No re­marks from UNFC at Pan­g­long

The Myanmar Times - - News - YE MON yeemon­tun@mm­times.com

THE United Na­tion­al­i­ties Fed­eral Coun­cil – an al­liance of seven eth­nic armed groups that did not sign last year’s na­tion­wide cease­fire agree­ment – will not be al­lowed de­liver open­ing re­marks at the Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence which starts to­mor­row in Nay Pyi Taw, the gov­ern­ment has an­nounced.

Pres­i­dent’s Of­fice deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral U Zaw Htay said yes­ter­day that a de­ci­sion had been made at a meet­ing of the prepa­ra­tion com­mit­tee for the Pan­g­long Con­fer­ence to al­low only one rep­re­sen­ta­tive for all of the eth­nic armed groups to speak at the open­ing cer­e­mony.

“One rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the NCA sig­na­tory groups will de­liver re­marks,” he said.

But Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Karen Na­tional Union (KNU), told The Myan­mar Times that the con­fer­ence should have an all-in­clu­sive pol­icy, and that a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the non-sig­na­tory groups should be al­lowed to make re­marks.

“Dur­ing the prepa­ra­tion com­mit­tee meet­ing, we sub­mit­ted two lead­ers’ names – one for sig­na­tory groups and one for non-sig­na­tory groups – but our re­quest was re­jected,” he said.

“We nom­i­nated KNU chair Gen­eral Mutu Say Poe to make re­marks on be­half of the sig­na­tory groups. For the non-sig­na­tory groups, we named [Kachin In­de­pen­dence Or­gan­i­sa­tion] vice chair Gen­eral N Ban La if they will al­low him to speak,” Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win said.

Re­marks will be de­liv­ered at to­mor­row’s open­ing cer­e­mony by State Coun­sel­lor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Com­man­der-in-Chief Se­nior Gen­eral Min Aung Hlaing, one speaker each from the Pyithu Hlut­taw and the Amyotha Hlut­taw, rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the po­lit­i­cal par­ties and the eth­nic armed groups, and United Na­tions gen­eral sec­re­tary Ban Ki-moon. Each speaker will be given 15 min­utes.

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