October 20, 2017

Gov’t must examine proposed changes to ceasefire deal: senior MPC adviser

An MPC team holds discussions with ethnic peace negotiators at a restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Thursday.
An MPC team holds discussions with ethnic peace negotiators at a restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Thursday.

The government must consider amendments to the draft national ceasefire accord proposed by ethnic armed groups at the recent Law Khee Lar summit, U Hla Maung Shwe, senior adviser at the Myanmar Peace Centre, said Friday.
An MPC team led by U Hla Maung Shwe met Nai Hong Sa, Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win and other members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team representing ethnic armed groups for informal talks in Chiang Mai on Thursday.
In proposing the amendments to the draft accord approved by the peace negotiating teams from the government and ethnic armed groups in late March, the leaders at Law Khee Lar agreed that any signing of a draft deal must be inclusive of all ethnic groups.
“My understanding is that it is the time for the (government’s) Union Peace-Making Central Committee and Union Peace-Making Work Committee to define and examine further amendments to the approved draft by the ethnic side,” U Hla Maung Shwe told The Global New Light of Myanmar shortly after his return from Thailand.
“As a working group, we were there to take the amended peace draft sent back by the ethnic side to the government and report to Union Minister U Aung Min-led peace negotiating team on what the NCCT said,” U Hla Maung Shwe recounted.
On the proposed amendments to the draft NCA, he expressed his view that seven out of 12 points would require further discussion between the two sides.
According to the sources, no date was set at the Chiang Mai meeting for further negotiations between the government side and a new high-level nationwide ceasefire coordination team, appointed by the ethnic armed groups at the Law Khee Lar summit, to finalize the draft text for the ceasefire with the government.
U Hla Maung Shwe repeated that it is up to the UPWC to decide whether the meeting will take place.

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