U Zaw Htay, the Director-General of the Office of the State Counsellor, briefed the media in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday about the recent engagements of the President and the State Counsellor and the current developments in the area of politics, society, and economy in the country.
During the media briefing, the Director-General spoke about President U Win Myint’s visit to India to attend the swearing-in of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the State Counsellor’s visit to the Czech Republic and Hungary, discussions between Myanmar and the Czech Republic on opening embassies to promote bilateral cooperation, the State Counsellor’s lecture on Myanmar’s experiences in the transition to democracy at the National University of Public Service in Hungary, and her attending the Hungary-Myanmar Business Forum.
Speaking about the visits of Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe to the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Russia, U Zaw Htay said the Union Minister of the Office of the State Counsellor attended the 14th Jeju Forum in the Republic of Korea in May, the 25th Future of Asia Conference in Japan from 30 May to 2 June, and the 23rd International Economic Forum in Russia.
The leaders of the country are working on promoting diplomatic relations, friendship, and cooperation with other countries, he said.
Peace talks with the Northern Alliance are going on, and the Northern Alliance has sent proposals for signing a bilateral agreement, said the director-general.
“In response to their proposals, the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre has made suggestions on the ceasefire issue, prevention of armed conflicts, activities in the areas of internally displaced people, signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, and the necessary points for a bilateral agreement,” he said. A negotiation for signing the bilateral agreement is expected to be held this month, according to the briefing.
The NRPC has proposed the next meeting be held at Panghsan, Lashio, or Kengtung, while the Northern Alliance has proposed Muse or Mongla, said the director-general.
The reason for holding the next meeting is that the unilateral ceasefire will expire at the end of June. The Tatmadaw had extended its unilateral ceasefire till June, at the request of the ethnic armed organizations after the four-month period ended on 30 April, he said.
The NRPC has asked the ethnic armed organizations to hold the meeting in June to avoid armed conflicts as the bilateral agreement has not been signed yet, he said.
The Tatmadaw’s unilateral ceasefire agreement reduced armed conflicts, especially with the KIA and KIO, he said. The IDPs from Nan San Yan Village returned home of their own volition due to stability, and the government provided assistance to them. There were two significant outcomes from the negotiations between the Tatmadaw and the KIA, he said.
“In the first case, the KIA released three Lisu ethnic men after negotiations with the government, helping ease tensions with the Tatmadaw. The negotiations took place after KIA arrested one Lisu ethnic man. When the government questioned them, they said he was a KIA member and had been arrested as he had not returned to the unit. However, the Lisu ethnic denied this, and the KIA released three Lisu ethnic men, for peace and on demand of the people,” he said.
“In the second case, a Tatmadaw column found a KIA camp on the route to Phakant, which was moved after the NRPC asked the PCG to tell KIA to avoid conflict as the bilateral agreement has not yet been signed. Both sides managed to avoid a conflict through negotiation,” said U Zaw Htay.
Both sides also conducted a negotiation on the Nant San Yan IDP issue. Meanwhile, the NRPC and the committee for providing aid to Kachin IDPs, KECC, held a working meeting in Yangon and a formal meeting on 26 April in Nay Pyi Taw, following which, both sides reached an agreement.
To work for the IDPs in Kachin State, the Union Government has formed a working committee and held a meeting with KECC in Myitkyina on 24 May to discuss closing the IDP camps in Kachin State and helping IDPs return home. — MNA (Translated by TTN)