Mon 25 Feb 2013
Filed under: Ethnic Issues,Inside Burma,Military,News
Myanmar’s government delegation held negotiations with UNFC, the armed alliance among Myanmar’s ethnic minority groups in Chiangmai, Thailand. Minister from the President’s Office, Vice Chair of the Union Peace Working Committee Aung Min, the Secretary General of UNFC Nai Hang Sar, KIO leader La Ja, as well as representatives from other ten ethnic minority groups had “open and friendly” meetings. After the talks, the government UNFC released a joint statement.
UNFC is a political alliance of 11 armed ethnic groups, including KIO. The joint statement claim that the two sides discussed the following issues in an open and friendly manner: political goals, framework, timetable, initial agenda of political dialogues; future channels of political negotiations; the mediator, monitor and observer of the peace talks. They also discussed the guarantee of local and international humanitarian assistance as well as the development of education, medical care, agricultural and livestock industries. They mentioned the location of the preparatory meeting for political dialogue, the negotiations between the ethnic group delegations from both sides, and agreed to meet for talks again in 2 months.
In this negotiation, the Tatmadaw did not send a representative, which mitigates its effectiveness. Based on the joint statement, there was only discussion about political negotiation, rather than any consensus.
Hong Sar mentioned in an interview beforehand that the UNFC and a government delegation led by Aung Min had had two rounds of talks in Chiangmai last year. They have major gaps on the issue of political dialogue: the government wants the ethnic groups to disarm and join the border guard first, then participate in the election, join the parliament and have the peace talk within the parliament framework. This is completely unacceptable to the ethnic groups.