Learning to share: The CSSU Annual Meeting.

Day Two. Friday, 6 May 2017

To settle an argument,
Think of what is right, not who is right.

Khun Htun Oo and Sao Hso Ten.
(Photo: CSSU)
The morning session begins with evaluation of the overall situation. Extracts:

·        Most of our people are uninformed of what’s really happening around them. Many of them therefore are easily won over by the other side.

·        According to the UNICEF report, Shan State is the lowest in literacy

·        Fighting on the battlefield is difficult. But fighting in the political arena is even more difficult.

·        We cannot depend on amending the constitution within the Parliament alone. That’s why there is the extra parliamentary (that is NCA) procedure. But the two processes must go hand in hand

ESSDDP Vice Chairman Sai 
Hsarm Tip Hso. (Photo: CSSU)
·        The government approved the RCSS application for its mining operations in Mongton. But it was rejected by the Tatmadaw.

·        Daw Suu’s power is extremely limited, as all key ministries are under the Tatmadaw.

·        The KIO (Kachin Independence Organization) has pulled out from the UNFC (United Nationalities Federal Council). The alliance’s future thus hangs in the balance.

Sai Nyi Moe, leading member of NGSS
(Photo: CSSU)
·        The essence of the NCA is joint mechanism. It was quite strong during U Thein Sein’s tenure. Now it has been moving toward a one-sided ownership. The example is the holding of the local level National Dialogue (ND) in Taunggyi, 23-25 April, without waiting for the meeting of, and subsequent approval by, the UPDJC (Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee).

·        The economy has also slowed down. This has the potential of adversely affecting the peace process.

RCSS Chairman Sao Yaw Serk.
(Photo: CSSU)
·        We should attend the UPC 21 CP, and present a united voice. But we will first need to negotiate for a venue to make preparations.

·        If we don’t attend it, we lose. If we can’t present a united voice, it will carry no weight

Here is some of the resolutions:

·        The President for the period 5 May 2017 to 31 January 2018 is Sao Yaw Serk.
SNDP chairman Sai Ai Pao.
·        On 31 January 2018, the presidentship will be transferred to SNDP chair
·        Charter amendment propositions can be submitted to the Secretariat by 20 July at the latest.

No decision however is made whether or not the non-signatory SSPP to sign the NCA, although a discussion is held on the topic which goes like this:

A.    We would like the SSPP/SSA should sign the NCA, as we have witnessed a peaceful and prosperous PaO area, due to ceasefire and peace.

B.     According to our understanding of the Tatmadaw’’s position which was presented at the UPC 21 CP last August, signatories of the NCA must surrender within 3 years. We cannot accept that.

C.     We see there are those who interpret the NCA differently. Nevertheless, we share the same aim. It will therefore be for the good of our country, if we continue working together.

The meeting ends with a closing speech by Gen Yawd Serk:

·        Everything I do, I will first ask for a collective voice.
·        A revolution is waged not to take revenge. On the contrary, it is waged for the purpose of removing injustices.

A dinner party follows to mark the successful conclusion of the meeting.
What’s next? I ask one of the RCSS members. Without hesitation, he replies, “The hard part.”


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