- Maung Nyein Chan (Commission)
All Myanmar nationals were feeling joyous and happy to know that The New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) at the Myanmar International Convention Centre II in Nay Pyi Taw on 13 February, 2018.
Formerly, the Union Government and eight ethnic groups including the Karen National Union (KNU), the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), the Chin National Front (CNF), the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF),the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) and the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council (KNU/KNLA-PC) singed the NCA. The signing of the NCA by the NMSP and the LDU brought to 10th number of ethnic groups that have signed the agreement, a prerequisite for participating in the peace process.
The NMSP and the LDU are members of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), and they have been removed from the list of unlawful associations, according to officials.
NMSP’s Executive Committee Member Naing Aung Mangae said at the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), “The next step after the NCA is holding a national political dialogue, and we are committed to it. There are advantages, as well as disadvantages, in holding this dialogue. The disadvantage is that not all EAOs are on board yet; however, the advantage is that signing the NCA allows us to participate in political dialogues. The NMSP alone cannot bring about change, so we are ready to work together with everyone to create the Federal Republic.”
A journey towards a democratic federal union
Signing the NCA is not giving in to the government and Tatmadaw, officials said. While some have ill feelings about it, all ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) should not have skepticism, distrust or anxiety about the NCA, officials said.
The NCA is a landmark agreement between the government and ethnic armed races, and it was first signed on 15 October 2015. The NCA aims at solving political problems through peaceful political dialogue and achieve success in political discussions.
Advantages of signing the NCA
All the ethnic armed groups can live peacefully in their own places and the children will be able to pursue their studies without any difficulties. Smooth and efficient transportation systems will be possible, making for faster shipping of goods that will make commodity prices fall. All this will result in higher living standards for local residents.
The local people can enjoy the fruitful results of peace and the benefits of earning a peaceful living, especially in these areas, infrastructures such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and telecommunications offices have been built and local people can now travel freely from one place to another. Everyone can witness that their ways of life and living standards have increased dramatically.
Within the Federal System, it is essential to establish one’s own legislation power that all ethnic groups have been craving for.
It is very crucial for all the nationalities living in the union to equally participate in promoting national unity and keeping the Union in perpetuity.
Moreover to ensure national reconciliation, it is necessary not only to establish clear confidence between the nation and armed ethnic groups, but also to create mutual trust among ethnic groups. As the essential need of peacekeeping process is trust, it is necessary to put strong effort in building clear confidence among national brethren. When we have gained national unity and national reconciliation, it is sure for us to be able to build a peaceful and prosperous Democratic Federal Union.
Throughout history, ancient Myanmar kings built a strong union through national spirit. In the late Konbaung dynasty, the country fell under the colonisation of the imperialists. Consequently, national brethren became disunited. Having founded the Myanmar Tatmadaw under the leadership of Bogyoke Aung San, the national people fought against the invaders with the help of the Japanese. However, all the national people suffered from the bitter treatment of fascism. When the Second World War broke out, fascists were driven out of the country.
However, the British colonists who came back to our country again were hesitant to give independence to Myanmar and they intended to give independence only to the mainland but not the hilly regions. Thanks to the efforts of Bogyoke Aung San and all ethnic races, Myanmar regained her independence in 1948.
After regaining independence, the social standards of our national people declined due to armed conflicts and lack of peace and stability in the country. Such long-lasting armed conflict only left our country’s development behind other countries in the region.
For the development of our country, politics and economics go hand in hand and national reconciliation is one of the most important foundations in setting country’s economic policy.
The Essence of NCA
The NCA is regarded as the beginning of peace and the original source of political process in Myanmar. The signing of the NCA by the NMSP and the LDU is leading us the right way. The remaining non-signatories should sign the NCA boldly, with decisive spirit, and leave a good legacy for the benefit of posterity so that the future generations can enjoy the fruitful results of the peace process, thereby they will be able to march towards a peaceful and prosperous Democratic Federal Union.
Win Ko Ko Aung