Nay Pyi Taw, June 28 (IANS) Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday met with representatives from ethnic armed groups involved in peace talks to discuss how to move forward with national reconciliation.
Suu Kyi, who is also Myanmar’s Foreign Minister has proposed a ’21st century Panglong Conference’ for late July with all ethnic militants – including at least four which have still not signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) adopted in October 2015, EFE news reported.
The Panglong Agreement was first signed in 1947 between the Burmese government and Shan, Kachin and Chin minorities to grant “frontier areas” occupied by minorities autonomy under an arrangement with the federal government.
The Ethnic Armed Organisation Peace Process Steering Team (EAO PPST) was founded in March on the eight NCA signatories including the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Pa-I National Liberation Organisation (PNLO), which has openly urged the army to include non-signatories in political dialogue, according to a PNLO statement.
Four main ethnic armed groups in Myanmar – ruled for decades by an iron-fisted junta until the transition to democracy began in 2012 followed by elections last year that saw the National League for Democracy win a landslide victory – have not signed the ceasefire.