Burma

NDAA Chief Vows ‘Eternal Peace’ at 30th Anniversary Event

By Kyaw Kha 1 July 2019

MONG LA—National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) chairman U Sai Lin on Sunday pledged to preserve “eternal peace” as he addressed an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the group’s truce with the government.

“Considering the overall situation and actively participating in the peace process and through open dialogue, we will make sure that permanent peace is assured in our region,” he said.

At the event, the Myanmar national flag was hoisted and the Myanmar national anthem was sung.

High-ranking officials of both signatories and non-signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), representatives of political parties and local residents attended the event.

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi sent a message to the event, which was also attended by delegates of the government’s peace commission.

NDAA soldiers march at the event to mark the 30th anniversary of the NDAA’s signing of a truce. / Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

In her message, the State Counselor urged the NDAA to sign the NCA and help shape the federal Union by participating in political dialogue.

She highlighted the importance of political dialogue, saying it is essential for building a Union that guarantees democracy, equality and self-determination.

“As those national-level political dialogues are being held in line with provisions of the NCA, I would like to invite Special Region 4 Mong La to sign the NCA and build the democratic federal Union together according to the results of political dialogue,” her message reads.

She said it is time for the voices and opinions of local ethnic people in Mong La to be represented in the national-level political dialogue and adopted as fundamental federal principles at the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong.

NDAA soldiers march at the event to mark the 30th anniversary of the NDAA’s signing of a truce. / Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

The government is keeping the door open for all ethnic armed organizations including the NDAA to join the peace talks, she said in the message.

U Kyi Myint, an executive member of the Peace and Solidarity Committee (PSC), the political wing of the NDAA, told the media, “We would sign the NCA if we can sign it in the presence of foreign dignitaries, state leaders and Parliament.”

In an interview with The Irrawaddy in May, another PSC executive member, U Kham Maung, said the group adheres to a policy of supporting an all-inclusive peace process, and that the group would sign the NCA if the majority of non-signatories did so as well.

The NDAA was formed in 1989 after splitting from the former Communist Party of Burma (CPB), which rose in rebellion against the Myanmar government. It signed the truce on June 30 of the same year, and was one of the first groups to sign a ceasefire with the Myanmar Army (or Tatmadaw).

Mong La leaders attend the event to mark the 30th anniversary of the NDAA’s signing of a truce. / Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

The NDAA controls Mong La, Nanban and Sele districts, which constitute Shan State Special Region 4, also known as the Mong La Area. The area covers 12,825 square kilometers (or 4,952 square miles). In the 2014 national census it contained 20,597 households with a population of 116,887.

The group also signed state- and Union-level ceasefire agreements with U Thein Sein’s administration in 2011.

NDAA chairman U Sai Lin speaks at the event to mark the 30th anniversary of the NDAA’s signing of a truce. Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

It is a member of the seven-member Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee led by the United Wa State Army.

You may also like these stories:

Peace Commission and Northern Alliance Hold Positive Peace Talks

Army’s Tough Stance on 3 Northern Alliance Groups Thwarts Bilateral Deals: AA Chief

What’s Next for NDAA and Its Border Boomtown of Mong La?

Loading