Participants discussed the rights of ethnic minorities and formation of a single unified military
Work committees of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) successfully concluded their meetings held at Myanmar International Convention Centre II in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, in preparation for the third session of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong.
The work committees discussed five sectors of importance: political, economic, social, security, farmlands and natural environments. The meetings were held from 26 to 28 June and discussed such topics as protecting the rights of ethnic minorities, democratic rights, human rights, gender equality,
basic principles of economic and regional development in a federal system, implementing a market economy, ethnic literacy, preserving ethnic literature, language, customs, culture and traditions, an inclusive education system, universal healthcare system, and forming a single unified military under a federal democratic country.
Political sector discussion results
Concerning the political sector discussion, the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP) Chairman Dr. Tu Jar said they discussed ethnic affairs, ethnic rights, ethnic minorities, as well as constitutional matters.
“We read each paper submitted by ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) and political parties. We had similar views on some things and different views as well,” said Dr. Tu Jar. “We’ve put everything on record. If everyone had the same vision, then we needn’t put it on record. We will submit the papers at the UPDJC meeting tomorrow, the UPDJC will decide on tasks, and we will discuss them during the working committee meetings held from 4 to 6 July.” He added that there has been much agreement on ethnic minority rights.
Similarly, U Aung Kyi Nyunt said only two out of ten topics from political parties were discussed, which encompassed ethnic minority rights, democratic rights, human rights, and gender equality.
Security sector discussion results
U Myo Win said discussions on matters of security included the results from four unofficial talks held between the government and EAOs, which he said will support official talks.
“We discussed with EAOs about a single unified military in the near federal democratic future,” said U Myo Win. “We reached two decisions that prospect for forming a single unified military, and other security matters will be further discussed between the government and EAOs. We put two of the subjects from the unofficial talks on record as constructive intentions.”
He added that it is a universally accepted truth that a country only has a single military. Workshops and discussions with experts will be carried out so that both sides of the table achieve unanimity, he said.
Economic sector discussion results
U Hla Maung Shwe said they discussed all six subjects carried over from the 10th UPDJC meeting. He said they have also discussed 13 of the 24 topics included in a paper submitted by five EAOs. “We’ve also discussed over half of the 71 topics from the Mon National Level Political Dialogue and 8 topics from political parties,” said U Hla Maung Shwe.
“The ethnic representatives will take the results back to their superiors and we will continue discussions at the 4 to 6 July meetings. The results from that will be submitted at the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong. The previous conference set 11 economic policy points, and I hope we will get at least the same number of policy points in the coming conference.” He added that the date for the next conference has been proposed to take place from 11 to 15 July. The actual dates will be confirmed today. Invitations to EAOs for the UPC conference will be also be discussed today.
Participating in yesterday’s meeting were members of the Secretariat of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee Lt-Gen (Ret) U Khin Zaw Oo, U Aung Soe, Maj-Gen Soe Naing Oo, U Zaw Htay, U Hla Maung Shwe, Pado Saw Tar Do Hmu, U Myo Win, U Sai Ngin, Saw Mra Yazar Lin, Khun Myint Tun, U Myint Soe, U Naing Ngan Lin, Sai Kyaw Nyunt, Min Kyaw Zeyar Oo and Tar Hla Pe, members of the joint committee, representatives of the government, the Hluttaw and the Tatmadaw, representatives of ethnic organisations and peacemakers.
By Kyaw Thu Htet,
Aye Aye Thant