Ethnic Leaders Enter Third Day of Summit


Monday, July 28, 2014
Representatives of Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) members today continue the third day of summit after a one-day rest at Padang Hall in Laiza. Two armed organizations, Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF), attend as observers in today summit meeting.

Abel Tweed of Karenni National  Progressive Party (KNPP), the chairman of today’s meeting, said in an opening speech to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. He cautioned ethnic leaders to not fall in the trap but to work together to get the best out of current offer by Thein Sein government.

He re-emphasized the aspirations of all ethnic nationalities to have equal rights and self determination in the federal union and the needs to continue to fight together until those aspirations are fulfilled. “The most important thing to achieve our goal is to have unity among ethnic nationalities,” said Abel Tweed.

In the afternoon session, UN special envoy Vijay Nambiar and Chinese government delegates joined the meeting and respectively delivered speeches.

Vijay Nambiar said in his speech, “You are now presenting a composite and united picture in terms of negotiating with the government on the nationwide ceasefire as well as the framework for political dialogue. The whole process has been steady and has been sustained, and it is my hope that you will be moving forward in a very constructive manner. As master of ceremony has said so succinctly you are taking everybody with you and you are not going to leave anybody behind. That in the sense is the essence of a combined coordinating approach.”

He also said that this juncture is different from earlier junctures and that today ethnic leaders have a genuine possibility of reaching forward to successful culmination of a nationwide ceasefire and the start of political dialogue.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in a message read out by Vijay Nambiar, said he has followed closely the development with respect to the peace process in Myanmar. “the progress in negotiations during the past year and more has involved a wide variety of stakeholders. They have come together to provide genuine ground for optimism and hope, for decisive end of over six decades of conflict and for the launching of a new dialogue for national reconciliation,” read the message.

Secretary General also said, “by embracing a nationwide ceasefire and political dialogue process, all sides will agree to put aside the legacy of mistrust and suspicion, and embark on a new era of mutual confidence and cooperation between the diverse ethnic groups and communities of the nation, and to work in a unified way for a common destiny for Myanmar.”

Chinese government envoy Mr. Wang Yingfan through his representative said he hope both sides will soon agree on the terms of nationwide ceasefire and wish the two sides will sign an agreement at the earliest possible time. Chinese representative also said nothing can achieve without political stability and he wish the citizens of its neighbor Burma enjoy the fruit of political stability and economic development as Chinese citizens are enjoying now.

Ethnic leaders have discussed four chapters on the draft text out of seven chapters of nationwide ceasefire agreement. They will continue to discuss chapter 5 and 6 of the draft text which assure the fulfillment of the conditions of ceasefire after an agreement is signed.