Suu Kyi Meets Karen Leader to Discuss Peace, Politics

By Nyein Nyein 30 March 2015

RANGOON — Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with Chairman of the Karen National Union (KNU) Mutu Say Poe for two hours on Sunday, according to a party official present at the meeting.

Sunday’s meeting was the third of its kind between the KNU and Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), and was focused on a more substantive discussion about the peace process, constitutional reform and upcoming elections, the NLD official said.

“We shared our views on the upcoming elections,” Nang Khin Htwe Myint, a central committee member of the NLD, told The Irrawaddy. In turn, she said, the KNU, which is a key negotiator in the country’s peace process, briefed the NLD about recent ceasefire and political discussions between Burma’s ethnic armed groups and the government.

“The NLD does not want backsliding in the reform process, and the KNU shares this view about the peace process,” she added.

Following the meeting, leadership of the two groups agreed to meet regularly in the future, but dates for further meetings have not yet been disclosed.

In August 2014, the United Nationalities Federal Council met with Suu Kyi and urged her to observe the signing of a nationwide ceasefire agreement.

She also met with KNU Vice Chairman Zipporah Sein twice last year for introductory talks to “exchange concerns,” according to Nang Khin Htwe Myint.

During Sunday’s meeting with the KNU, she said, the NLD agreed to collaborate with a political framework working group led by ethnic minority leaders.