In an effort to educate the public about its involvement in the peace process, the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) held a public discussion in Karen state capital Hpa-an.
Salai Yaw Aung, member of the ABSDF central leading committee, told KIC News that armed groups in Karen State have a responsibility to explain the peace process to the community.
They “should know about their rights” he said. “Everyone needs to participate in this peace process.”
He said some political parties and civil society organisations understand all of the levels of the peace process, but others need more information.
Saw Kyaw Naing, who helped organize the public discussion, said it’s important for young people to get involved. “Youths also need to actively participate in this peace process and be aware of related news and information.”
During the event, representatives talked about the joint ceasefire monitoring committee in Karen State.
They explained the implementation of the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) and the ‘frameworks for political dialogue’ that was finalized on 15 December 2015.
Last year, the ABSDF signed the NCA with eight other groups. The former Thein Sein government only allowed 15 groups to take part, excluding 6 other groups. Mainly for this reason, seven groups that were invited refused to sign.
The ABSDF signed an individual ceasefire with the government on 5 August 2013; the fourteenth armed group to do so.
Formed by student activists that fled to the jungle following the 1988 uprising, the armed group's core membership is mainly derived from city centres.