Ta’ang National Liberation Army bans sale of goods from military companies in its territory

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) has ordered businesses operating within its territory to stop selling products made by military-owned companies by the end of the month.

A letter to merchants from the tax department of the armed group’s political wing, dated June 15, said shops that fail to adhere to the order will first receive a warning and then be subject to penalties, though it did not specify what they would be.

Merchants were given the order at meetings held in TNLA-controlled townships and villages, the letter said. The group operates in several townships in northern Shan State, including Namsan, Namtu, Namkham, Kyaukme, Hsipaw, Muse, and Kutkai.

Products banned under the new rules include Myanmar Beer, Red Ruby and Premium Gold cigarettes, and tickets for buses run by Shwe Mann Thu, Parami, and other military companies. 

The order will bolster a nationwide campaign to boycott military products that began in the wake of the February 1 coup and has been endorsed by the underground National Unity Government. 

TNLA spokesperson Major Tar Aike Kyaw could not be reached for comment.

One man in his forties from Namkham township, where the majority of the population is Ta’ang, said he welcomed the new rules as part of efforts to bring down the regime.

“It’s like they’re teaming up with Covid to kill the people. Whatever is necessary to put an end to MAL,” he said, referring to junta leader Min Aung Hlaing. 

A vendor from Kutkai said he also welcomed the ban and was happy to abide by it even though it may cause some hardship. 

“The struggles that shops will face because of this ban will differ from shop to shop. I’ll be selling the products I still have in stock until the end of the month, and after that we won’t stock them again,” he said.

The TNLA is one of four groups that make up the Northern Alliance, which has condemned the military’s coup. The TNLA is among several groups that have clashed with the military in and around Kutkai since early May. 

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