Chiangmai agreement “could be” a major breakthrough

Informal agreement reached on 9 November between the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and Naypyitaw’s principal negotiator U Aung Min could very well be considered a “major breakthrough”, provided it is translated into the alliance’s joint Secretary # 2.

Although U Hla Maung Shwe, the Naypyitaw delegation’s peace facilitator was quoted by a news agency earlier as saying that the minister had no plans to meet it during this trip, the actual get-together which took place lasted 3 hours, 18:00-21:00.

The UNFC meets with a Burmese government delegation in Chiang Mai, November 9, 2012. (Facebook)

“We had reached agreement on several points,” said 66-year old Hkun Okker, also President of the PaO National Liberation Organization (PNLO) the 13th armed movement that signed the ceasefire agreement on 25 August. They include:
  • To resolve political issues by political means
  • Not to hold political dialogue with separate armed movements but all of them together
  • To discuss the following topics during the formal meeting which is being planned at the newly established Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) in Rangoon next month: framework for political dialogue, “talking points” or agenda, time line, and technical assistance and logistics
“The only thing left for us to do ( apart from preparations for the next meeting),” he added, “is to see that there are no mavericks among us who are out to pull a separate political deal with Naypyitaw.That will seriously undermine what we have already achieved.”

According to Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA), the UNFC had also called upon Naypyitaw again to declare a nationwide ceasefire. “We also urged the President to announce amnesty for all political offenses,” Hkun Okker added.

The UNFC is made up of 11 armed movements: Chin National Front (CNF), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Karen National Union (KNU), New Mon State Party (NMSP), Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and PaO National Liberation Organization (PNLO) that have reached ceasefire agreement with Naypyitaw as well as Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Arakan National Council (ANC), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Lahu Democratic Front (LDU) and Wa National Organization (WNO) that have yet to reach agreement.

Non-UNFC armed movements that have reached agreement are United Wa State Army (UWSA), National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), Karen Peace Council (KPC) and Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), 7 in all.


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