Govt provides COVID-19 medical supplies to ethnic armed organizations

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Peace Commission Chairman Dr Tin Myo Win delivers the speech at ceremony to hand over the medical supplies to the ethnic armed organizations on 25 May.  Photo: phoe htaung

The Peace Commission and the Committee for Coordination with Ethnic Armed Organizations in measures against COVID-19 of the government presented medical supplies to the ethnic armed organizations.
The ceremony to hand over the supplies was held at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre in Yangon yesterday.
Dr Tin Myo Win, the chairman of committee, said in his opening remark, that the first case of COVID-19 was found in Myanmar on 23 March, 2020, and he said his appreciation on the efforts of EAOs in measures against the disease in their respective areas.
The President formed the committee on 27 April, 2020 with order number 63/2020, comprising with the four members of Peace Commission for the seven working areas in accordance with the police of ‘no one left behind’.
The committee contacted both the signatories in NCA and non-signatories as these groups are based in the border areas which are the gateways of overseas returnees.
The committee and the Peace Commission held a video conference online with the Peace Process Working Team (PPWT) that represented the 10- EAOs on 8 May, and reached the five agreements on COVID-19 control measures. It was also informed to the non-signatories of NCA.
Based on these agreements, the committee held online discussions for COVID-19 operations with KNU on 11 May, NMSP on 12 May, PNLO on 14 May, CNF on 15 May, ALP on 20 May and KNPP on 22 May respectively. More meetings will also be held with the remaining armed groups. The meetings agreed to share technology and relief supplies on COVID-19.
The committee used peace funds of the commission in purchasing 9 items of supply, including surgical masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants and PPE sets.
The Health Department of Yangon Region also provided 13 items for the quarantine centres.
The committee will distribute 20 hand speakers with ethnic language audio files, donated by a private donor.
Discussions are underway to receive international donations for the COVID-19 measures.
Dr Tin Myo Win added not to see the COVID-19 as a ‘threat’, but to regard it as an ‘opportunity’ to proceed peace process.
After the handover of supplies, Vice-Chairman of Committee retired Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo said, “We provided COVID-19 control items to the 10 signatories and 2 non-signatories of EAOs. This coordination could help in peace process. After we received more donations from international organizations, we will present more supplies. The Tatmadaw has also shared such supplies to the Wa, Mongla and KIA groups.”
Vice Chairman (2) of SSPP Sao Khun Sai said, “We conducted educative campaigns to the returnees from Thailand and China although our members did not go abroad. We took body temperature of returnees and held them under quarantine in the farms or agricultural lands for 14 days before they were allowed to enter their villages. Neither positive cases nor deaths from this disease have been found. We want to continue the cooperation in post COVID-19 period. Trust can be built by cooperation. We will need more time for peace. Patience is needed to heal the impacts of over 70-years conflict.”—Ye Khaung Nyunt (Translated by Aung Khin)

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