Myanmar’s Government Plans Inclusive Dialog With Armed Ethnic Groups

nsnbc : The government of Myanmar invited armed ethnic groups that have not yet signed a ceasefire agreement to participate in the inclusive political dialog framework next week. A ceasefire with most of the armed groups was reached under the former government.

Aung San Suu-Kyi_Myanmar_NEO_2015The government’s chief peace negotiator and chairman of the 21st Century Panglong Conference Preparatory Sub-Committee-2, Dr. Tin Myo Win, extended the invitation to leaders of the non-signatory groups during the first meeting on Friday with the United Nationalities Federal Council’s (UNFC) Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN) in Chiangmai, Thailand . Dr. Tin Myo Win, pledged to build mutual trust and understanding for the sake of peace and to build a peaceful , affluent, democratic federal union.

The meeting in Chiangmai was held to enable the indigenous armed groups that have not yet signed the NCA to participate in the 21st Panglong conference. In October 2015 the administration of the President U Thein Sein and seven armed groups signed a ceasefire agreement before national and international witnesses. Among the signatories are the Karen National Union and the Restoration Council of Shan State.

Major General Gwan Maw from the ethnic armed organizations’ delegation, called for making reviews and analysis based on the minutes from the meeting in Chiangmai. During the meeting, the non-signatories to the NCA discussed matters concerning participation in the peace conference and the terms and conditions which will enable them to participate.

The office of Myanmar’s Presidency formed a 16-member Preparatory Committee on Tuesday for holding the 21st Century Panglong Ethnic Conference. The conference aims at national reconciliation and at bringing peace to the country after decades-long armed conflicts which many analysts perceive as, at least partially, driven by the remnants of colonialism as well as by contemporary geopolitical factors.

In anticipation of the emergence of a federal union, the conference is set to be inclusive of those ethnic nationalities deemed as deserving to be included. The committee was organized with Peace Negotiator Dr. Tin Myo Win as chairman and U Kyaw Tint Swe, Minister of the State Counselor’s Office, as vice chairman. The committee is tasked to negotiate with both those groups that are signatories to the ceasefire as well as with those that haven’t signed the ceasefire agreement in October 2015.

The committee is divided into two separate sub-committees to negotiate with the two categories of armed groups. State Counselor and Chairperson of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) Aung San Suu Kyi, said that she aimed at turning the 21st Century Panglong Ethnic Conference into a success for the entire country.

CH/L – nsnbc 05.06.2016

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