ABSDF Conference Explores the Organization’s ‘Long-Term Survival’

 The event, convened once every four years, will include discussions on ABSDF’s ‘systematic participation’ in the peace process.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) kicked off its 11thConference at its headquarters in Karen State on Sunday, with participants discussing the organization’s long-term future and its role in the peace process.

The event—hosted in Dawn Taman camp—will last for five days, concluding on September 20. It takes place once every four years.

“It depends on the practical situation, but we have to prepare for systematic participation in the peace process,” ABSDF vice-chairman U Myo Win said.

Conference participants will discuss alternative ways of pursuing good relations the government, and how to cooperate with democratic forces in Burma.

Central executive committee member Salai Yaw Aung said that the conference will focus on “the future of the ABSDF” and how the organization “can survive and move forward in a difficult situation.”

“We have to discuss how we can do better,” he added. “Our situation is different from other armed organizations. We don’t have our own territory. Our organization doesn’t represent any ethnic group. We have gradually faced difficulties for our survival in the long term, so we have to discuss how to find a solution for this.”

At the 11thConference, leaders from within the ABSDF will present reports on politics, the findings of working committees, and those from battalions and other military outfits. Participants also plan to assess the implementation of the current peace process and re-form working committees. They will elect new ABSDF leading committee members on the last day of the event.

ABSDF was formed by youth in November 1988 following a nationwide democratic uprising in Burma. The group is one of ten armed organizations to have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the country’s government and military.