Ethnic conference to be convened in August

A second ethnic nationalities conference, a follow-up to last year’s, has been planned for August, according to Saw Htoo Htoo Lay a resource person for the Chiangmai-based Working Groups for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC).

Ethnic Nationalities Conference held in Chiangmai, 14 - 16 September 2012 (Photo: KNU)

Ethnic alliances: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), United Nationalities League for Democracy (UNLD), Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC), National Democratic Front (NDF) and others will be invited to form a convening committee on 1-2 August. “This will be in line with the spirit of ‘Unity in Diversity’ instead of the outmoded spirit of ‘Unity in Uniformity’,” the ever-cheerful 67 year old Karen, said.

The first conference, held in Chiangmai, 14-16 September, had adopted a 5 phase roadmap proposed by the UNFC:

  • To draft a framework for political dialogue
  • To negotiate and reach agreement with the government on the framework
  • To hold state-level conferences
  • To hold inter-state conferences
  • To hold a union conference for a union accord

The second Ethnic Nationalities, he said, would focus on the adoption of the draft framework and dialogue process.

Dialogue issues, as drafted by the WGEC, includes:

  • Constitutional reforms
  • Security reforms
  • Judicial reforms
  • Land issues
  • Drug eradication
  • IDP/refugee issues
  • Education standards
  • Non-discrimination, among others


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