Leadership of PPST to be Reshuffled

Representatives from RCSS and KNU will be changed, according to insiders.

Tuesday, March 6, 2019

Two leaders in the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) will be replaced with other members from their organizations, Karen National Union (KNU) chairperson Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe said in a Tuesday meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The PPST is formed with representatives of ethnic armed organizations that are signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the Burmese government and military.

While there is no official election to facilitate the reshuffle, information has been leaked that Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe will be replaced with KNU general secretary Padoh Saw Tadoh Moo, and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) chairperson Gen Yawd Serk will be replaced with the RCSS’s deputy chief of staff Brig-Gen Bawng Khur.

In his opening speech at the two-day meeting, the KNU chair also urged further changes to the PPST and the seeking of common ground between the member organizations.

“Our two organizations [the KNU and RCSS] will propose reforms of the PPST structure in the meeting. We will negotiate, discuss and cooperate with other members to reform this structure,” Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe said.

Participants said the reshuffle would be discussed on the last day of the meeting, which was called as an attempt to overcome deadlock in the peace process.

“The current situation implementing the NCA has deviated from the path of building a democracy and federal Union, which would grant full national equality and self-determination rights,” the chair said.

Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe also encouraged participants to re-examine and discuss an October 2018 letter sent to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and military commander-in-chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, because the PPST had not received a response.

The NCA-signatory ethnic armed organizations all sent representatives to the meeting, including the KNU RCSS, All-Burma Students Democratic Front, Pa-O National Liberation Organization, Arakan Liberation Party, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, Chin National Front, KNU/Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council, New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union.