RCSS unimpressed with peace progress

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News -

IN an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with The Myan­mar Times this week, Gen­eral Yawd Serk, chair of the pow­er­ful armed eth­nic Restora­tion Coun­cil of Shan State/shan State Army - South (RCSS) re­vealed his thoughts on the re­cent peace sum­mit in Nay Pyi Taw, say­ing “it was not very good.”

He said the sum­mit “didn’t look like a bi­lat­eral meet­ing, as the com­man­der-in-chief went out of the meet­ing once he had fin­ished de­liv­er­ing his speech. It was like com­mand­ing: Do as I say.”

When asked if there was any pos­si­bil­ity of a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment via the Na­tional Cease­fire Agree­ment (NCA), Gen­eral Yawd Serk replied that such pro­ce­dures must be han­dled in par­lia­ment.

“We are not in­volved in the leg­isla­tive role. That is why the Nca-sig­na­to­ries, the gov­ern­ment, the Tat­madaw and po­lit­i­cal par­ties will dis­cuss it to­gether out­side par­lia­ment. Based on those dis­cus­sions, par­lia­ment will have to ap­prove it as a Union agree­ment. It is the peace-shap­ing role of the NCA as well as the route to amend the 2008 Con­sti­tu­tion,” he said.

Yet, the gen­eral was also of the view that cur­rent peace talks are not mak­ing any progress. “If the talks are not pro­gress­ing, the NCA might be­come void. We will no longer be able to walk the path of the NCA. Peace can­not be forced. We might go back to our bat­tle­front,” he said.

“Unless the 2008 Con­sti­tu­tion is amended, democ­racy in its full essence will not be at­tain­able. Un­til now, the Tat­madaw still holds 25 per­cent of the seats in par­lia­ment. The Tat­madaw is still in­volved in pol­i­tics. That is why the State Coun­sel­lor can­not carry out all her [peace] plans,” he added.

“The gen­eral said “eth­nic groups have been dis­cussing mak­ing re­forms to the coun­try af­ter amend­ing the 2008 Con­sti­tu­tion. If the Tat­madaw sticks to its one-sided ad­her­ence to the 2008 Con­sti­tu­tion, there will be dif­fi­cul­ties. There ap­pears to be a ques­tion about whether the pur­suit of peace by the Tat­madaw is real. It is ques­tion­able why they are dis­cussing the sec­tors that were not men­tioned in the NCA.”

Farm loans The state-owned Myan­mar Agri­cul­ture De­vel­op­ment Bank (MADB) will in­crease the amount of crop loans it pro­vides to help farm­ers cover the cost of pro­duc­tion, from K50,000 per acre to K100,000 per acre, the Min­istry of Plan­ning and Fi­nance (MOPF) said.

“The gov­ern­ment has a long-term goal to help farm­ers and agri-busi­nesses to de­velop with im­proved fi­nanc­ing, and we are now do­ing more than in the past to pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port to the sec­tor,” MOPF Deputy Min­is­ter U Maung Maung Win said.

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