KNPP Agrees to Meet NRPC, Tatmadaw Negotiation Team

Representatives of the Peace Commission reportedly push a future signing of the NCA in an informal meeting with the Karenni organization.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Representatives of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) have agreed to meet with the Burmese government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) and the Burma Army’s negotiation team in the near future.

According to leaders from the KNPP and the Peace Commission, who met informally on Sunday in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the discussion on the potential for further meetings was held in the talks.

“Even though it was an informal meeting, we came to an agreement. We discussed how to work out the signing of the NCA [Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement],” U Zaw Htay, a Peace Commission member and director-general of the State Counsellor’s Office, said, adding that the next step would be to approach the NRPC and the military’s negotiation team, led by Gen Yar Pyae.

According to KNPP spokesperson Nei Neh Plo, the meeting has not yet been scheduled, but it is hoped that it will be held this month. He added that the Peace Commission delegates focused largely on the NCA, which the KNPP has not signed.

“There was no agenda of ‘the issue of NCA signing’ in today’s meeting,” he said on Sunday. “The NCA is not the ultimate goal—it’s just a roadmap for long lasting peace in the country. The KNPP will continue to walk on the NCA path. But we still have things that need to be negotiated so that walking on that path can be smooth. We discussed those things in the meeting today,” Nei Neh Plo explained.

Also discussed in the informal meeting was the potential for monthly meetings between the KNPP and the state government, and the issue of the Burma Army’s expansion of its forces in Karenni State.

However, U Zaw Htay maintains that “there is no big problem with the KNPP.”

“They have some military issues that need to be discussed. We suggested they discuss these issues with the Tatmadaw when they meet them. They also have urged regular state-level meetings to be held to solve problems on the ground,” he said, adding that these points were “not a big deal” and that they were discussed “to support the signing of the NCA.”

KNPP vicechairperson Khu Oo Reh, and organizational leaders Col Bone Naing, Khu Taw Reh Khu Hte Buu, and technical support team member Nei Neh Plo and office staff member Khun Nawng participated in the meeting.

From the Peace Commission, a delegation led by the retired Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo included U Zaw Htay, advisor U Hla Maung Shwe, member U Aung Soe, and office staff member U Kyaw Lin Oo.

The KNPP, formed in 1957, signed a ceasefire agreement with the former military government in March of 1995, but broke down after three months. The organization signed a state-level ceasefire with the government in the Karenni State capital of Loikaw in March of 2012, and a Union-level ceasefire in June of the same year.