Pandemic Obstructs Ethnic Leaders’ Summit

By Network Media Group
Monday, January 11, 2021

Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs), which signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), said they won’t hold the second session of the 4th Ethnic Leaders’ Summit until the pandemic resides.

Myo Win, vice-chair of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), told NMG because transmission rates continue fluctuating in Thailand and Burma, the EAO leaders can’t meet until the situation normalizes. Plans to meet last May were shelved because of the pandemic, he explained. An uptick of cases in Burma prevented it from happening in October, November and December.

Most of the NCA-s EAOs are based along the border with Thailand, where strict measures by the Thai and Burma government have been implemented to prevent outbreaks. “We have to follow COVID-19 protocols and guidelines of both countries,” Myo Win explained.

During the first session, which took place in mid-May, 2019, there were discussions about restructuring the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) and Karen National Union’s resignation letter.

The other EAOs that are signatories to NCA are Chin National Front (CNF), Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council (KNLA-PC), Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Lahu Democratic Union (LDU).