The Burmese government’s Union-level peacemaking group, led by President’s Office Minister Aung Min, on Friday arrived in Thailand where it is scheduled to meet members of the exiled All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF), as well as representatives of ethnic armed groups, Hla Maung Shwe, a government peace delegate, told Mizzima.
“Our group will go to Bangkok and Chiang Mai,” he said. “We have arranged to meet with the Karenni National Progressive Party [KNPP] and the ABSDF. We will also meet other organizations.”
Hla Maung Shwe added that their meetings would involve just preliminary talks.
Speaking to Mizzima, KNPP secretary Aung San Myint said, “From our perspective, we want to review the 14 points we agreed when we signed the cease-fire agreement with the government on June 9.”
Aung San Myint said the KNPP delegates also wish to discuss several other issues: the withdrawal of some government troops from Karenni State; the deployment of human rights monitors in the region; a monitoring aspect for the cease-fire; matters relating to the Ywathit hydropower project; and putting a stop to the Burmese army’s plan to build a military training ground in Karenni’s Pruso Township.
The military training base was already 50 percent complete, Aung San Myint said.
When Mizzima contacted ABSDF to ask about their planned meeting with the government delegation, ABSDF general secretary Myo Win said that the group would only make a statement after the meeting, not before.
Asked about the ABSDF, Hla Maung Shwe said, “Aung Min has stated that we would communicate with all the ‘stake holders’ in the peace process, build mutual trust, and work step by step.”
Aung Min’s delegation and the ABSDF held a preliminary meeting in June.
Initially, word had circulated that the Burmese government delegation would be meeting for talks with the ethnic bloc United Nationalities Federal Council [UNFC] while in Thailand. However, Hla Maung Shwe said, “We don’t have any plans to meet with the UNFC during this trip.”