Wed 21 Aug 2013
Filed under: Ethnic Issues,Inside Burma,Military,News
Lt-Gen Yawdserk, the leader of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), said yesterday he agreed with the resolutions passed by the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) led conference late last month.
“They stand for what the people really desire,” he told SHAN. “My only criticism is that it is too early to issue such calls, since the most urgent need for the country today is peace and reconciliation.”
One of the resolutions of the UNFC organized Ethnic Conference for Peace and Reconciliation, 29-31 July, held in Chiangmai, was the total rejection of the 2008 constitution drawn by the military. It was followed by a decision to draft a new federal constitution before the end of the year.
Critics have denounced it as a battle cry for a return to war and confrontation.
“Nobody except for a few likes the 2008 constitution,” he commented. “But for the sake of peace and reconciliation, what we can do now is its amendment. Not all of it can be amended at present either. So we need to consider what should be amended first.”
Earlier, he had told SHAN that the first step in the national reconciliation process should include: Full autonomy for the states, election of the state chiefs, and the transformation of the Tatmadaw into a federal union armed forces. “The country can never become federal until and unless the armed forces becomes federal first,” he said at that time.
So far President Thein Sein and his chief negotiator U Aung Min have both spoken of reviving ethnic armed units that were formed after Independence, in accordance with the Kandy Agreement. But there is as yet no concrete proposal how the Union armed forces should be structured.
The Union parliament, on 21 July, adopted the proposal to form a 109 member joint committee for review of the 2008 constitution.