NCA Signatories to Review Peace Process

By Chit Min Tun 31 August 2018

YANGON — Ethnic signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement will review the current political landscape and the peace process, said vice-chairman of the Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA) Khun Myint Tun.

The peace process steering team (PPST) of the NCA signatories will meet in Thailand’s Chiang Mai in September, said Khun Myint Tun, who is also on the PPST.

“We have things to review after the third session of the Panglong Conference. And we’ll also discuss what steps we should take regarding the current political landscape,” he added.

The PPST will also discuss holding a summit between NCA signatories and non-signatories, he said.

Among the key ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that have not signed the NCA with the government are the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

The UWSA said that it would consider inking the peace pact if the government and Myanmar Army gave the group a written promise that it would have the right to seek changes to and/or resign from the agreement.

The meeting, however, will not touch upon the recent clashes between the Myanmar Army or Tatmadaw and Brigade 5 of the Karen National Union (KNU) in Karen’s Papun District because it is a military issue, said Padoh Saw Ta Doh Moo, general secretary of the KNU.

“We’ll discuss how we can proceed with the peace process together,” he told The Irrawaddy.

The PPST held its 22nd and 23rd meetings in July since signing the NCA in 2015.

The team is comprised of eight EAOs—the Karen National Union, the Karen National Liberation Army–Peace Council (KNLA-PC), the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), the All Burma Student’s Democratic Front (ABSDF), the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), the Chin National Front (CNF), and the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO)—that signed the NCA with former U Thein Sein’s administration in 2015.

Two more EAOs — the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) – signed the NCA with the National League for Democracy-led government in February.

The two are attending the PPST meetings as observers.

“We will work on the agreed principles to achieve more meaningful results in the peace process,” said Padoh Saw Ta Doh Moo.

In February, the PPST formed two teams to hold informal talks with the government on political and security issues.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.