UPDJC meets the press
The third day of the fourth session of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong was held at the Myanmar International Convention Centre II, and the Part III of the Union Accord was reached. After the conference, members of the Secretary of UPDJC U Zaw Htay of the Government group, U Myit Soe of the political parties group and Nai Aung Ma Ngay of the ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) group met the press.
As regards the conference, member of the secretary Nai Aung Ma Ngay said the Part III of the Union Accord was successfully signed on the third day of the conference. The Part I includes the 15 points of the framework agreement for the implementation of the National Ceasefire Agreement-NCA; the Part II approves the table (1) of the post-2020 stage-by-stage work programmes and step-by-step implementations, and the Part III adopts the five guiding basic principles for the establishment of a Union based on democratic federal system.
At the press meet, member of the secretary U Zaw Htay said regarding the ongoing peace process, the Government, on its part, will implement three action programmes of the peace process. In her address at the opening of the conference, the State Counsellor dealt with these action programmes. The first point is to reach ceasefire agreement with the NCA non-signatories. The second is the further strengthening of the ceasefire agreement with the NCA signatories and the ceasefire monitoring process, and they all must be carried bilaterally. We will have to cement the chapters 3 and 4 of the NCA. The third is the harmonious implementation of the functions of the law-making body and the government’s actions for national equality and ethnic rights. All those are included in the first action program.
The second action programme is in connection with the remaining portions of the discussions on the Union Accord Part-3. There will be ongoing discussions for the work of formulating the structure of a state included in the guiding basic principles. Another topic of the ongoing discussions is the role and power of the parliament. The second point is the preparation of the framework of the political dialogue in accordance with the Part III of the Union Accord. And the third point of the second action programme is the harmonization of the mechanism to realize the Union Accord and the mechanism to realize the security reconciliation.
The third action programme is the process of formulating a link between the functions of the first and the second action programmes and the constitutional amendment. If we realize the table 2 during the ongoing discussions, we will be able to carry out the constitutional amendment of the Union and the drafting of their own constitutions of the states. In so doing, the relations between political accomplishment and the reaction of the security reconciliations must be designated as stated in today’s address. The government and the NCA-S EAO representatives will hold JMC-U and JMC-S meetings in the coming September and October where the remaining parts of the bilateral meeting will be discussed, according to the press meet. The government and the NCA-S EAO have the agreements for the future actions. For example, JMC-U meetings will be called in the second week of the coming September; and the JMC-S meetings, in the last week of the month and in early October 2020. The task forces of both sides will discuss the outstanding issues at the meetings. Another part is the bilateral review of the dialogue structure adopted under the framework. And there is the political parties group. As the general election is drawing nearer, a venue may take place after the November election. At that time, the government and EAOs may have reach a certain point, U Zaw Htay said. Starting from 16 this month, number of Covid-19 positive cases in Sittway, Rakhine State, reached high.
In connection with the matter, U Zaw Htay said a positive case was found in Sittway on 16 August. Three more cases were found on 19 August; two more in the morning and three in the evening on 20 August; and ten new cases this morning. So the total is 19. What I want to warn the stakeholders including AA is that the epidemic may be coming to the Rakhine State, so we are terribly worried. The Government is paying special attention to the new infection, weighing and identifying the possible connections. A tsunami in Indonesia killed a large number of people at a certain place, and because of the terrible human sufferings and loss of life reconciliation could be restored for peace, and what followed was the full integration. If the previous positive cases found in Maungtaw area are added, the total number of positive cases in Rakhine State will reach 35. So, the continuation of terrorist attacks, ambushes and abductions in this situation will amount to inhuman acts. I would seriously urge the group to stop those heartless activities. Regarding the Covid-19 response in Rakhine State, he said we are tracing the links of the first infested patient, a woman, in Sittway. Many people of Sittway go out to the sea daily by motorized boats for fishing. Some people are helping the INGOs. We quarantine all the persons we can trace. We are preventing the occurrence of a possible outbreak in the state and enforcing the rules and guidelines.
As regards the peace process with AA, U Zaw Htay said there were overtures even before the announcement of AA as a terrorist group. We sent invitations for an informal meeting if an official meeting was not the choice. But there was no response. The problem was that the group was just the coach following a locomotive. As it is like three or four coaches in a row following the head engine, no chance came out for any talks. There were a number of informal meetings with us before the time it was declared a terrorist group. But its members had less desire for talks. Now, it is a terrorist group and has the locomotive. So, the stance and aspiration of the group concerned is important in holding the exclusive talks. —Ye Gaung Nyunt (Translated by TMT)