Efforts to renew peacemaking talks between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the Burmese government have collapsed over a dispute involving who the KIO would negotiate with.
The KIO has rejected a suggested meeting with the Burmese military because it wants to meet with government officials directly, said a report by the English-language Myanmar Times on Monday.
“This is not a problem between the armies. It is just because of the government’s policy; it does not want to solve the ethnic problems through political means and the government keeps neglecting the real meaning of ‘union,’” the KIO senior leader Lah Nan told the newspaper last week.
Recent reports also indicate the KIO is distrustful of government Minister Aung Min who earlier this year promised to try to reverse the government policy of declaring the KIO an illegal organization, according to the KIO.
On Sunday, Thein Sein claimed during his first-ever press conference for domestic media that his government wanted peace in Kachin State.
“To get a cease-fire agreement is our government's goal,” the AP news agency reported Thein Sein as saying, in response to a question from a journalist.
“It's the people's desire to get peace, and we are doing our best for the people's desire,” Thein Sein said.
Thein Sein also used the press conference to accuse the KIO of committing acts of sabotage against roads, bridges, railways and the national power grid, according to reports.