The Ta’ang National Army (TNLA), which has attacked and captured 7 towns in northern Shan State, officially announced on February 4 that all Ta’ang nationals must serve in the military. According to the law, every Ta’ang/Palaung male between the ages of 16 and 35 must serve in the military, and one male per Ta’ang family with two or more brothers must join the TNLA.
However, one of the two brothers was a member of the parish. Both of them must be exempted from military service if they are in poor health. Those with Hepatitis B and C will also be exempted from the military service order, while those with other diseases will have to serve in the military.
For women, if there are more than 3 siblings, one must serve in the military, but if one of the family is working as a member of the central committee in a civilian organization, they will be exempted from military service. As for non-Ta’ang people, anyone who accepts the political and military positions of the TNLA can serve in the military.
An official from the Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO) said that most Ta’ang young people have positive comments about the draft law, and there are supporters and some critics. The above woman said that there is some criticism that there is no set age of military service and that people who are having difficulties in the family should be understood.
“Since this is a national issue, some young people do not object much because they have to serve. However, some young people pointed out that it is not the number of years of military service that is said to be the military service law,” said a veteran politician from the TNLA-occupied Namkham town, saying that the law was already in the making and could be officially published to make Ta’ang people aware of it widely.
He added that even though the statement was officially issued, there was no direct call-up to military service on the ground. “After this announcement, I don’t think there is any chance that they will follow up on their own. But we heard different voices saying whether to do it indirectly after negotiating with the villages, but so far it has not been done,” said the man.
In addition, he pointed out that TNLA should do more through organizing than passing laws in recruiting soldiers. To find out more about some of the criticisms of the conscription law, TNLA Spokesperson and Spokesperson Lt. Col. Tay Aik Kyaw said.
The revolution started in 1958 for the liberation of the Ta’ang people, and in 2011, the TNLA was reorganized with new blood, and analysts estimate that the strength may be between 8,000 and 10,000 today. The TNLA is composed of 38 battalions of 7 brigades, and each battalion is estimated to be between 100 and 150 strong. They can be equipped with modern assault rifles and can use 60 or 107 mm as auxiliary weapons, according to analysts.
On October 27, 2023, the Rakhine Army (AA) along with the Ninth Army (MNDAA) launched Operation 1027, capturing the cities of Namhsan, Namhkham, Mailong, Maingong, Mantong, Namthu, KutKhaing and starting their administrations.
Education legislation is also being implemented and the TNLA has also invited workers who participated in Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). In January 2023, the local Shwe Phe Hme news agency reported that about 3.5 million Ta’ang people live in 16 townships and sub-townships in northern Shan State.