Fri 24 Aug 2012
Filed under: Inside Burma,Military,News
A recent report submitted by the month long Shan State Army (SSA) South field trip to its leadership says most people, despite the on and off clashes that have been taking place between it and the Burma Army, have recommended continued talks to reach a political solution is the best option available at present.
“Every time fighting breaks out between the two sides, the ones who suffer are the people,” said one of the participants in one of the public consultations organized by the Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), as the SSA South is officially known, in June and July. “While it’s true one should always be prepared for the worst, there must be ways other than fighting to deal with the problems that come with the negotiations.”
Other participants who agreed with the idea also suggested diplomacy, involvement by Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and, on failure, by the UN, legal action and media, among others. “If we just choose to return to the fighting, we’ll all be back to square one,” said one retired rebel official.
The RCSS/SSA leader Lt-Gen Yawdserk himself was quoted as saying, “The opportunity to struggle for our rights without fighting is one we should not miss.”
The biggest problem so far is the fact that no term of agreement can be implemented without consent from the Tatmadaw (Armed Forces).
Apart from it, the SSA field team leader Brig-Gen Pawng Kherh told SHAN, 19 people, some of them highly regarded in the Shan community, have volunteered to become Peace Monitors to be watchdogs against truce violations between government troops and the armed resistance.
U Aung Min, the government’s key negotiator, said on 1 July that regulations for peace monitors were still being drafted and that the body would include people nominated by the government, the resistance and the media.
The Thein Sein Government, since 18 August 2011, when it had offered an olive branch to all the armed resistance movements for peace talks, have concluded ceasefire agreements with 12 of them:
Arakan Liberation Party (ALP)
Chin National Front (CNF)
Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA)
Karen National Union (KNU)
Karen Peace Council (KPC)
Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP)
National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA)
National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)
New Mon State Party (NMSP)
Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS)
Shan State Progress Party (SSPP)
United Wa State Army (UWSA)