Mongla press govt for in­clu­sive Pan­g­long meet

The in­flu­en­tial Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance Army urged the Peace Com­mis­sion yes­ter­day to in­vite three groups cur­rently fight­ing the Tat­madaw to the up­com­ing con­fer­ence.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YE MON SHOON NAING news­room@mm­times.com

A POW­ER­FUL armed eth­nic group, the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance Army, yes­ter­day ap­pealed to the gov­ern­ment to in­vite its three al­lies cur­rently en­gaged in fight­ing with the Tat­madaw to the up­com­ing Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence.

NDAA spokesper­son U Kyi Myint con­firmed that his group will at­tend the 21st-cen­tury Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence, which is ex­pected to be held late this month. The Peace Com­mis­sion and the NDAA met for nearly two hours yes­ter­day, with the lat­ter agree­ing to five ba­sic terms, in­clud­ing a prom­ise not to se­cede from Myan­mar un­der any cir­cum­stances, ac­cord­ing to the Peace Com­mis­sion.

The NDAA also ac­knowl­edged that state se­cu­rity is­sues im­pact ev­ery per­son in the na­tion, and pressed that ev­ery eth­nic­ity should ben­e­fit equally from nat­u­ral re­sources that are used in re­gional de­vel­op­ment.

U Khin Zaw Oo, sec­re­tary of the Peace Com­mis­sion and a re­tired lieu­tenant gen­eral, said yes­ter­day that the NDAA demanded an all-in­clu­sive peace process that would in­volve the Myan­mar Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance Army (MNDAA), the Arakan Army (AA), and the Ta’ang Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Army (TNLA).

The three groups were ex­cluded from the na­tion­wide cease­fire last Oc­to­ber, a ma­jor fac­tor in the splin­ter­ing of the eth­nic or­gan­i­sa­tions’ unity that led to only eight groups sign­ing the agree­ment. The in­clu­siv­ity of the Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence has been a ma­jor point of dis­cus­sions in the lead-up to the event.

“They [the NDAA] want all-in­clu­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion and they will also en­cour­age the other groups to join the con­fer­ence,” said U Khin Zaw Oo. “They also told us to in­vite those groups to at­tend the peace con­fer­ence.”

The Peace Com­mis­sion is still meet­ing with the three groups in ques­tion, but the sec­re­tary de­clined to speak about the out­comes thus far.

“We are still ne­go­ti­at­ing the de­tails and we will only re­lease the in­for­ma­tion when all the de­tails are set­tled,” he said.

NDAA chair Sai Lin is the son-in­law of MNDAA leader Phone Kyar Shin, whose daugh­ter par­tic­i­pated in the NDAA’s meet­ing with State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw over the week­end.

The Union gov­ern­ment plans to hold a meet­ing about amend­ing the po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue frame­work of the con­fer­ence on Au­gust 7 and 8. The Peace Com­mis­sion asked the NDAA to send a del­e­gate to that meet­ing.

“I think they will at­tend the meet­ing – al­though they didn’t con­firm – be­cause they asked for in­for­ma­tion about it,” U Khin Zaw Oo said. “But since they are an or­gan­i­sa­tion, they might need to dis­cuss and reach an agree­ment to at­tend the meet­ing. We also in­vited the UWSA [United Wa State Army] and they have not de­cided yet.”

The UWSA and the NDAA also did not sign last year’s na­tion­wide cease­fire agree­ment (NCA). The two groups oversee ad­min­is­tra­tion of ar­eas carved out of Shan State un­der deals made with Myan­mar’s for­mer mil­i­tary regime.

U Khin Zaw Oo said that the NDAA has to con­sider sign­ing the NCA after a dis­cus­sion within their com­mit­tee. The Peace Com­mis­sion hopes the group will agree to sign, he said.

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