September 04, 2016

21st Century Panglong Conference concludes successfully

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The Union Peace Conference- 21st Century Panglong Conference concluded yesterday at the Myanmar International Convention Centre-2 in Nay Pyi Taw.
The conference was chaired by Lt-Gen Yar Pyae representing the army, Dr Tin Myo Win representing the government, Daw Shila Nan Taung representing the parliament, U Khun Myint Tun representing the ethnic armed organisations and U Myint Soe representing the political parties.
Government representative U Aung Kyi said they had been working in harmony in the peace process to prevent further losses and sufferings incurred by the armed conflict. He described the improvement of social welfare as an essential prerequisite to enduring peace, calling for private participation in helping enhance economic development in soon-to-be-peaceful regions under the guidance of the government.
U Ngai Sark of the Chin National League for Democracy said the 2008 Constitution does not reflect the federal system just because it provides power sharing in the executive, legislative and judicial branches, in addition to its characteristics of Amyotha Hluttaw, Pyithu Hluttaw, State/Region Hluttaw and Election Tribunal. He called for a federal system that guarantees justice, equality and self-administration and protects racial, religious and political rights of the ethnic minorities.
Col Kyaw Soe Oo pointed out that the region/state governments should employ skilled workers to systematically develop human resources in the fields of legislation and management. He proposed an adoption of a tax system alongside budget allocations that will favour justice, equitability and sustainable development.
Member of Parliament U Thein Swe called for unity among the parliamentarians in their line of duty for peace, reconciliation and development to facilitate the emergence of a democratic federal union that promises freedom, justice and self-administration.
U Aye Min of the Dawei Nationalities Party stressed the importance of prescribing the exact percentage of taxes and budget allocations for specific sectors, saying that the central government should not control economic activities across the country.
Col Zaw Win Tun urged the government at all levels to provide greater transparency in all new exploitations of natural resources and introduce decentralisation as appropriate. He also pointed out the need for the related ministries to modify their laws as part of the effort to overcome the challenges in the current management of natural resources.
U Zaw Htay of the group of the intelligentsia spoke of resource inequality among ethnic regions, stressing the need for tax sharing, resource sharing and responsibility and accountability sharing in the enhancement of national identity. Khun Soe Myint of the Pa-O National Organisation said their Pa-O self-administered zone should be upgraded to a state in line with the law that allows the emergence of new states.
Col Nay Lin Tun called the Tatmadaw the most important defence institution of the country, stressing that all armed organisations should be placed under the command of the Tatmadaw. The disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) processes would take three to five years to be accomplished, he said.
U Khet Htein Nan, an ethnic representative, called ceasefire the top priority as continued fighting would harm the peace process and lose public interest and participation. He attached importance to freedom, justice and equality in the establishment of a federal union after the political dialogue.
The 21st Century Conference was successfully concluded with a concluding remark by Lt-Gen Yar Pyae. In his remarks, Lt-Gen Yar Pyae quoted scholars as saying that the key to conflict resolution is to negotiate the proposals based on public interests.


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