Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke publicly for the first time yesterday about the recent violence in Shan State committed by the combined forces of the KIA, TNLA and the MNDAA that has killed at least nine people since Sunday and resulted in scores of injuries, many of them innocent civilians. The State Counsellor’s remarks came in a statement to the National Reconciliation and Peace Center that urged ethnic groups to join the government’s ongoing peace negotiations.
“At a time when the people of Myanmar are in the process of striving for national reconciliation … it is extremely disappointing and saddening that these incidents are instigated”, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in the prepared statement.
The full text of her announcement follows.
1. The Government of the Republic of the Union Myanmar established the national Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) on 11 July 2016 with an objective of giving priority and careful focus to national reconciliation and peace process. In order to formulate necessary policies to seek solutions to long standing political issues through dialogues, to establish a future under a federal union, and to hold the 21st Century Panglong Conference, the Government has been striving to build an all-inclusive peace process not only with armed groups that have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) but also by inviting participations of those armed groups who have not signed the Agreement.
2. Government has invited non-signatory armed groups to the meetings of the Framework for Political Dialogue and on the working guidelines for holding of National Level Political Dialogues. The non-signatories, represented by the Delegation for Political Negotiation-DPN has attended to the meeting twice. The Government with a view to holding a meaningful, substantive and inclusive conference, had coordinated to provide opportunities for non-signatory armed groups to not only to attend the 21st Century Panglong Conference held from 30 August to 3 September in Nay Pyi Taw and submit papers but also take part in the 21st Century Panglong Conference Joint Organizing Committee together with the signatories of the NCA.
3. The reason we have not been able to put an end to protracted armed conflicts that had emerged with our independence is because we had failed throughout our post-independence history to find common solutions to fundamental political issues through dialogues with flexible open mind and mutual accommodation. Resolute to find common solutions through dialogues, our new Government makes it a priority to hold the 21st Century Panglong Conference with a view to find political solutions to political problems. We also urged the non-signatory armed groups to sign the NCA at the earliest and join the peace process. Altogether (5) meetings had been held with the DPN, twice in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and thrice in Yangon to persuade them to participate in the peace process. The Government will unwaveringly continue to strive and work towards all-inclusive peace process under the umbrella of the NCA.
4. Currently, ethnic armed groups, political parties, and civil society groups all over the country are making concerted efforts in preparation for holding national level political dialogues. Soon, they will be bringing to the Union Peace Conference all the views, positions and aspirations of our national citizens obtained and consolidated from those national level political dialogues.
5. At this important juncture, armed clashes have broken out in the northeast Shan State on 20 November as a result of coordinate attacks staged by the combined KIA, TNLA and MNDAA armed groups on the government border security outposts and 105 mile trade zone. In those incidents, not only Tatmadaw personnel and border security police but also innocent civilians have suffered casualties and fatalities. At a time when people of Myanmar are in process of striving for national reconciliation and peace that had remained elusive to them in the past, it is extremely disappointing and saddening that these incidents are instigated. Our sympathies and condolences are with victims who had lost their lives and who are wounded. Mining of bridges and attacks on border outposts by these armed groups also cut-off flow of trade, transport and communication are detrimentally affecting the socio-economic lives of civilian population in the area.
6. Taking up arms to solve political issues causes protracted armed conflicts. And for the past seventy years, people in the region suffered and lag behind in economic development that is being enjoyed by neighbouring countries. Arms will not resolve issues nor bring about the desired goals of the people. The 21st Century Panglong Conference is the one and only way by which to end all armed conflicts and to establish a perpetual peace. Despite these incidents, the Government is keeping the peace door open to welcome all relevant stakeholders for participation in the peace process. To this end, the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) is needed to be signed to end all conflicts. The contribute to this process stability and normalization must return to the State State. The government is striving its utmost to return the situation to normalcy. The valiant effort of the Tatmadaw and security forces has resulted in stabilizing a certain degree of stability in the Northeast Shan State.
7. In order to immediately end the armed conflicts in the northeast Shan State I strongly urged the armed groups to join the Government’s peace process, by signing the NCA, working together with the civil society to find ways and means to strengthen the monitoring towards peace goals that are aspired by the people and to join hand with all relevant stakeholders to take part on equal terms in the 21st Century Panglong Conference that is to be held in February of 2017.
Aung San Suu Kyi
National Reconciliation and