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Ethnic Groups Issue Their Own Peace Plan
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Ethnic Groups Issue Their Own Peace Plan

Kaowao
Monday, September 17, 2012

Armed ethnic groups from across Burma slammed the government’s peace plans and developed their own six-point plan during a three-day conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

A statement released yesterday from the conference said, “We wrote our own peace plans because we do not see how the current peace plans laid down by the government could solve the problems and achieve peace in the country.”

Leaders of ethnic armed groups from members of UNFC. (Photo: UNFC)

More than 130 armed ethnic group leaders and civil society representatives wrote six requisite points to (1) host a meeting with civil society groups and all armed ethnic groups, (2) to have a meeting with government representatives and all armed ethnic groups monitored by the international community, (3) to hold a referendum in each ethnic state to weigh in on peace agreements, (4) to have a meeting with all ethnic people to talk about peace, (5) to have tripartite dialogue between the government, democracy activists, and ethnic people, and (6) to implement a program based on the agreements stemming from that dialogue.

The new peace plan strives to address political concerns outside of parliament, directly opposing the Burmese government’s plan that urges armed ethnic groups to form political parties, contest in elections, and officially enter parliament.

The ethnic groups’ peace plan also limits the Burmese government’s authority regarding an ethnic conference in the country, requiring negotiation about who will participate and how to design the conference agenda.

Nai Hong Sar, secretary of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), said, “We do not like [the government’s] peace plan because it pressures us to join their parliament.” He added that ethnic group representatives are unable to fight for ethnic rights in parliament because the military retains 25% of the seats.

According to ethnic leaders, fighting could break out again in the country if their proposal is ignored or if the government merely forces armed groups to adhere to their original plan. Leaders also emphasized the need to establish a common ground among armed ethnic groups to prevent the government from resisting political dialogue and to avoid a repeat of previous failed agreements, for example the 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army that dissolved last June.

Armed ethnic groups acknowledge the current ceasefire agreements with the Burmese government as a first step, but point out that no one has held political talks yet with the government.

Despite government claims that eleven ceasefire agreements have been signed with armed ethnic groups, disputes and clashes persist with Shan rebels.

Feedback From
Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 2:16 AM
Name of sender: Kun Wagaru
Email of sender: channai@hotmail.com
COMMENTS: In 2003-2004, UNLD (LA) and ENC in later years have completed State and Federal Constitution of 'Federal Union of Burma' after three years of drafting and preparing for a genuine peace and unity within Burma. UNFC could re-visit the document properly but re-amends for further improvement of the constitution. If UNFC has the capacity for printing of over one millions copy for public comments by 2014, it is likely that local people in all over Burma is informed the role of UNFC and ENC for the 'new Burma'. The current constitution of Myanmar (under present term) will not live for another 10-20years but it may remain the tool of the ruling elites. If 60-70 % entire population in Burma accepted the draft constitution of UNFC/ NEC in 2015, it is a space for move on. I think (I believe) UNFC should launch 'Changing the Constitution Campaign' in 2013-2014 prior to General Election in 2015. Peace plan would only achieved when the nation is behind the plan. Peace plan seeks better cooperation and conflict coordination in both sides. UNFC leaders could win heart and mind of 70% of Burma's population if the Peace Plan and the UNFC's model of constitution is for the best interest of all as 'One for All' Slogan. If the current government bans not to print UNFC / ENC model of constitution, the proposal for peace talk or unity conference is a cosmetic. UNFC has 1000 days before 2015 General Election for this challenge and opportunity. Great leader made his / her own history.
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