UNFC representatives to meet with UPDJC leaders

Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi (C) speaks to members of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee during a meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 27 May 2016. Photo: Hein Htet/EPA

The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) will have its representatives meet with leaders of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) for a discussion and detailed enquiry into the 21 Century Panglong Conference, before the end of June.

Representatives of the Union Peace Conference – 21 Century Panglong Preparatory Sub-committee (2) and top leaders of the UNFC agreed at a dinner event to meet this month in order to hold discourse, according to NaiHtaw Mon, the Chairman of New Mon State Party (NMSP), who attended the event.

The preparatory committee and sub-committees for the Union Peace Conference -21 Century Panglong Conference were founded by the President’s Office on May 31.

“The points taken from the meeting between government and DPN (Delegation for Political Negotiation) representatives are good. However, we still have many points that remain unclear. The new government group cannot state specifically regarding them yet. Therefore, we agreed to have our representatives travel to meet with the UPDJC members officially,” said NaiHtaw Mon, in an interview with MNA.

Nai Mon Htaw added that the UNFC representatives would meet with UDPJC in the second or third week of June, although no specific date has been set.

“The promising point is that they [UNFC members] would all cooperate and ultimately participate in this conference,” said Dr. Tin Myo Win, government’s Chief Negotiator and chairman of Preparatory Subcommittee [for 21 Century Panglong], at a press conference, after the meeting with DPN delegates on June 3.

The Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN), founded by the UNFC, is comprised of 9 ethnic armed groups including Kachin Independent Organization, New Mon State Party, Karenni National Progressive Party, Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), Wa National Organization (WNO), Myanmar Nationals Democracy Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Arakan National Council (ANC).

The UNFC’s 9 member groups have not signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). Additionally, the United Wa State Army, National Democracy Alliance Army (NDAA), National Socialist Council Nagaland – Khaplang (NSCN – K) and Arakan Army are also yet to ink the NCA.

However, eight ethnic armed groups signed the NCA with the Thein Sein Government on October 15, 2015. These groups include Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), Karen National Union (KNU), Restoration of Council Shan State (RCSS), Chin National Front and Pa Oh National Liberation Organization (PNLO).

The State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also the chairwoman of UPDJC, stated that the Union Peace Conference – 21 Century Panglong would be held in August, and that the [preparatory] sub-committees were founded to meet with the non-NCA signatory groups in order to have them involved in the conference.

Courtesy BNI

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