Shan leader considers trip to Naypyitaw a success

The Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) is issuing a statement tomorrow thanking the government for the 15 day trip to Naypyitaw and exhorting it to extend its invitation and hospitality to leaders of other movements as well.

“Facilitation by the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) had enable us to meet and form cordial relations with leaders there. The result was that we were able to exchange our views and aspirations freely and frankly with them,” reads the 5-page statement, the draft of which SHAN has received.

Lt-Gen. Yawdserk and President Thein Sein (Photo: Facebook/ShanStateArmy)

It sees President as a “broad-minded” man but unable to exert his authority over the military. “There are those within the leadership both who are for and against change. President Thein Sein has his work cut out for him in his quest for peace.”
The military, the statement said, is still bent on resorting to force to resolve differences. Even Vice Senior Gen Soe Win, army commander in chief, whom the delegation met with, acknowledged that the two sides had fought 97 clashes since May 2012.

The delegation, during its 9-23 June trip, also met and talked to some 4,000 people in Mandalay, Kyaukme, Taunggyi, Panglong and Tachilek. “Most of the questions being asked were:

  • Why is there still fighting after ceasefire?
  • When will the joint anti-drug operations (agreed in October 2012), be implemented?
  • When will the Unlawful Association Act (that has deterred most people from coming to meet the delegation) be repealed?”

The RCSS/SSA, that has renounced its Independence aim since the government's invitation for peace talks was announced on 19 August 2011, met President Thein Sein and his ministers, foreign diplomats and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), political parties and their leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, other armed movements and civil society organizations.

“Our proposal that a body representing Shan State should be formed to hold political dialogue with the government has received wide support from the people,” said Lt-Gen Yawdserk, the RCSS/SSA chairman, who also headed the delegation to Naypyitaw. This was his second trip back to areas controlled by the government. The first was to Kengtung, 18-22 May 2012.


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