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.
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.