Stakeholders Speak Out at Peace Process Consultation

By Kyaw Kha 31 July 2017

YANGON – Stakeholders in Myanmar’s peace process shared their views and recommendations during an informal consultation in Yangon on Saturday attended by the government Peace Commission chairman Dr. Tin Myo Win, State Counselor’s Office minister U Kyaw Tint Swe, and its spokesperson U Zaw Htay.

Among the participants were peace experts, civil society members, representatives from ethnic political parties, media practitioners, and descendants of those who signed the 1947 Panglong Agreement.

U Maung Maung Soe, an independent analyst on federalism and ethnic issues, said their views were shared with the government representatives, whose task was mainly to listen.

Stakeholders shared their perspectives on State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s views, as she is often quoted by her staff and those she trusts, said Dr. Banyar Aung Moe from the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP).

Banyar Aung Moe, a former Upper House lawmaker, said that during the meeting he stated that the government and the Myanmar Army need courage and goodwill to deal with the country’s peace process and to announce a unilateral ceasefire.

He also emphasized the importance of the government hastening negotiations with the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) on their nine-point proposal, so that the ethnic armed coalition might sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).

Meanwhile, the former MP urged the government to bring the Northern Alliance, comprised of seven ethnic armed groups based in Myanmar’s northeast, into the peace process. Every ethnic armed group, he said, should be included and see their desires reflected in the next session of the 21st Century Panglong peace conference.

Banyar Aung Moe explained that tripartite talks must be held between the government, ethnic armed organizations, and political parties in order to support the work of ceasefire monitoring committees.

“We just need to raise our recommendations. They will use them if they want. They won’t use them if they don’t like them. That’s all,” he said.

During Saturday’s meeting, other topics of discussion included the effect of insecurity in the country on the media, the question of non-signatories eventually signing the NCA pact, and the work being done toward the amendment of the 2008 Constitution, following the full implementation of the NCA.

Other topics of discussion included diminishing aid and support for internally displaced people, the role of the United Wa State Army in the NCA and peace process, and continued trust-building with the eight NCA-signatories, and not neglecting these relationships.

Dr. Min Nwe Soe, from AMRDP said the latter is a particularly urgent need, as “the government builds trust with NCA signatories first, and then we can move forward to achieve peace.”