August 19, 2016

Ceasefire signing date to be set on Sunday

The government has invited 15 ethnic armed organisations to attend a meeting on Sunday to discuss setting a date for the signing of the national ceasefire agreement, said an official from the Myanmar Peace Centre.
U Hla Maung Shwe, senior adviser at MPC, told The Global New Light of Myanmar on Thursday that the ethnic armed groups who will ink the pact are likely to be confirmed following Sunday’s meeting. He said that is confident that at least 10 groups will sign the peace deal. The 15 groups invited to Sunday’s meeting are those which President U Thein Sein has invited to join the signing of the peace deal, which is tentatively set for early October. During high level talks in Nay Pyi Taw last week, the president reiterated the government’s policy of initially signing the deal with the 15 groups with whom it has already reached bilateral agreements.
According to sources, the ethnic armed groups’ senior delegation began a two-day meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand on Thursday to discuss which groups wish to be signatories to the ceasefire.
U Hla Maung Shwe told reporters at a press conference last Friday that the two sides must meet to fix a date for the signing of the nationwide ceasefire at least 10 days prior to the signing ceremony itself.      Myanmar Peace Centre will host two ceremonies on 20 September, with the first held to mark International Peace Day, which falls on 21 September. A ceremony later that evening will be attended by civil society organizations and outline the steps that signatories to the national ceasefire accord must follow after inking the pact.


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