NCA-Signatory EAOs Object to Govt Demand to Report Intl Aid


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) signatory to Burma’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) have rejected a recent government statement ordering them to report their international aid to a government peace negotiation body.

The EAOs announced their stance on the statement on Saturday at the conclusion of a three-day meeting of the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A PPST spokesperson said that they would be putting their objection into writing.

“The government is violating Article 25 of the NCA,” spokesperson Nai Aung Mangae said, referring to a section of the accord that says EAOs can accept development aid from donors both within and outside of Burma. “We will send an official letter to both the NRPC (National Reconciliation and Peace Center) and the President. It should not be like this. We need cooperation,” he added.

The government statement on the issue had called on EAOs to consult the NPRC before seeking assistance from UN agencies, foreign embassies or international NGOs for development projects.

General secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU) Padoh Saw Tadoh Moo emphasized that the demand went against peace efforts.

“We have been implementing regional development and security in our areas. We recognize each other’s positions with true commitment. So far, we have cooperated and negotiated with them,” he explained, adding, “saying we must have their permission violates the NCA.”

Saw Mra Razarlin, who is on the central executive committee of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), told NMG that the government should not place such restrictions on EAOs.

“I think the government should give full rights to ethnic armed organizations if the government considers ethnic rights in a future nation,” she said.

The PPST meeting was held from October 10-12. A total of 74 representatives attended, including representatives from the 10 NCA-signatory EAOs, PPST leaders, advisors, technical support team members and office staff.

The EAOs that signed the NCA are: the ALP, KNU, the All-Burma Students Democratic Front, Chin National Front, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, Karen National Liberation Army/Peace Council, Lahu Democratic Union, New Mon State Party, Pa-O National Liberation Organization and the Restoration Council of Shan State.