The National Reconciliation and Peace Centre led by Vice Chairman Dr Tin Myo Win met with a delegation of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) led by Sao Pawng Kherh at the NRPC headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Dr Tin Myo Win’s speech
Firstly, Dr Tin Myo Win made a speech where he said the genuine feelings and beliefs of all stakeholders came to the surface when we faced difficulties in implementing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).
He said what was heartening to see was the increased unity and understanding between all the stakeholders as we push forward with the peace process and gain political maturity.
He said there would always be people trying to impede the progress but strengthened trust in each other guaranteed success. He said adversity was present in any endeavour and this brought the bonds between the participants closer.
Dr Tin Myo Win said this was the eighth meeting since the Third Session of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong. He remarked on how it has been eight months since the meetings started being held once a month. He said this meeting would focus on further cooperation in the peace process moving forward.
He voiced his hope for RCSS to include discussions of the government’s offer of four simultaneous paths made at the informal meetings UPDJC secretaries meetings held on 13 and 14 July.
He said they would also discuss RCSS and the government’s cooperation, the entire peace process and individual organization affairs, hence making this meeting very important. He urged everyone to offer their honest suggestions and opinions to find solutions to the issues presented at the meeting.
Speech of RCSS delegation
Next, Sao Pawng Kherh made a speech where he said this meeting was a continuation of the NRPC-RCSS meeting held back in 11 May and aimed to review how far the decisions made then have been implemented.
He first thanked the Union Government for releasing the 30 detained RCSS members as agreed to in the previous meeting. He said this meeting would discuss ways to organize an official political dialogue that would pave the way for the success of the peace process.
He said while a political agreement could not be reached, focus should still me made on regional development and illegal drug eradication for each region.
Sao Pawng Kherh said a secure timeframe needed to be set for the peace process and the process for establishment of a federal union before 2020 in order to build the federal republic step by step as has been envisioned.
Afterwards, officials explained the peace process related tasks of the NRPC and the RCSS.
Participants then discussed organizing national-level political dialogues, official discussions, the Fourth Session of the UPC – 21st Century Panglong within 2019, developing Mong Hta and Nant Pan Khun regions, constructing schools and clinics in rural areas, drug rehabilitation, and freeing detained RCSS members.
They then invited suggestions and opinions from both sides.
After the meeting, Sao Pawng Kherh said this meeting had increased understanding, trust and recognition between both sides and agreed to cooperate on holding the UPC’s Fourth Session.
He said they would continue discussing the government’s four proposals with the EAOs and said this meeting had contributed constructive results for establishing a federal republic.
Afterwards, Dr Tin Myo Win said the meeting produced eight agreements that supported the peace process and development of all regions and ethnic races.
Following the meeting, Director-General U Zaw Htay and RCSS Secretary 2 U Sai Nguen held a press conference.
First off, U Zaw Htay said since the meeting focused on resuming official national-level political dialogues, UPC’s Fourth Session, regional developments and drug eradication, the meeting could be said to be a success.
He said they would focus on setting federal principles before the year 2020 and emphasized development for regions that have joined the ceasefire. He said they would discuss with the ten EAOs and conduct the four proposals simultaneously.
Next, U Sai Nguen also said they discussed the hinderances to resuming political and peace dialogues, taking care of the drug abuse issue and regional development of their people.
He said the meeting had fostered increased understanding and mutual respect and have proposed to continue the 21st Century Panglong either in December this year or early January next year.
U Sai Nguen said they would continue national-level dialogues in line with standard operating procedures while negotiating on certain misunderstandings. He said the path forward has been cleared.
U Zaw Htay concluded by saying that there had been a multitude of positive results since the end of the UPC’s Third Session. He said that they have established strong trust and understanding with the NCA signatories and the EAOs to continue stalled meetings to advance the peace process.
Present at the meeting were NRPC members Union Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, Lt-Gen Min Naung, Deputy Minister Maj-Gen Aung Thu and U Khin Maung Tin, NRPC Secretary Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo (Retired), Peace Commission advisory board member U Hla Maung Shwe, Director-General U Zaw Htay, RCSS delegation members Saw Pawng Kherh, U Sai Nguen, U Aung Mya, U Sao Han, U Sai Han, U Sai Oo, U Day Wein and U Sin Hseng Meung. —Myo Myint, Myo Thu Hein (MNA)
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)