The Burmese government’s Union-level peacemaking group, led by President’s Office Minister Aung Min, met members of the exiled All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) on Friday in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where they reached agreement on two points, said Myo Win, the general-secretary of ABSDF.
“We agreed to make plans so that members of the ABSDF can return to Burma to conduct a study of conditions at ground level, and we agreed to continue political dialogue,” Myo Win told Mizzima.
Myo Win said that the ABSDF’s study trip will be conducted to observe first-hand the socio-political situation, to analyze possibilities for the organization, and to meet with political groups inside Burma.
He said that the group’s meeting with Aung Min and his delegation on Friday was “fruitful” and that discussions were frank.
The six-person ABSDF delegation was led by its chairman, Than Khe.
Several members of Myanmar Peace Center accompanied Minister Aung Min’s delegation.
According to one of the government delegates, the Myanmar Peace Center representatives also met with a delegation from the ethnic bloc United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) for preliminary negotiations aimed at initiating political dialogue.
“Minister Aung Min and the other groups were already here, so we invited the UNFC to our dinner,” said delegate Hla Maung Shwe, speaking to Mizzima. “Preliminary discussions were held.”
The government delegation was also due to meet with representatives of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) on Saturday morning, government representatives Nyo Ohn Myint said on Friday.
Naypyidaw signed a cease-fire agreement with the KNPP earlier this year. However, various Karenni leaders have complained that the Burmese army has failed to meet its obligations on the ground in Karenni State.
The Karenni Civil Societies Network on October 31 warned against the premature repatriation of more than 16,000 Karenni refugees and called for resolution of issues relating to construction of mega-dams in the Karenni region.