NCA Signatories Meet With COVID-19 Coordinating Committee

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A COVID-19 coordinating committee formed by the government met with representatives from the ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) yesterday in the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) in Yangon.

Myo Win, who is the vice-chairperson of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, said that NCA (Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement) signatories will cooperate with the committee to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in their areas.

During the informal meeting, the EAOs discussed with the committee about medical care for infected persons and returning migrant workers through the border.

Myo Win explained that a official meeting is planned for May 8.

Myanmar (Burma) President’s Office formed the coordinating committee on April 27 to address the spread of COVID-19 in areas that are controlled by the EAOs.

Committee chairperson Dr Tin Myo Win, who also is the NRPC vice-chairperson, told the government mouthpiece the Global New Light Of Myanmar that “ethnic armed groups are mainly focusing on prevention and control measures. However, they will need government’s assistance for treatments.”

Myo Win told NMG during Friday’s meeting they will discuss several incidents where the Tatmadaw actively blocked coronavirus prevention and education campaigns by the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and the Karen National Union (KNU).

Tatmadaw attacked RCSS/SSA medics in mid-April when they were providing personal protective equipment and checking the temperatures of villagers in Mongpan township, located in southern Shan State.

After the KNU Brigade-1 set up a medical checkpoint in Htonbo in Thaton township, the Karen State Security and Border Affairs minister Myo Min Naung sent a letter to the KNU central liaison office on April 17 requesting that it “not disturb administration affairs.”

The other members of the government’s coronavirus coordinating committee are retired Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo, who is the vice-chairperson and also the secretary of the peace commission; Hla Maw Oo, who is the secretary and also the deputy minister of Ethnic Affairs Ministry; and committee member Moe Zaw Oo, who is the advisor to the peace commission.

The NCA signatories are: Karen National Union, Chin National Front, All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, Karen National Liberation Army/Peace Council, Pa-O National Liberation Organization, Arakan Liberation Party, Restoration Council of Shan State, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, New Mon State Party and Lahu Democratic Union.