Peace Commission adviser Hla Maung Shwe said that government and ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) were discussing when to resume the official Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) meetings.
At the recent Joint Implementing Coordination Meeting (JICM), both sides agreed to call UPDJC and JMC meetings within two months.
“Working teams of government and EAOs continued their discussions in Naypyitaw to call and hold these stalled meetings after the JICM meeting held on January 8. The government has given their proposals to the EAO working team by explaining to them why and how these proposals were made,” adviser Hla Maung Shwe said.
Delegates of ten EAOs would bring these government’s proposals to the Peace Process Working Team (PPWT) meeting to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand and then they would be submitted to the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) consisting of leaders of these EAOs and then these two working teams would meet again, adviser Hla Maung Shwe added.
After that meeting, both sides may agree and fix the date for the holding of these UPDJ and JMC meetings and both sides are reportedly trying to fix these dates likely before March 8.
In the meantime, Karen National Union (KNU) and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) suspended their participation in official peace talks and dialogues.
KNU General Secretary Pado Saw Tar Domu said, “We suspended our participation in the official peace process and peace dialogues as there were no clear programmes and plans in the peace process in the past. And then we met government representatives in informal meetings and we presented them how this peace process should continue beyond 2020 and now the government and Tatmadaw (Defence Services) accepted our presentation so that we need to discuss with them in an official meeting. So we attended this JICM meeting and dialogues will come continually based on the meeting result of this JICM meeting.”
In the peace process, it was agreed to convene Union Peace Conference or 21st Century Panlong Peace Conference twice a year but this peace conference could not have been held since the last conference held in July 2018. And also UPDJC meetings which was previously agreed to hold once every month could not have been held and also Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) meetings have been stalled.
The EAOs which signed Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) are the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), Karen National Union (KNU), Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council (KNLA-PC), Democratic Karen Benevolence Army (DKBA), All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), Chin National Front (CNF), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Lahu Democratic Union (LDU).