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February 26, 2018

Government to lay foundations for peace during remaining term

The government is committed to continuing to work towards the effective implementation of the terms of the nationwide ceasefire during its remaining term in office, said Union Minister U Aung Min yesterday.
“The government will continue to implement the process in line with the agreement, laying out sound foundations for the future government,” the union minister said during a meeting with political parties at Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon.
Representatives from the government and more than 80 political parties held talks on the role of political parties in upcoming political dialogue and the selection of 16 representatives from political parties for the Union Political Dialogue Joint Committee.
There will be a total of 48 representatives on the committee, with 32 already selected to represent the government and ethnic minority armed groups. The remaining 16 will be chosen from various political parties on 21 November.
The meeting was aimed at selecting 16 representatives from political parties for the joint committee set to be formed with 16 members each from the government, ethnic signatories and political parties.
While the government, including the Tatmadaw, and ethnic signatories have already named 16 members each for the committee, the selection of political representatives from Myanmar’s 91 political parties is expected to be finalised during the next meeting, which is scheduled for 21 November. It will take place at the Mingala Hall of Yangon Region Government, said U Hla Maung Shwe, senior adviser at Myanmar Peace Centre.
“A tripartite meeting of 16 representatives from political parties, the government and ethnic signatories is also set to meet at Myanmar Peace Centre on 24 November in order to form a committee to draw up a framework for political dialogue,” he said.
If all things go to plan, the framework will be set up before 14 December this year, with the first round of political dialogue beginning before 14 January next year, he added.
The purpose of the joint committee is to facilitate political dialogue, which was included as one of steps to be undertaken after the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the government and eight ethnic signatories on 15 October.
According to the terms of the truce pact, both sides are required to draw up a framework for political dialogue within 6o days of the signing and to hold political dialogue within 90 days.
“We held discussions on how to select representatives from political parties, but no decision was made at today’s meeting,” said Democratic Party’s U Thu Wai.
Some proposed to choose one representative each from all 91 parties before selecting 16 members through voting, while others expressed different views, he added.
During his address at the meeting, Deputy Minister for Defence Rear Admiral Myint Nwe insisted that the Tatmadaw [army] will continue to uphold its commitment to undertake the post-signing steps and adhere to the terms of the ceasefire agreement.


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