February 15, 2017

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A FLEXIBLE, FRESH DRAFT

Political dialogue joint committee agrees on key points

A committee comprising three groups of eight representatives from political parties, the government and ethnic ceasefire signatories held its first meeting to discuss the drafting of a framework for political dialogue at Myanmar Peace Centre yesterday. Photo: Ye Myint
A committee comprising three groups of eight representatives from political parties, the government and ethnic ceasefire signatories held its first meeting to discuss the drafting of a framework for political dialogue at Myanmar Peace Centre yesterday. Photo: Ye Myint

THE political dialogue framework drafting committee met yesterday, laying out basic concepts in drafting the framework, which is expected to be set up in the second week of December.
It was the first round of meetings held by the committee, which comprises a group of eight representatives from political parties, the government and ethnic ceasefire signatories.
During a press conference held afterwards, spokespersons from the three groups elaborated on the progress achieved.
“We agreed on the need for drafting the framework based on the national ceasefire agreement, making it flexible to cater for coming changes in representation of the government and the parliament and completing the process in a 60-day timeline as stipulated by the truce deal,” said Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, one of the ethnic representatives on the committee.
The ethnic side proposed at the meeting that a drafting team should be formed with the membership of two each from three groups in order to complete the process in a timely manner, he added.
“Before the nationwide ceasefire agreement was signed, each of the various stakeholders had drawn up their own frameworks. As it would be very complicated to amalgamate the contents of each framework, we should afresh on drafting a framework collaboratively.”
Informal discussions on 10 points including the framework’s basic principles, representation and participation of stakeholders in political dialogue and a decision-making method set to be involved in the framework were discussed, said U Aung Naing Oo, a programme director at Myanmar Peace Centre.
“We can say how long it will take to complete discussions on the points and set up the draft framework after the next round of meeting, which is set to continue tomorrow.”
The list of eight representatives from political parties who were tentatively named in the meeting of Union Political Dialogue Joint Committee two days ago was confirmed during yesterday’s session.
The winner of the 2015 general election, the National League for Democracy, officially named U Naing Ngan Lin who is currently Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) representative as its representative to the drafting committee.
NLD member U Myo Yan Naung Thein, who took part in the previous meeting, confirmed yesterday that the NLD is willing to take part in the ongoing process.
The NLD will also select one its central executive committee members to join the Union Political Dialogue Joint Committee in the near future, he said.

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