An emergency meeting of the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), including eight ethnic armed organisations that have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), was held in Khumphucome Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand, yesterday morning.
Kayin Nation Union Chairperson Saw Mutu Sae Poe said the emergency meeting was held to resolve differences among the ethnic armed organisations and the government on the national-level political dialogue preparation process stages conducted for the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong 3rd Session.
In his opening remarks, Saw Mutu Sae Poe said, “All the stakeholders had agreed to participate in the out-of-parliament path, a political dialogue path based on NCA to reconstruct the country. This is a new political culture called implementation, based on finding solutions through dialogue. Meetings with the public and national-level political discussions are the backbone of the new political culture. This will help in the implementation of national reconciliation. The peace process cannot be implemented through the system of orders and obedience but by building trust, based on mutual respect and recognition. Thus stakeholders need to discuss to obtain a common understanding. The meeting will be significant only when solutions are found after discussing the fears of both sides about the other.”
The day’s PPST emergency meeting was attended by top PPST leaders, as well as members of the group for security and political discussions, and officials from the Joint Monitoring Committee.
Based on the experience of armed conflict, the highest level of confrontation in a political situation, it is undeniable that mistrust, suspicion and concerns between the main stakeholders participating in the peace process are deeply rooted. This causes friction when political dialogues are held. It can be concluded that they do not view the terms of the NCA in the same way. As such, a solution needs to be found through meetings and discussions, said Saw Mutu Sae Poe.
The PPST emergency meeting will be held over two days on January 11 and 12.
By Ye Gaung Nyunt