Join Peace Process, Don’t Complain from Outside: Senior Govt Negotiator
The Irrawaddy, 14 Jun 2019
YANGON—When it comes to the peace process, it is better to come inside the house and start a debate than shouting and stoning the house from outside, said U Khin Zaw Oo, a member of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) secretariat.
The secretariat held an informal meeting on Thursday and Friday at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) in Yangon to try to find solutions to break the impasse in the country’s peace process.
Speaking at the meeting, U Khin Zaw Oo, who is also the secretary of the government’s Peace Commission, called on all concerned groups to continue to work within the peace process, instead of complaining about it from the outside.
“It is important that everyone comes inside and discusses [the issues] frankly,” he said, seemingly frustrated at some ethnic armed groups’ decision to stay away from peace talks.
The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), a signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), announced in November the suspension of its participation in formal meetings of the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC) at various levels.
The move came a month after another NCA signatory, the Karen National Union (KNU), announced the suspension of its participation in the talks.
The suspensions followed disagreements at a meeting between the 10 NCA signatories and the Myanmar Military (or Tatmadaw) on Oct. 15-16 over the latter’s insistence on a single military for the country, and its demand that ethnic groups forgo the right to seek secession from the Union.
Though the formal UPDJC meetings are supposed to be held monthly according to the NCA, nearly a year elapsed between the previous one and the ongoing meeting in Yangon.
U Khin Zaw Oo called for frank discussions on obstacles to the Union Peace Conference.