August 18, 2016

Unity Within Diversity

The Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong will be convened in the last week of August, and to enable the conference to be all inclusive, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held talks with a delegation of the United Nationalities Federation Council led by its chairman U N’ Ban La on the country’s peace process at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre in Yangon on 17th July.
During the historic discussion, neither the government nor the members of the united Nationalities Federation Council—UNFC delegation have disclosed their demands, their attitudes or their fallback position in the negotiation. They merely had a cordial chat and the meeting was more like a family type. Nevertheless, the two sides were able to have built mutual trust according to U Hla Maung Shwe, the Secretary of the preparatory committee for holding the conference. During the meeting, UNFC side availed themselves of this opportunity to have raised questions which they are not quite clear of like queries regarding their participation in the upcoming Union Peace Conference—the 21st Century Panglong as well as to have exchanged their views with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor. According to U Hla Maung Shwe, the members of the UNFC delegation are said to have made certain suggestions which, they believe, will pave the way for signing of the new Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). The preparatory committee for the Union Peace Conference—the 21st Century Panglong will also hold talks with the United Nationalities Federation Council (UNFC) in Chiangmai, Thailand tomorrow, and this preparatory committee will again discuss with the UNFC’s Delegation for Political Negotiation—DPN in Yangon in early August as stated by U Hla Maung Swe.
In this regard, it is worth quoting the State Counsellor saying, “the best heritage to be left to future generations is peace, achievement of which is the only means to effectuate national development. And peace can be restored only when there prevails unity. This being so, we’re to be united to achieve pace.” Just as we were united during the independence struggle, we are also required now to revitalize this spirit of unity to achieve peace, on which we will build a peaceful, developed, democratic federal union. Let’s not forget the ASEAN motto “Unity within diversity.”


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