It is time to seek national reconciliation by any means

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The following is a speech delivered by General Yawd Serk, Chairman of RCSS, at the Ceremony to mark the Eighth Anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on 15 October 2023, Nay Pyi Taw.

First of all, I would like to wish all the distinguished guests to the 8th Anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), happiness, healthiness and auspiciousness.
Today marks the 8th Anniversary of the signing of NCA. I am glad to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of all the signatories of NCA-signed Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs). We are thankful to State Administration Council for organizing the ceremony of 8th Anniversary of the NCA bringing together all the representatives.
Celebrating the anniversary is to honour those who deserve and to take lessons by recalling the challenges faced. On behalf of all EAOs, I would like to give great honour to all responsible officials from the Government led by Former President U Thein Sein and to all those from EAOs side, NCCT, SD and all responsible individuals.
NCA is an agreement signed by the Government, Hluttaw, Tatmadaw and EAOs and witnessed by representatives of UN, EU, China, India, Thailand and Japan. Despite the efforts for administrative reforms through engagement and consultations, NCA did not reach far due to lack of compromises. It is regrettable that NCA has yet to be implemented over eight year of its signing.
Especially, political deadlock over 2020 general elections and no political solution in sight over ongoing political issues, NCA implementation is also stalled. Lots of times were lost for our politics and peace.
However, we, the signatories of NCA uphold the principles and essence of the NCA, such as “seeking political solution on political issues”, “holding meaningful and inclusive dialogues with the participation of all stakeholders” and “protection of all civilians” etc. and we are committed to seek solution for the current political deadlock. And, we also wish to inform all those concerned that we are continuing our efforts in that direction.
Since the Independence, our Union faced instability and conflicts. At present as well, our people are facing many socio-economic difficulties in addition to the political deadlocks. Today, as we have yet to resolve the political tension through peaceful means, the country has been facing armed conflicts and its consequences and difficulties in every aspect. I would like to urge that it is time to find solution not to let worsen the difficulties in multiple fronts.
It is the time to seek national reconciliation by any means. Therefore, we need to build trust among the stakeholders. We cannot overcome the current political deadlock by upholding diverging views and principles. The only way out for the Union is the dialogues without any precondition. I would also like to propose and encourage international community to support our efforts to seek solutions through meaningful and inclusive dialogues.
It is time for our country seek reform aiming for eternal Peace and Federal Democratic Union. The Constitution, which is part of the country’s political issue, need to be reformed and the Constitution should also be the one acceptable to all.
In conclusion, I would like to state that only through a Genuine Federal democratic Union, mutual recognition and respect to the diversity of Multi-ethnic Union can be created and then, the diversity can be turned into strength of the Union. For a country with a 70-years history of differences and tensions, there can be many challenges. In this respect, I would like to highlight the importance of political will. I would like to conclude by expressing that EAOs, along with all stakeholders, wish to exert unwavering efforts to build Federal Democratic Union by overcoming current political deadlock through dialogues.

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