, relying on public support.

 However, the way the guerrillas in Bangladesh have received help from India, the Bamara youth in Myanmar have no source yet. Thailand has played a supportive role in the mass movements in Myanmar in the past, but not this time. This is the main weakness of Myanmar's ongoing resistance struggle.

Even then, the hustle and bustle of action on the streets of Yangon and Mandalay is due to the culture of Myanmar. 

The country has a vast social heritage of military knowledge. Depending on it, the production of domestic weapons is seen to increase there now. The remarks of a young man from Mindat, China, seem to make sense: "We have come to the rescue, not with weapons, but with a belief."

One of the major strengths of these local militias is that the entire guerrilla resistance is building up inside the country, relying on self-reliance.

 Tatmadaw therefore cannot blame any country for the fuel behind it; Rather, sympathy for Myanmar's guerrilla youth is growing in neighboring countries. If such sympathy becomes cooperation, Sino-Russian cooperation won't be enough for Tatmadaw.

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