Ethnic, Political Groups Hold Talks on Thai Border

Ethnic, Political Groups Hold Talks on Thai Border

Senior 88 Generation leader Ko Ko Gyi, standing, speaks during a meeting between the UNFC and opposition political forces on the Thai-Burmese border on Friday, July 4, 2014. (Photo: The 88 Generation Peace and Open Society)

Senior 88 Generation leader Ko Ko Gyi, standing, speaks during a meeting between the UNFC and opposition political forces on the Thai-Burmese border on Friday, July 4, 2014. (Photo: The 88 Generation Peace and Open Society)

RANGOON — Ethnic armed groups and opposition political parties met on the Thai-Burmese border on Friday for the second day of talks organized by the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of ethnic armed groups in Burma.

According to a statement issued by the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, one of the participants in the talks, the gathering brought together various political forces for discussions about the government’s push to reach a nationwide peace accord, and opposition calls for amendments to the military-drafted 2010 Constitution.

Besides the UNFC and the 88 Generation group, the meeting was attended by representatives of the United Nationalities Alliance (an umbrella group of ethnic political parties) and the National League for Democracy, the country’s main opposition party.

Nai Hong Sar, head of the UNFC’s National Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that his group planned to present a report on its ongoing negotiations with the Burmese government at today’s meeting.

“We will discuss what we have done so far, and ask other people for their ideas. We will also ask them what they see as the obstacles to the peace process and how we can overcome them,” he said.

Ko Ko Gyi, a senior 88 Generation leader, said he urged the ethnic armed groups not to repeat the mistake they made in the past of signing separate ceasefire agreements without first getting guarantees that an inclusive political dialogue would follow.

“We should all be able to participate in this political dialogue together. We should all be united,” he said, adding that the process should also be transparent.

“We need to learn from the past, and also from the example of peace negotiations in other countries. This political dialogue should also be related to the issue of changing the Constitution,” he said.

Since taking power in 2011, President Thein Sein has introduced a series of political reforms and reopened negotiations with the country’s ethnic armed groups, urging them to sign a nationwide peace agreement as a first step toward a political dialogue.

The NCCT, which represents 12 ethnic armed groups, says a key stumbling block to reaching an agreement is the Burmese government army’s rejection of a federal union system.


4 Responses to Ethnic, Political Groups Hold Talks on Thai Border

  1. Federal system is the only system we have been fighting for the past 60 years. Panglong agreement guarantees us. Myanmar regime sees federal system with only one eye. Regime needs to open both eyes and sees things as they are. So far, regime is as nut as idiot.

  2. Discussions on the table is the best way of getting achievement between differences. All groups combined vs USDP is one of the greatest showdown of Myanmar history in 2015. So, this kind of conference must be held among lovers of genuine democracy.

  3. Unity, unity and unity in all oppositional parties, all ethnics. Or you all will be killed easily and readily. See brave kachin for good example.

  4. Be careful in all ethnics. USDP will downgrade and find false in all ethnics’ leaders very soon, like kill local Muslim with the slogans of Buddhinization, bamanization and nationalism.

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