KNPP, Peace Commission Hold Informal Meeting

Delegates discussed issues creating a deadlock regarding the NCA.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the Burmese government’s Peace Commission held an informal meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand on Tuesday.

The meeting was held to discuss issues leaving the two sides in deadlock regarding the possibility of the KNPP signing Burma’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government and military.

“Our KNPP discussed two points. The first one is what has happened in KNPP-controlled areas in 2018. The second one is that we have issues on which we are deadlocked,” KNPP spokesperson Nei Neh Plo told NMG. “We discussed how the government could compromise with us and move the process forward.”

A Peace Commission delegation led by the retired Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo, and a KNPP delegation led by vice chairman Khu Oo Reh attended the meeting, which lasted around three hours.

According to the KNPP, the Peace Commission will send a representative to a monthly state-level meeting in Karenni State to address problems on the ground. Depending on the results of this move, the KNPP will continue negotiations around signing the NCA.

Members of the Peace Commission described Tuesday’s informal meeting as beneficial.

“It was a good meeting between us. We got positive results,” Peace Commission member and President’s Office spokesperson U Zaw Htay told reporters.

The KNPP emphasized to NMG that no agreements were made in the talks because of their informal nature, but that they discussed military and political affairs, as well as the 2017 killing of three KNPP soldiers and a civilian by Burma Army troops.

U Zaw Htay confirmed that they talked with the KNPP about “some incidents that happened on the ground” and was focused on “moving the process forward for the signing of the NCA.”

In addition to Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo and U Zaw Htay, other Peace Commission delegates included MP U Aung Soe, advisor U Hla Maung Shwe, and U Kyaw Lin Oo.

Khu Oo Reh’s KNPP delegation included Col Phone Naing, Khu Taw Reh, Tar Gaychai, Nei Neh Plo, Maw Theh Mar, and Khun Nawng. The members ranged from central executive committee members to technical support staff.

The Peace Commission delegation left Chiang Mai for Yangon on Tuesday afternoon. NMG has learned that they will continue their trip onward to China to meet with the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups.

The KNPP signed a ceasefire with Burma’s military regime in March 1995, but it was broken after three months, renewing conflict. In March 2012, the KNPP signed a state-level ceasefire agreement with the previous Thein Sein-led government in Loikaw and a Union-level ceasefire agreement in June of the same year.