Govt urged to seek out ideas on Rakhine

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - CHAN THAR chan­thar@mm­times.com

The United Na­tion­al­i­ties Fed­eral Coun­cil (UNFC) wants the gov­ern­ment to meet with po­lit­i­cal par­ties and armed eth­nic groups to seek their opin­ions on Rakhine State.

‘... it is based on re­li­gion so we should face... acts aimed at in­cit­ing vi­o­lence peace­fully.’ Nai Ong Ma-nge UNFC spokesper­son

UNITED Na­tion­al­i­ties Fed­eral Coun­cil (UNFC) urged the gov­ern­ment to meet with po­lit­i­cal par­ties and armed eth­nic groups to get their opin­ions on how to end the fight­ing in north­ern Rakhine State which is hin­der­ing the peace process.

UNFC lead­ers held a two-day meet­ing in Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land, on Septem­ber 11-12 about the vi­o­lence in Rakhine State, peace ne­go­ti­a­tions with the gov­ern­ment and the coun­cil’s fu­ture plans.

“If there is in­sta­bil­ity in our coun­try, all of us – eth­nic groups, the gov­ern­ment and po­lit­i­cal par­ties – will have to fo­cus on this in­stead of the peace dis­cus­sions. We are more and more wor­ried about the coun­try’s sta­bil­ity, so the gov­ern­ment should get opin­ions from po­lit­i­cal par­ties and armed eth­nic groups on how to re­store peace,” said Nai Ong Ma-nge, coun­cil spokesper­son.

He added that he is sad that lo­cal res­i­dents are suf­fer­ing due to the fight­ing in Rakhine.

“It causes in­no­cent peo­ple pain. We have to sym­pa­thise with them. While we can­not say how to solve this is­sue, it is based on re­li­gion, so we should face provoca­tive acts aimed at in­cit­ing vi­o­lence peace­fully,” ad­vised Nai Ong Ma-nge.

UNFC chair­man Nai Hong Sar re­ported on the meet­ing of the Fed­eral Po­lit­i­cal Ne­go­ti­a­tion and Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee (FPNCC) that was held in Au­gust.

He said the FPNCC and UNFC should work out a com­mon stand on the gov­ern­ment’s Na­tion­wide Cease­fire Agree­ment, said Nai Ong Ma-nge.

Nai Hong Sar urged the com­mit­tee’s lead­ers at the meet­ing that NCA, which coun­cil mem­bers are try­ing to amend, can gen­er­ate bet­ter re­sults in the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal land­scape in a short pe­riod. The NCA can re­duce fights, and while it is not the best so­lu­tion, there should be co­op­er­a­tion with the coun­cil’s ef­fort to amend the NCA, said Nai ong Ma-nge.

“We pre­sented again our stance to the north­ern group. The sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent, so it is up to the gov­ern­ment. If there is no more fight­ing or con­fronta­tion, the talks will go faster. To sign the NCA, all of our sit­u­a­tions are dif­fer­ent and must be taken into ac­count. The gov­ern­ment needs to guide us,” said Nai Ong Mange.

At the meet­ing, the coun­cil’s Del­e­ga­tion for Po­lit­i­cal Ne­go­ti­a­tion (DPN) also re­ported the re­sults of their dis­cus­sions with the gov­ern­ment’s peace com­mis­sion.

“We told them what we would need to fol­low in re­gard to sug­ges­tions and on what parts we should take bold stands,” he said.

At the DPN’S sixth meet­ing, no agree­ment was reached be­tween the two del­e­ga­tions. Among the eight points that the UNFC sug­gested to the gov­ern­ment, coun­cil lead­ers said, no agree­ment was reached on po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity’s role in mon­i­tor­ing the cease­fire and the cease­fire an­nounce­ment. They were un­able to reach a com­pro­mise on the UNFC’S sug­ges­tion to limit the po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue to three groups.

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