December 23, 2016

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SIGNING DATE SET — Government, ethnic armed groups lock in Oct 15 for the inking of ceasefire

The government’s ceasefire talks committee and representatives from eight ethnic armed groups at a meeting to discuss the date of the signing of the nationwide ceasefire accord on Sunday. Photo: Ye Myint
The government’s ceasefire talks committee and representatives from eight ethnic armed groups at a meeting to discuss the date of the signing of the nationwide ceasefire accord on Sunday. Photo: Ye Myint

The government and some ethnic armed groups will ink the nationwide ceasefire accord on 15 October, said a senior adviser from Myanmar Peace Centre during a press conference on Sunday.
The exact date for the signing of the truce deal was set at a meeting between the government’s Union Peace-Making Work Committee and representatives from eight ethnic groups in Yangon, said senior adviser U Hla Maung Shwe.
The signing ceremony is scheduled to take place on 15 October at Myanmar International Convention Centre-2 in Nay Pyi Taw. During the meeting, it was agreed that a joint committee comprising 10 each from both sides would be formed to organize the NCA signing ceremony, he added.
P’doh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, general secretary of Karen National Union and Yebaw Myo Win, vice-chairman of All Burma Students’ Democratic Front were present at the press conference.
“The NCA is open to 15 ethnic groups the government has invited, but we did not discuss which groups will be a signatory to the pact at the today’s meeting. The number of signatories can be confirmed shortly before the signing ceremony.”
The meeting to decide the signing date for NCA was attended by eight ethnic armed groups, including the Karen National Union, Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council, Pa-O National Liberation Organization, All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, Chin National Front, Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army, Arakan Liberation Party and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.
P’doh Saw Kwe Htoo Win of KNU, one of seven groups that recently decided to sign the deal whilst at high level meetings in Chiang Mai, Thailand, said that trust will be built by fully implementing the terms of the truce.
According to the press conference, the United Nations, the European Union, China, India, Thailand and Japan will be invited to attend the signing as international witnesses. International organizations with close ties to Myanmar will also be invited to attend.
Other invitees include 67 foreign embassies, 92 political parties and civil society originations, plus the leaders of non-signatories to the ceasefire.
The MPC senior adviser affirmed that the President, vice presidents, the Commander-in-Chief and the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services will sign the ceasefire agreement on behalf of the government.
MPC’s senior adviser told the media that signatories to the agreement will be removed from the government’s list of outlawed associations two or three days before the signing date.—GNLM

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