Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) have agreed to begin political dialogue this coming month, according to KIO spokesman La Mai Gum Ja.
The announcement came following preliminary peace talks on October 30 in the Chinese town of Ruili where a delegation from Naypyidaw led by President’s Office Minister Aung Min met with KIO representatives headed by Kachin politician Sumlut Gam.
“We have agreed to continue political negotiations,” said Gum Ja. “Assuming our central committee agrees to the proposal, we will meet in November at a venue inside Burma.”
He said the two sides have agreed that the next meeting will be held in either Myitkyina or Bhamo in Kachin State or Muse in Shan State.
The nine Kachin delegates at Tuesday’s conference included Sumlut Gam, Lt-Col. Lahpai La, Lt-Col. Ji Nawng, Col. Lahpai Zau Raw, Lt-Col. Zau Tawng, and Marip Naw Htoi from the KIO’s Education Department.
Naypyidaw was represented by 11 delegates, including: Minister Aung Min; Brig-Gen. Tun Tun Naung, the head of Northern Command; Kachin State Prime Minister La John Ngan Sai; Kachin State Minister for Border and Security Affairs Col. Than Aung; and Kachin State Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Ohn Myint.
More than 20 reporters from Burma covered the Ruili conference. KIO spokesman Gum Ja said that it was a “fruitful meeting” because agreement was reached to continue talks and to proceed with political dialogue.
Tuesday’s meeting in China’s Yunnan Province was the first such round of negotiations in four months between the two sides following three preliminary meetings in Lweje Township in Kachin State.