SSA: Naypyitaw negotiator sticking his neck out

Speaking at a public meeting in Kengtung in order to urge people for more participation in the peace process, Brig Gen Pawng Kherh, Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA)’s chief negotiator, said if anyone were to be prosecuted with Section 17-1 (unlawful association) for assisting in the peace process, the first one should be his Naypyitaw counterpart U Aung Min.

“There is still a lot of hesitancy among the population to cooperate with the SSA,” said a source from Kengtung, “due to the fact that the Burmese government is still refusing to repeal the law.”

Brig-Gen Pawng Kherh, RCSS/SSA chief negotiator, at the Shan New Year festival's opening ceremony in Kengtung. On his rights, behind, is Nan Sai Hsang, NDAA. On his left are Sao Gaifa, Hseng Keow PMF, and Brig-Gen Sai Lu, RCSS/SSA. (Photo: Kawli Media)

On 19 May, the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and the RCSS/SSA signed a 12 point agreement, which included:

8. A peace monitoring group will be formed before the end of July 2012 after nomination of suitable persons by the two sides

9. The two sides will continue to build up mutual trust to enable the RCSS/SSA to be totally withdrawn from the list of unlawful associations

11. The RCSS/SSA is free to hold political consultations with individuals, groups and communities throughout the country

So far the local monitoring group is yet to be formed. U Aung Min, the UPWC’s vice chairman # 2 said earlier that he was still drafting rules and regulations for the said body.

“Several people have volunteered to become peace monitors,” said Lt-Gen Yawdserk, the RCSS/SSA leader to SHAN earlier. “We will present their names to the UPWC when the time comes.”

With regards to Section 17-1, U Aung Min, on 22 July, reportedly told Hkun Htun Oo, leader of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) that won the most seats in Shan State in the 1990 elections, that he would be there to bail out Hkun Htun Oo, if he were in jail charged with (Section) 17-1. “And if you were not allowed to leave, I would stay with you behind bars,” he promised.


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