Ceasefire Signatories Vow to Work with Myanmar Military Govt for Peace Process

By The Irrawaddy 4 February 2021

Yangon — The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) of the 10 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signatories have announced they will stick to the NCA in implementing the peace process with the military government that seized the power in a coup on Monday.

The PPST had a special meeting following the coup and released a statement saying it would continue the peace process with Myanmar’s military or Tatmadaw.

The Tatmadaw said it would hold talks to achieve as concrete a peace as possible with NCA signatories, PPST spokesman, Karen National Union (KNU) general secretary Padoh Saw Ta Doh Moo told The Irrawaddy.

“They said they would try to build as concrete a peace as possible. As our groups are pursuing the NCA path, we will try to understand how they define ‘as much as possible’. We have agreed to find a solution that will allow all [the armed groups] to work together,” he said.

Political analyst U Than Soe Naing said though the PPST has condemned the coup, it is likely to continue peace negotiations with a military government based within the NCA framework.

Though the NCA path may work for a ceasefire, it will not solve the civil wars, said U Than Soe Naing. “[Armed groups] have fought for federalism, equality and self-determination. But federalism is not what they can ask from the military. The military is not a democratic institution, it is a regimented organization of one blood, one voice and one command.”

In its statement on Tuesday, the PPST condemned the Tatmadaw resorting to a coup to solve political issues and called for the release of all the detained leaders. It also called on the Tatmadaw to declare an unconditional nationwide ceasefire.

The PPST was formed by eight original signatories of the NCA in 2016 to open peace talks with the government and the Tatmadaw. At the time, it was led by the KNU, the most powerful group among the signatories. Currently, it is led by the Restoration Council of Shan State.

Over the past five years under the National League for Democracy, the PPST and the government held four rounds of Union-level peace talks, called the 21st-Century Panglong Peace Conference, and signed 71 agreements.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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