No Major Achievements in Three Years Since NCA: PPST Leader

Gen Yawd Serk said that the deadlock is due to stakeholders ‘standing on their immutable policies.’


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Temporary leader of the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) Gen Yawd Serk said that even though three years has passed since the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), there are no major achievements to be celebrated.

The reason for this, the chair of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) said, is that all stakeholders in the peace process hold to their ideas too firmly.

“The NLD [National League for Democracy] government has held the third round of the 21st Century Panglong Conference. There are no major achievements because all stakeholders stand on their immutable policies,” Gen Yawd Serk said.

He made the statement in his opening speech at the fourth summit of ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) signatory to the NCA. The event is being held in Chiang Mai from May 14-18.

“The Tatmadaw firmly protects, ‘non-secession from the Union, being one army, the Tatmadaw’s six principles, and the 2008 Constitution.’ Nobody can touch these issues. So building a federal Union is very far off,” Gen Yawd Serk said in his speech, describing the military’s stance as “an obstacle in the current peace process.”

Only when policies are put aside and issues discussed, will stakeholders get “win-win results,” he added.

The PPST temporary leader also said that the government, Tatmadaw, EAOs and other organizations must try hard to make the peace process succeed.

In the current summit, working groups will report what they have done so far, and discuss reforming existing committees. Also up for discussion are letters sent by EAOs to the State Counsellor and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Participants will discuss how to transform the PPST into the Peace Process Coordination Committee, and the signing of a dead of commitment to move the peace process out of a deadlock.

Chairperson of the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) Khun Myint Tun said that summit attendees will discuss better cooperation within the PPST.

“It’s a major thing. In this situation, how we can move forward among ourselves? And then how can we cooperate with non-NCA ethnic brothers?” he asked. “We need unity among EAOs as well as unity with the government. If we have unity, we can continue the peace process until peace is restored. The major topic will be how all stakeholders can cooperate to overcome the deadlock,” he explained.

Over 80 representatives from the RCSS, PNLO, Karen National Union, Chin National Front, All Burma Students Democratic Front, Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council, Arakan Liberation Party, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, New Mon State Party and Lahu Democratic Union are attending the summit as participants.

Representatives of the Kachin Independence Organization and the Karenni National Progressive Party are attending the summit as observers.