NCA Signatories Seek Common Ground

KNU chairperson Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe says the ethnic armed group signatories hope to narrow their differences in upcoming meetings.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), representing ethnic armed organizations that have signed Burma’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government and military, met in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Thursday.

The two-day event marks the 24thround of PPST meetings and precedes a September 8 meeting of NCA-signatory ethnic armed groups.

Chairperson of the Karen National Union (KNU) Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe told NMG that the signatory groups hope to narrow their differences and identify the common ground necessary to building a federal Union in the future.

“We have to cooperate and negotiate on our future standpoints,” the general said in the meeting, adding that they would “set up the future plan based on common points.”

In Thursday and Friday’s sessions, PPST leaders will review the results of the third session of the Union Peace Conference—also called the 21stCentury Panglong Peace Conference—held in July. Also up for discussion are matters related to the Joint Monitoring Committee of the NCA, as well as reports from different working committees.

According to Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe, agreements reached in the PPST meeting will be brought to the summit of ethnic armed organizations taking place on Saturday.

“From this informal meeting, we have to try to negotiate the different basic political principles and different ideas among stakeholders,” he said. “The NCA signatory ethnic armed organizations have different opinions. Therefore, we must discuss and negotiate the differences until we achieve a common ground, and common values for building a future federal Union.”

In addition to Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe, Thursday’s meeting was attended by Gen Yawd Serk of the Restoration Council of Shan State, Pu Zing Cung of the Chin National Front, Than Khe of the All Burma Students Democratic Front, Khun Myint Tun of the Pa-O National Liberation Organization, U Khine Soe Naing Aung of the Arakan Liberation Party, Gen Saw Moo Shay of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, Dr. Naw Kapaw Htoo of the Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council, and Kya Har of the Lahu Democratic Union. Thirty other representatives were also present.