Posts Tagged ‘Kayin State’
By Feng Yingqiu
YANGON, April 7 (Xinhua) — Peace talks between Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups made some progress soon after April 1 by-elections. The talks between the government and the Kayin National Union ( KNU) opened at central level in Yangon for the first time on Friday as a follow-up of the prior talks at state level held in Hpa-an, the capital of southeastern Kayin state, since January this year.
A day before talks with the KNU at central level, the Myanmar government had also initiated peace talks with another ethnic armed group, the Rakhine State Liberation Party (RSLP), in Sittway, reaching a preliminary five-point peace agreement at state level.
The government and KNU reached 13 principled points with the talks mainly covering progressive realization of nationwide ceasefire especially in ethnic-residing regions, laying down of code of conduct with regard to ceasefire to guarantee security for civilian population and monitoring peace process in three phases — local monitoring, international monitoring and open monitoring.
Other points include resettlement of homeless Kayin nationalities with guarantee of food security and livelihood security and the implementation of these programs be granted inclusive participation with transparency and accountability.
More points were agreed on issuing citizenship to displaced Kayin nationalities, rule of law and sustainable development.
The 19-member government peace making group is led by Railways Minister U Aung Min, while the 14-member KNU delegation is headed by General Secretary Naw Zipporah Sein.
The KNU peace making group arrived Yangon for the first time on Thursday for the continued talks on Friday after several rounds of talks were held in Hpa-an.
In the prior round of talks at state level in Hpa-an in January, the two sides preliminarily agreed on ceasefire to be carried out by the two sides, opening of liaison offices in 14 areas and allowing travel without holding arms to each other’s territory.
On the sideline of the talks in Yangon, the KNU plans to meet with the Kayin civil society, political parties, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi who has become a parliament representative-elect in the April 1 by- elections.
The KNU peace making delegation also plans to visit Dawei in Taninthayi region and Kyaukkyi and Mu Theh in Bago region to observe the opening of a humanitarian assistance office and meet with regional people affected by conflict for years.
KNU is seen as the biggest anti-government ethnic armed group in Myanmar’s Kayin state having fought the government for over six decades.
The Myanmar government had also initiated peace talks with another ethnic armed group, the Rakhine State Liberation Party ( RSLP), in Sittway, reaching a preliminary five-point peace agreement at state level.
The peace making groups of the two sides were respectively represented by Rakhine State Minister of Security and Border Affairs Colonel Htein Lin and Joint Secretary of the RSLP Khine Thukha.
The agreement mainly covers ceasefire starting Friday (April 6), opening of liaison offices at Paletwa and Kyauktaw, formation of peace-making groups for talks at central level on agreed date and venue and allowing negotiated transgression and arms carrying apart from mutually-agreed areas.
Under the president’s peace offer, peace making is being carried out in three phases — the first phase is to ceasefire, set up liaison offices and travel without holding arms to each other’s territory, while the second phase is confidence building, holding political dialogue, implement regional development tasks in terms of education, health and communication, and the third phase is to sign agreement for eternal peace in the presence of the parliament represented by nationalities, political parties and different walks of life.
However, the peace talks still have a long way to go as widely observed.
Peace talks between Myanmar’s central government and another ethnic armed group of Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), which were held in Ruili, southwest China’s Yunnan province, from March 8 to 10 ended without tangible outcome but agreed to continue talks further, according to a joint statement of the two sides.
The government’s central peace making group was led by parliament member U Aung Thaung, while the KIO’s was headed by U Swam Lut Gum.
In their third round of peace talks without reaching ceasefire, the two sides agreed to some five points which include continued political dialogue, building confidence, declination of military acceleration and coordination of control of military activities of units of both sides in the conflicted spots.
The government and the KIO initiated talks at state level late last year with the first round of the talks held in Ruili on Nov. 29, 2011 and the second round of the talks at central level also in the same Chinese border town in January.
Fighting in Kachin state has forced displacement of about 60, 000 local people.
So far since the president’s peace offer was extended in August last year, a total of 11 armed groups have respectively signed preliminary peace agreements with the government at state or central level.
Those six armed groups which have signed peace pacts with the government at central level are United Wa State Army (UWSA) in Shan State (North) Special Region-2 , National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) in Mongla Special Region-4, Koloh Htoo Baw armed group in Kayin state, Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) of Shan State Army (SSA)-South, Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) of SSA- North and New Mon State Party (NMSP).
Those other five armed groups which have reached peace pacts with the government at state level and are heading for central level are Chin National Front (CNF), Kayin National Union (KNU), Kayin National Liberation Army (KNLA), Kayinni National Progressive Party (KNPP)and Rakhine State Liberation Party (RSLP).
The government claimed that since 1994, 17 major anti- government ethnic armed groups and 23 other small groups have made peace with the government.
Of those 17 groups that have made peace with the government, 15 groups laid down their arms completely, while five were transformed into government’s border guard forces and 15 into militia.
Meanwhile, leader of the government’s peace making group U Aung Thaung vowed that every possible means will be sought to achieve internal peace within three years.