Northern alliance including UWSA, KIA to attend 21st Panglong

24 May 2017
Northern alliance including UWSA, KIA to attend 21st Panglong
The opening ceremony of the second session of the Union Peace Conference - 21st century Panglong in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 24 May 2017. Photo: Min Min/Mizzima

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army/Palaung State Liberation Front (TNLA/PSLF) Secretary Mai Phone Kyaw confirmed to Mizzima that the seven ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) from the northern alliance would attend the second session of 21st Panglong Conference/Union Peace Conference.
The northern alliance consists of seven EAOs namely United Wa State Army (UWSA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Ta’ang National Liberation Front/Palaung State Liberation Front (TNLA/PSLF), Arakan Army (AA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance (MNDAA) or Kokang group, Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) or Mongla group.
The seven EAOs including took the decision at a meeting held in Kunming, China on May 22.
Mai Phone Kyaw said, “We are preparing to attend this conference mainly due to negotiations made between the Chinese and Myanmar governments and these negotiations made it possible for us to attend the peace conference.”
State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi recently met Chinese Foreign Ministry, Asian Affairs special envoy H.E. Mr. Sun Guoxiang in Naypyitaw on May 22 just two days before the commencement of 21st Panglong Conference. Also, Aung San Suu Kyi visited China for the ‘One Belt, One Road’ Silk Road forum.
Additionally, the BBC Myanmar Service reported that State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met C-in-C of Defence Services Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing on May 23 in the morning.
A government official who wished not to be named said that the delegates of northern alliance would arrive in Naypyitaw on May 23.
The Federal Political Negotiations and Coordination Committee (FPNCC) led by the UWSA made a 3-point demand to the Myanmar government with assistance given by Chinese government to let AA, TNLA and MNDAA attend the 21st Panglong Conference as observers and to assure their safety during the conference.
But Mai Phone Kyaw from TNLA/PSLF did not say whether these demands were accepted by the government or not.
Mai Phone Kyaw added that though the government sent invitations to all seven EAOs there were differences in the invitation letters received by each organization.