September 01, 2016

KNU Chairman Saw Mutu Sae Po addresses opening of Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong

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Chairman of Karen National Union Saw Mutu Sae Po extended greetings at the opening ceremony of Union Peace Conference —21st Century Panglong at Myanmar International Convention Center-2 in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday.
In his welcoming speech, the KNU Chairman said that ethnic armed groups are very excited to take part in a political dialogue scheduled to be held after the conference, and supported the 21stCentury Panglong Union Peace Conference, expressing hope that a democratic federal Union could be built through the 2016 Panglong in the same way that the 1947 Panglong led the nation to independence.
The KNU Chairman highlighted the importance of peace, national reconciliation and constitutional amendments for ensuring a harmonious development of a society, citing that there can be no peace without national reconciliation and there can be no national reconciliation without reaching agreements and developing procedures to amend the constitution.
He expressed his belief that the Union Peace Conference held this January following the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) was the ribbon cutting for a political marathon and the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference was the sound of whistle blowing to start the long race.
Despite the NCA not being perfect, it has acted as a bridge that connected all stakeholders into a political dialogue, said the KUN Chairman, adding that the common goal is peace.
He pointed out the need to lay down a work programme involving peace, national reconciliation and constitutional amendment in the country’s peace process, calling for parallel implementation of the three sectors.
He stressed the need to develop a roadmap for emergence of a democratic federal Union and to bridge the remaining gap between stakeholders on establishment of a democratic federal Union.
He suggested that guidelines that are suitable to the real situations of regions and states should be drawn up after development of a political dialogue framework as Union-level meetings are set to be held after the conference.
He said that the 2008 Constitution has forms of a federal system but its essence is weak, adding that now is the time to realise a constitutional amendment after seeking a compromise on different goals of a federal system with political dialogue.
He highlighted the importance of reducing fighting, dealing with resettlement of internally displaced persons with goodwill and developing humanitarian assistance programmes as a gesture of building trust among all stakeholders.
He called for a ceasefire and establishment of a new
political culture.
He suggested listening to the voices of political parties that won no seats in the general elections, CSOs and other stakeholders and allowing them to take part in the upcoming political dialogue.
In his conclusion, the KNU Chairman called for making a resolution to build a new, peaceful and harmonious society.


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