PPST Formally Ends Peace Talks With Burma Army
By Network Media Group
Friday, July 9, 2021
The coordinating body for ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) that signed Burma’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) formally declared that peace negotiations with the military have stopped.
The Peace Process Steering Team’s (PPST) announcement came at the end of its four-day online meeting on July 7.
Nai Aung Ma-Ngae, the PPST spokesperson and the New Mon State Party (NMSP), told NMG although they “have temporarily stopped the implementation of NCA” the member groups will continue working with key stakeholders from relevant nations and with others who attended the NCA signing to attain peace and establish a federal democracy in Burma. Advancing these goals will be achieved through “political dialogue” he said, explaining PPST will try to make this happen in the future.
In the meantime, PPST members are free to do as they please, Nai Aung Ma-Ngae said. “As a whole, PPST will end peace talks with the junta, however, each of the member groups can engage in bilateral negotiations with the military and implement their own peace policies.”
PPST acting chair, Gen Yawd Serk, announced he will step down. Nai Aung Ma-Ngae told NMG the leader of Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) resigned from the position he held for two years because he wants more time to work with his own organization.
Yawd Serk was appointed chair in 2019 after Gen Saw Mutu Say Poe, from Karen National Union, announced his resignation. The Shan leader was appointed deputy chair when PPST formed in 2016.
Nai Aung Min, deputy chair of NMSP, was appointed as the new chairperson and Col Sai Nguen, from RCSS, the deputy chair. Col Khun Okker from Pa-O National Liberation Organization will also serve in what Nai Aung Ma-Ngae has described as a new “collective” leadership for the six months until the next summit convenes.
The other NCA-EAOs include All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, Chin National Front, Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council, Arakan Liberation Party, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army and Lahu Democratic Union.