Wa in Chiangmai “to listen, not to talk”

Xiao Hsarm Khun, Wa chief delegate to the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) held ethnic conference in Chiangmai, says he and his two representatives are there to learn and report back to the leadership.

“We are here to listen, not to talk,” he told SHAN.

But it was the first time, he admitted, that Panghsang, the UWSA headquarters on the Chinese border head accepted an invitation from Thai-Burmese border based resistance movements. “Altogether, we received 4 invitations in the past,” he said. “But at that time, I guess our leaders were still worried some people would not feel happy about the Wa reaching out to the West.”

The first time he was here was in 2008, when he attended a UN Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) sponsored tour in Chiangmai and Chiangrai, according to him.

The West, led by the United States, in the meanwhile, has dubbed the UWSA a drug trafficking organization.

The Ethnic Conference for Peace and National Reconciliation’s first day was attended by some 120 delegates. Topics being and to be discussed include: Ongoing peace talks between the UNFC and Naypyitaw, Federal Democracy, Federal Armed Forces, Nationwide ceasefire, Amendment of the 2008 constitution and the 2015 general elections, among others.

A press conference has been scheduled for the final day afternoon at the conclusion of the meeting.


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