Date for KNPP and Govt Peace Commission Meeting Passes—With No Meeting
The discussions were supposed to take place in Yangon, and the issue of debate was supposed to be the NCA.
By NETWORK MEDIA GROUP (NMG)
Thursday, August 23, 2018
A mid-August meeting between the government’s peace commission and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) has not been held despite an agreement to do so, according to a KNPP official.
Representatives of the KNPP and the peace commission—which falls under the National Reconcilation and Peace Council—held an informal meeting in Burma’s capital Naypyidaw during the third session of the Union Peace Conference in July, which they attended as observers.
“We agreed to meet again in mid-August. Until now, we haven’t received any invitation letter from the peace commission. We are still waiting for it,” Khu Plureh, KNPP General Secretary (1), told NMG.
The meeting was reportedly supposed to take place in Yangon, and the issue of discussion would have been the KNPP’s thoughts on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which it has thus far opted not to sign. The agreement has been signed by 10 of the country’s more than 20 armed groups.
The most recent signatories to the controversial accord were the New Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union, which signed in February of this year. The KNPP has since held a series of both formal and informal meetings with the peace commission on the NCA, including one in Loikaw, Karenni State, in April, and in Yangon in March.
“In discussions, peace commission members urged the KNPP to sign the NCA but we replied that we were not ready to sign it,” Khu Plureh said.
“When we look at the peace process, we see that NCA signatories have some dissatisfactions and disagreements [with the process],” he explained. “When we look at the whole peace process, this NCA trend is not guaranteed to build a genuine federal union. That’s why we hesitate to sign it.”
NMG reached out to peace commission member U Naingan Lin for comment on the issue of the KNPP meeting, but could not get through to him at the time of reporting.
The KNPP—which is more than 60 years old—signed both State- and Union-level ceasefire agreements in 2012 with the government, as well as with the military junta in 1995, although it one was broken when clashes between the parties resumed three months later.