NCA Signatories Meet in Chiang Mai to Discuss Peace Process

Representatives of 10 ethnic armed organizations gather for three days of talks aimed at ending the deadlock in Burma’s peace process.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Representatives of 10 ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that have signed Burma’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) gathered in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai on Wednesday for three days of talks aimed at addressing issues that have stalled the country’s peace process.

The meeting, which follows up on the first session of the fourth summit of NCA-signatory EAOs, held in Chiang Mai on May 14-18, will also look at ways to strengthen implementation of the NCA, according to attendees.

“We will collect common views on implementation of the peace process and discuss how to overcome issues that have stood in the way of progress. Then we will discuss how to strengthen implementation of the NCA, including bilateral agreements,” Comrade Myo Win, the vice-chairman of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), told NMG.

According to Yebaw Myo Win, participants in the talks will seek common ground through a meeting of the working committee, which will have one representative from each of the 10 NCA-signatory groups.

“We will try to find a common position among the 10 NCA-signatory EAOs. At the same time, we are going to cooperate with non-NCA EAOs on the NCA implementation process,” he said.

To move the peace process forward, the working committee will also report its findings to the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST).

Regarding negotiations with the government and discussions with non-NCA EAOs, the NCA-signatory groups formed two working groups during the first session of their fourth summit last month.

After the three-day talks end tomorrow, another meeting will be held on Saturday to discuss whether to transform the PPST into a new body, the Peace Process Consultative Meeting, as proposed by the Karen National Union (KNU).

The 10 NCA signatories are the KNU, the ABSDF, the Chin National Front, the KNU/KNLA Peace Council, the Pa-O National Liberation Organization, the Arakan Liberation Party, the Restoration Council of Shan State, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army – Brigade 5, the New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union.