Some 23 movements expected to join Shan State conference

According to Sai Nyunt Lwin, General Secretary of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) who is heading the Shan State Conference Organizing Committee, some 23 Shan State and Kayah State based movements will be invited to the conference to be held in Lashio, Shan State’s norther capital, on the first week of March.

“We will invite Shan State based group,” he told SHAN on Tuesday, 29 January.
The United Wa State (UWSA) that has demanded a separate state, reportedly by its own request, will be among those invited. “The conference will consider their aspirations,” said Sai Nyunt Lwin aka Sai Nood. “But I doubt it will have time to do lengthy deliberations on the subject.”

Sai Nyunt Lwin aka Sai Nood, General Secretary of SNLD (Photo: SHAN)

Sai Lake, the party spokesman said earlier that working out a common political stand would be the principal object of the planned exercise.

“The 2008 constitution has been in force for 2 years now,” he said. “Everyone who studies it will know whether or not it is adequate. We are not trying to find fault, but there have been a lot of difficulties. For example, the Shan State government has no say when it comes to education and health. That’s meaningless.”

9 Shan State-based parties met in Lashio on 29 January to form the conference organizing committee, 3 from SNLD and 1 each from 8 other parties.

It also plans to invite Kayah State-based parties, also by their own request, to the conference. “Their problem is that there are no registered Kayah parties in Kayah State,” explained Sai Nood. “They only have ceasefire armed movements.”

SHAN has been trying to get a response from the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Kayah State’s major armed movement that signed a ceasefire on 7 March 2012.

Sai Nyunt Lwin, 60, is in Thailand since 17 January to have his hernia and piles operated. He will decide when to leave for home after a final checkup today, he said.


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