Govt Peace Delegation to Visit Thailand

Govt Peace Delegation to Visit Thailand

Aung Min speaks during a welcoming ceremony for leaders of the Karen National Union at the Sedona Hotel in Rangoon on April 5, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Aung Min speaks during a welcoming ceremony for leaders of the Karen National Union at the Sedona Hotel in Rangoon on April 5, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON — A Burmese government peace delegation led by President’s Office Minister Aung Min is expected to arrive in Thailand on Friday for talks with ethnic armed groups, but has postponed a planned trip to the UK to study conflict resolution.

Hla Maung Shwe, a government peace broker close to Aung Min, told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that the delegation will meet with the Karenni National Progressive Party and other groups in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai during its three-day stay in Thailand.

He also said that the trip to the UK, which Aung Min said in a recent interview with the Rangoon-based People’s Age journal would take place from Nov. 9-16, has been postponed because of the minister’s busy schedule. No new date has been set.

The purpose of that trip, Aung Min said, was to learn about how stakeholders in the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland resolved their differences.

In another sign that Naypyidaw is increasingly seeking international support to help end more than half a century of internal conflict, Aung Min signed an agreement with the EU on Saturday that will allow it to send monitoring teams to Burma to observe the peace process if needed.

On the same day, Aung Min also met with leaders of ethnic political parties at the newly opened, EU-funded Myanmar Peace Center in Rangoon, where they discussed ethnic rights and federalism.

However, critics of the government-led peace efforts say that local people have not been properly consulted about plans for their future, and that many suspect the entire process is driven by the business interests of members of the government peacemaking team.

“So far, the Burmese delegation is only talking about business. With the help of some foreign NGOs, they are trying to convince Karen leaders that money will bring freedom,” said a member of the Italian aid group Popoli, which has been working in Karen State since 2001.

“Most of the so-called ‘peace brokers’ present at the discussions on the government side are businessmen,” he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

For these critics, the first step toward peace is the withdrawal of government troops from areas under the control of ethnic armed groups, followed by political dialogue. Only then, they say, should economic talks commence.


2 Responses to Govt Peace Delegation to Visit Thailand

  1. George Than Setkyar Heine

      “The first step toward peace is the withdrawal of government troops from
    areas under the control of ethnic armed groups, followed by political
    dialogue. Only then, they say, should economic talks commence”.
    TOLD YOU SO since DAY ONE as well guys!
    WITHDRAWAL of ALL BURMESE TROOPS OUT OF ETHNIC LANDS is CONDITIONAL and NON-NEGOTIABLE as well as  IT IS the FIRST STEP for PEACE in ethnic lands and BURMA at large in case Thein Sein is SINCERE at HEART for SECURING ETHNIC PEACE in Burma I say.
    Beating around the bush like forming PEACE COMMISSION least of all WOULD NOT HOLD ANY WATER for THAT MATTER (peace in ethnic lands and Burma).
    And POLITICAL DIALOGUE to IRON OUT DIFFERENCES if there are any could be held only in a PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE as well no doubt.
    Only when PEACE and POLITICAL STABILITY REIGN in Burma ECONOMIC TALKS (undertakings) for the PROSPERITY of the PEOPLE and POSTERITY of the country could be WORKED OUT and for the BETTER as well.
    “So far, the Burmese delegation is only talking about business. With the
    help of some foreign NGOs, they are trying to convince Karen leaders
    that money will bring freedom,” said a member of the Italian aid group
    Popoli, which has been working in Karen State since 2001.
    Popoli guy is a SMART ASS no doubt.
    And Mutu Say Poe and the other two in the KNU leadership FELL for IT – MONEY WILL BRING FREEDOM – and they got KICKED OUT OUT of the KNU as well.
    MONEY, POWER, OPPORTUNITY amongst MANY are in Thein Sein’s ARSENAL for that matter  (divide and conquer/rule) an ARCHAIC TOOL of the British colonialists’ STILL IN VOGUE until today, EMPLOYED by the past military regimes and COMING INTO HANDY during Thein Sein’s watch as well as evidenced today.
    Of course Aung Min has NO CAUSE much less CASE as well to go on a SIGHT SEEING TRIP to the UK at the EXPENSE of the TAX PAYERS as well.
    PEACE IS JUST AROUND the CORNER as OBVIOUS today.
    And STRETCHING TIME and PLAYING a STALLING GAME for that MATTER (peace in Burma) UNTIL TODAY is SIMPLY POINTLESS,WEIRD, WICKED and WORTHLESS as well on the part of the so-called president of Burma I should say.

  2. Something is better than nothing. Peace Negotiation process conducted by President Thein Sein is not working well. Because his plan is poorly done. The Pang Long style conference and treaty is needed. The current approach is just for “Divide & Rule” tactic. It will go nowhere. Because we the people are losing hope for the genuine democracy which is good for all the peoples of the Union of Burma including the Burmans. Federal system is not just a good system for the ethnics but also for the Burmans.

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