The national coordination committee for negotiating COVID-19 measures with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) held an online video conference with the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) yesterday.
The committee held the meeting at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) office on Shweli Road, Yangon, and focused on preparations and cooperation regarding COVID-19.
Joining the meeting on the government’s side were committee Chairman Dr Tin Myo Win, Vice-Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Khin Zaw Oo and committee members and they were joined by invited guests, PNLO Vice-Chairman Khun Myint Tun and his group of representatives.
Dr Tin Myo Win delivered the opening speech and discussions with PNLO commenced based on the 7 agreements discussed with the 10 NCA-S EAOs.
The PNLO vice-chairman said the meeting discussed regional cooperation for protecting against and containing COVID-19. He said they discussed technical assistance, forming quarantine centres, and cooperating on investigating for suspected COVID-19 cases.
The PNLO held a meeting with the Shan State Department of Health on 11 May for detailed discussions regarding COVID-19.
Peace Commission advisory board member U Hla Maung Shwe said the meeting discussed the lack of a designated testing facility in the PNLO region and work was divided among three zones. He said they also discovered there were no armed or uniformed personnel and the PNLO said they have talked cooperation with Shan State Health Department and other state departments.
The EAOs COVID-19 coordination committee and PNLO also discussed the basic necessities of residents and rehabilitation plans for after the pandemic period.
U Hla Maung Shwe said trust was increased on both sides during the meeting. He said they discussed the government coordination committee’s processes and are prepared for cooperation on COVID-19 and future endeavours.
PNLO will cooperate with Shan State Health Department in handling locals returning from abroad.
Vice-Chairman Khun Myint Tun said they have arranged for suspected COVID-19 cases to be put under quarantine in the closest townships possible and to cooperate with the Shan State Health Department, with detailed discussions underway. He thanked the government for forming a committee to coordinate COVID-19 measures with EAOs. He said this form of cooperation will support the overall peace process.The COVID-19 coordination committee will hold a similar online video conference with Chin National Front on 15 May. — Ye Gaung Nyunt (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)