Conveners await official greenlight for 3-state dialogue

The organizing committee for the Kayah-Mon-Shan Trustbuilding for Peace forum, to be held 21-23 September in Taunggyi, is hoping official approval for its convening will be granted soon, according to Sai Nyunt Lwin, General Secretary of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) and one of the organizers.

The application was submitted to Sao Aung Myat, Shan State Chief Minister, on 24 August. According to the directive issued in early August, permission for any political gathering must be applied for at least 10 days beforehand.

Leaders posing for group photo at Trustbuilding for Peace forum in Lashio, 20 March 2013. (Photo: SNLD)

Spearheaded by the SNLD, the upcoming forum follows the two previous Trustbuilding for Peace forums that have taken place: among the Shans in November 2012 and between Shan and Kayah last March. The first and second forums were graced by U Aung Min, Minister for President’s Office and Vice Chairman #2 of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC).

Expected attendees, besides parties from Kayah, Mon and Shan states, include the UPWC, chief ministers of the 3 said states, Kachin State Facilitators for Peace, National League for Democracy (NLD), National Democratic Force (NDF), 88 Generation Students, All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) and Democratic Party for New Society (DPNS). “The UNFC (United Nationalities Federal Council) and the WGEC (Working Group for Ethnic Coordination) will also be invited,” said a young organizer.

Main discussion topics are Democracy, Peace, Federal Union and the Amendment of the 2008 constitution. “The aim is to seek answers for these 4 pressing issues,” he added.

The Shan State Chief Minister, in turn, has referred to the Union government as the forum does not concern just one state, but three, explained Sai Lake, SNLD spokesman.

It is not officially explained why the new requirement has been imposed. In Rangoon, the regional government also issued a directive last month for Bahan township requiring all residents, organizations and business owners to provide officials with 20 days notice if they plan to host an event, reported The Irrawaddy and Democratic Voice of Burma.

Bahan is home to NLD headquarters and Royal Rose Hall, where several political meetings and press conferences have been held.


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