June 29, 2017

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A POPULAR PUSH FOR PEACE

Public participation in ceasefire monitoring imperative

Attendees shake hands at a Joint Monitoring Committee meeting between the government and eight ethnic signatories to the ceasefire agreement at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday. Photo: MNA
Attendees shake hands at a Joint Monitoring Committee meeting between the government and eight ethnic signatories to the ceasefire agreement at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday. Photo: MNA

The public will be encouraged to take part in ceasefire monitoring activities, according to a press conference after a Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) meeting at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday.
The joint ceasefire monitoring process is not only for signatories—the government and eight ethnic armed organisations—but also for the people, said U Khun Sai, the managing director of the Pyidaungsu Institute for Peace and Dialogue.
The managing director, who was also one of attendees of the meeting, highlighted the importance of mass participation in the process. He said possible recurrences of conflict between the parties could be prevented thanks to the participation of the public in the monitoring activities.
Trust-building through successful implementation of monitoring activities will
act as a good example for putting an end to recent fighting, he added.
Salai Yaw Aung of the All Burma Student’s Democratic Front, who also attended the meeting, said Union, state and regional joint monitoring committees will be formed with representatives from the signatories as well as other groups.
The ethnic armed groups proposed that a Union-level committee should be formed with members of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society and other prominent figures from ethnic minority regions.
The joint monitoring committee was formed with the membership of 10 representatives from each of the two sides about two weeks ago. The NCA stipulated that the JMC must be formed within 14 days of its signing.
During the first day of the meeting, which will run until 31 October, the two sides wrote a draft of the code of conduct for the NCA signatories, said Dr Min Zaw Oo, a programme director at the Myanmar Peace Centre.
The code of conduct instructs troops from both sides on how to abide by the truce, so it will be written in Myanmar and ethnic languages, using words and illustrations that are understandable to ordinary people, he added.
The code of conduct draft is set to be approved during the first round of meetings. Moreover, functions and responsibilities of the committee and monitoring guidelines for working committees were also discussed.
According to the agreement signed on 15 October, these tasks are to be completed within the first 30 days of the signing.

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