Chin agreement shows what rebel peace makers can do: scholar

A scholar attending a meeting on Sunday, 16 December, in Chiangmai where a Chin leader was presenting a report on the latest agreement signed between the Chin National Front (CNF) and the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) after a 3-day negotiation on 9 December, details of the said deal showed what the armed movements could achieve under present circumstances and the challenges that they would still need to overcome.

The CNF led by Pu Cin Zung signed a 27 point agreement with the UPWC led by U Aung Min in Rangoon, which, among others, included:

  • “The Union of Burma is a Union founded in accordance with the Panglong Agreement of February 12, 1947 by the territories formerly governed under the 1896 Chin Hills Regulation, Kachin Hill Tribes Regulation, the Federated Shan States and the Government of Burma Act of 1935. Burma being founded by multi-ethnic group, the parties agreed to negotiate towards re-establishing a genuine Union guaranteeing equality and self-determination consistent with the original intent at the Panglong Conference between General Aung San and the ethnic Nationalities”
  • No reprisals shall be made against anyone for being involved in activities related to engagement between the CNF and the public during the period of the ceasefire agreement
  • Formation of an independent Chin human rights committee and an independent Chin environmental committee
  • Continued discussion on military code of conduct
  • Establishment of a community radio broadcast program
  • Freedom of movement and to freely engage in humanitarian work
  • License for registration and production of newspapers

“We had objected to the use of ‘under existing law’, ‘in accordance with the 2008 constitution’ and ‘agree in principle’,” said Dr Suikha, a leading CNF delegate at the negotiations. “We told U Aung Min if they were included, nothing could be done practically. He agreed.”

U Aung Min, left, and Pu Cin Zung, right, shake hands after signing agreement, 9 December 2012. (Photo: Mizzima)

However, the UPWC had also had its own objection to the CNF’s 4 other propositions:

  • To discuss the restructuring of the military into Union armed forces and State security forces
  • Withdrawal of Myanmar Army units
  • Designation of new operational areas for Chin National Army (CNA)
  • To suspend operations in Kachin and Shan states

“U Aung Min said they should be discussed at the next meeting,” recalled Suikha. “He explained to us that there would be two levels of negotiations:

  • With the Union government under the mandate of the 2008 constitution
  • In the Union conference (what is known as the new Panglong) outside the mandate of the 2008 constitution”

The Ethnic Nationalities Conference, held in September in Chiangmai, has called for a Panglong-style conference participated by equal number of representatives from the government, democratic parties and ethnic armed movements (together with community-based organizations)

The CNF is a member of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), the alliance of 11-member armed movements, ceasefire pacts with Naypyitaw.

The UNFC and non-UNFC armed movements have formed the Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC) in order to jointly prepare for political negotiations with the government, which are expected to begin next year.

The scholar’s identity is withheld by request.


Allwebsitetools © 2014 Shan Herald Agency for News All Rights Reserved