Nai Hong Sar, vice-chairman for New Mon State Party (NMSP) and member of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), was critical of a speech delivered by the head of the Burma Army that cautioned against putting one’s own interests before democracy.
In his speech at the opening day of the Union Peace Conference (21st Century Panglong) yesterday, Commander-in-Chief Snr Gen Min Aung Hlaing said that the armed groups should “earnestly notice the fact that putting personal desires at the first place by holding arms to struggles, racism and localism” are hindering democracy.
Nai Hong Sar said: “His claim that the ethnic people do not need to continue holding arms for struggle still does not match the current situation.”
He pointed out that the Burmese military needs to accept the leadership of the civilian government, not allot itself special privileges under the 2008 Constitution.
Gen N’Ban La, vice chairperson of Kachin Independence Organization and UNFC chair, said in his opening speech that non-Bamar groups have taken up arms against the Burma Army because pledges promised in the historic 1947 Panglong Agreement weren’t fulfilled.
“We have lost democracy, national equality, and self-determination,” he said.
According to the Myanmar Times, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, who was a special guest, said in his opening address to the peace conference: “The long civil war has cost numerous lives and robbed successive generations of their dignity, tranquillity and normalcy. It is now clear that there can be no military solution to your differences.”
Regarding national reconciliation, he said that “every side must win something if the process is to succeed."