Thursday, September 21, 2017

NRPC officials listen to concerns, suggestions on peace process

To seek outside opinions on the current peace initiative, government officials responsible for peace process held a meeting on Saturday with relatives of individuals involved in the signing of the historic Panglong agreement, political analysts and experts.

Attendees shared their opinions on the peace process on issues ranging from good management of the peace negotiations to building future federal system for the country.

One such discussion included constitutional amendment that can be accepted by the Tatmadaw, which hold key 25 percent membership in the parliament by means of 2008 constitution.

For a solution that would be acceptable for the NLD, the ruling party and the Tatmadaw, amendment should come first to the constitution’s schedules that dictate the extent to which state and regional legislatures can go, U Kyaw Win who is a political analyst and writer suggested, based on the account of U Than Soe Naing.

“If the schedules are to be amended first, Tatmadaw might not have any objection and NLD can also achieve one of its long held goals of constitutional amendment,” said U Than Soe Naing.

As with the section 436 of the constitution, important parts of the constitution, including the prospect of power sharing between the central and the state governments, cannot be amended without the consent of the 25pc of the soldiers sitting in the parliament.

Under the current schedules of the constitution delegate there is more legislative power to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw than to the state and regional parliaments, leaving the letters just a few sectors on which they can draw law.

Families and relatives of the individuals involved in the signing of the Panglong agreement shared their memories and knowledge concerning the agreement and requested the NRPC officials to bring peace for the country, according to sources present at the meeting.

U Than Soe Naing, who attended as a political analyst, said he discussed what were the administration’s weaknesses in negotiating peace with powerful armed ethnic groups active along the China-Myanmar borderline.

“One important episode is that the increase in military offensives against some groups has united the armed ethnic groups and more powerful groups like Wa, which recently formed FPNCC,” he said.

Trying to get bilateral ceasefire between government and groups currently at war, inviting all armed ethnic groups to the peace process and reviewing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the peace negotiation process based on it are three important recommendations he has made, U Than Soe Naing said.

Due to ongoing military escalation in Kachin and northern Shan State between Tatmadaw and armed ethnic groups, the government’s peace efforts this year would face tough challenges.

“There is very little hope to regard 2017 as peace year as said by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” U Than Soe Naing said.

U Kyaw Tint Swe, minister of State Counsellor’s office and U Tin Myo Win, chairperson of Peace Commission of government took note of the accounts of the attendees.

U Maung Maung Soe, an analyst on ethnic affairs and peace process who also attended the conference said he and some other attendees handed over their recommendations on what government should do to run the peace process smoothly.

Attendees also said similar events would be held in the future on a regular basis.