PPST Drafts Framework for NCA Implementation
By NETWORK MEDIA GROUP (NMG)
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), a group consisting of ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), has approved a framework for implementing the NCA at a meeting held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on August 21-25.
“We have agreed on three common steps to build a future federal union,” Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo, the general secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU) and spokesperson for the PPST, told NMG. “This is what we have prepared on our side.”
In a statement, the PPST said that the leaders of the NCA-signatory EAOs plan to discuss this proposed framework with the government in future negotiations.
“The government has some plans of its own. We have our own proposal to put forward, and they have theirs. So we are going to negotiate and discuss these different proposals,” said Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo.
The PPST statement said that the EAO leaders had agreed to systematically draft a framework for implementation of the NCA that would help to overcome issues that have caused the peace process to stall.
According to the EAO leaders, the government’s representative discussed a four-point proposal, dubbed “the way forward for the peace process,” at an informal meeting held by the secretariat of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) on July 13.
“This government proposal was not new. In fact, the EAOs proposed it. The KNU had already discussed it with the government, as did other EAOs. After that, the government systematically collected information and drafted this proposal. Then they gave it to us,” Khun Myint Tun, the chairman of the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), an NCA-signatory group, told media outlets in Chiang Mai on August 19.
The government’s four-point proposal includes NCA-implementation issues, peace-process issues both before and after 2020, the basic principles of democracy and federalism, and interim post-NCA issues.
Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo said that representatives of the 10 NCA-signatory EAOs discussed the government’s proposal at the PPST meeting.
“Our proposal includes what we should achieve before 2020, how we can move forward after 2020, and how we can try to find common ground based on different principles. We are going to negotiate these points with [the government],” Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo told NMG.
A total of 72 people attended last week’s five-day meeting in Chiang Mai, including PPST leaders, representatives of the 10 NCA-signatory EAOs, members of their respective technical support teams, and office staff.
The EAOs that have signed the NCA are the KNU, the PNLO, the Chin National Front, the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, the Karen National Liberation Army Peace Council, the Arakan Liberation Party, the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army, the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, the New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union.