August 19, 2016

Myanmar’s peace requires inclusion of all in ceasefire signing, political dialogue: UNA says

THE United Nationalities Alliance, a coalition of eight ethnic political parties, concluded its two-day summit yesterday with member parties approving of their presence at the Union Peace Conference set for 12 January next year and calling for the continuation of the political dialogue process by the next government.
“Representatives from eight political parties formed in the UNA will attend the UPC”, said U Aye Tha Aung, member of the panel chairs of the ethic parties alliance.
He added that UNA sees there is uncertainty as to whether the next government will continue to work towards the inclusion of all parties in political dialogue, self-determination and a lasting peace for the country’s minorities.
“We are in a wait-and-see mode on the peace conference as the ceasefire agreement signed by only eight ethnic armed groups only is not enough for achieving a durable peace and uncertainty still lingers over the inclusion of non-signatories in political dialogue.”  The first session of the country’s first Union Peace Conference is set to run from 12 to 22 January in Nay Pyi Taw involving 700 representatives from the current government, Tatmadaw, Parliament, ethnic ceasefire signatory groups, political parties and other invitees.
A lasting peace needs all ethnic armed groups to sign up to the ceasefire agreement, and political dialogue must include all stakeholders to solve political problems through political means, said the UNA chair, adding that bringing an immediate end to internal armed conflicts is a must for the country which is locked in a struggle for peace and prosperity.
“We would like to call on the National League for Democracy to continue the peace process through further discussions with the ethnic political parties and armed groups.”
The United Nationalities Alliance is comprised of eight ethnic political parties, namely Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, Arakan National Party, Mon National Party, Zomi Democracy Federation Party, Kayin National Party, Kachin Nationalities Democracy Congress, Karen National Party and the Shan State Kokang Democratic Party.
According to sources, four of the eight UNA member political parties won seats in regional and national parliaments in the country’s 2015 polls.


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