THE National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) met the Preparatory Committee for the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference in Yangon yesterday to discuss its participation in the peace process.
At the invitation of the preparatory committee, the NSCN-K came to the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday morning. Preparatory Committee Chairman Dr Tin Myo Win quoted State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as instructing that the peace process should focus on equality and inclusive participation of all ethnic groups.
NSCN-K Leader U An Kant expressed his support for the new government’s commitment to the peace initiative for the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference, promising their cooperation in regional development and peace. The ethnic group entered a regional-level ceasefire agreement with the government in April 2012.
U An Kant told the media after the meeting that his group would not participate in political dialogue but would work together with the government for regional development.
“We will come to the peace conference as an observer, and we warmly welcome their invitation to the peace talks,” he said, adding that his group has not decided whether to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement.
Speaking to the media, U Hla Maung Shwe, Secretary of the Preparatory Committee, said that the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang is an independent ethnic group which forms no alliance with any ethnic armed group.
“They have built trust with the army. Not a single engagement has ever broken out between the army and them for 16 years,” he added.
According to official reports, there have been no clashes between the ethnic group and the army since 2000.
The NSCN-K attended as an observer the peace talks between the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team and the Union Peacemaking Work Committee in spite of not having signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
Ye Khaung Nyunt