The village is close to the Thai border and thickly planted in corn being grown by soldiers of the Karen National Liberation Army.

KNLA intelligence suggested some two weeks ago that SPDC plans were to wrest control of the region, opposite the northern Thai region of Umphang.

For the SPDC to win the region would be a boon for their commanding officers, who would profit from the sales of a stolen crop of corn.

It would also deprive the KNLA of much-needed funds to continue their campaign of resistance that began in 1949.

The KNLA is the only insurgent group that has steadfastly refused to sign a peace deal with Burma’s ruling generals.

In what appears to be the first theatre of conflict of this year’s dry season in the KNLA’s Sixth Brigade region, preparations are being made for a long, hard campaign in the coming months.

Reinforcements are being shuffled near expected flashpoints.

Daniel Pedersen Karen State, Burma

Soldiers of Burma’s ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council are digging bunkers around the village of Kawser.