The State Counsellor said the name change last year from the Myanmar Peace Center to the National Reconciliation and Peace Center was made so that there could be a real, as well as a symbolic change in the way peace is achieved.
“The basic reason for changing MPC to NRPC is that national reconciliation and peace cannot be separated in any way. National reconciliation is not only meant for building peace with groups that fought with arms, but more than that. Different views and visions not only exist between armed organizations and the government, but also exist in different forms across the nation. Difference varies depending on political outlooks, racial, religious and social attitudes and visions. If we really want democracy, we need to believe that different visions can be solved in a peaceful way,” the State Counsellor said yesterday during her welcoming address to the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee, of which she is the chairperson.
She went on to say that violence should never be the means to attain peace.
“Any kind of terrorism or any kind of forced attack was never ever conceived in our minds. The force we use is none other than spiritual forces. We relied upon the support of our people with this spiritual force. We want our Union to be really peaceful. If asked why we want peace, we will answer that we want it for our citizens to ensure that their minds are free from fear. Without their minds feeling safe, they cannot get mental happiness. Peace is needed for security in our minds, as is development because it is impossible to bring about real happiness and security, if we are not sufficient in our needs,” she said. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also said yesterday that it was important for all participants in the peace process to strive for unity, instead of calculating how an advantage can be gained by a certain group.
“We are not making efforts for the interest of a group. What we are doing here is not for the benefit of NLD nor for the government, but only for the emergence of the Union. I myself keep this in my mind, as will the representatives present at the meeting, I believe. We urge all to consider what we can give on our side and how we can support the effort in attending such dialogues. It is impossible to approach the dialogues with the spirit of how much we can exploit from here for ourselves. All will have desires and aspirations. First of all, we need to venture to give so that we will be well convinced that our giving will result in a fruitful end. Giving with good will is beneficial, provided that we will do with the spirit of giving as much as we can, without hoping for getting something. I hereby urge you all to discuss with positive visions.”
Afterward, Pado Saw Kwei Htoo Win and U Thu Wai, Vice-Chairmen of the UPDJC, gave welcoming speeches, followed by the agenda of the meeting. In yesterday’s meeting, the designation of the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong Agreement, matters on the number of representatives, dates and basic principles were discussed, it was learnt.
“We all agreed to hold the UPC—21st Century Panglong Agreement’s 2nd meeting, on 28 February. Secondly, we decided to hold the meeting with 700 representatives as described in the framework. We agreed to carry out the process with Union Spirit and to encourage groups that have not yet signed the agreement to sign in the conference,” said U Zaw Htay, Acting Director-General of the Ministry of the State Counsellor’s Office.
The head of a major ethnic organization then gave an update on the negotiations of the Kayin.
“As regards race-orientated discussions, the Kayin side has come to an end. We heard that all were satisfied with our efforts for all to accept the result which came out from the Kayin side. Very soon, in PaO and Shan, discussions will be made. There has been progress and there was cooperation and discussions were favourable. I want to say that I think it is very easy to implement the task if we aspire. Kayins have been fighting for over 60 years, finding no solution. During a three-year period we have been in round-table peace talks, race-orientated discussions were successfully held. Peace is only in the round-table political dialogue,” said Pado Mahn Nyein Maung of the Kayin National Organization.
Khun Myint Tun of the PaO National Liberation Organization added: “Our PaO national level political dialogue will be held from February 16 to February 20 in Hopone, it was approved.”
An official of the UPJDC then confirmed the dates and the frequency of meetings, as well as who would be in attendance.
“Union Peace Conference will be held twice a year, so the present conference is designated to be held on 28 February. It will be round about the designated date as we need to consult for all to take part in the meeting. Conference representatives are to be from those who signed the agreement and they must decide as well. As the State Counsellor has said, to exert efforts for those who have not signed the agreement yet to sign and take part, the Peace Commission will perform the task to the completion,” said U Hla Maung Shwe of the Secretary of UPDJC.— MNA