Monday, 16 July 2018

Chaing Mai, Thailand: Burmese political problem can be solved by political means said Dr. Khin Maung, the Central Committee member and Deputy Head of Foreign Affairs of United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) in a press conference of UNFC held on February 28, on Burma-Thailand border.

UNFC Central Committee members in the press conference


“The ethnic nationalities’ issue in Burma is the root cause of Burma political crisis. Political inequality and rejection of self-determination of ethnic nationalities has taken place the long run conflict. Restoration of rights to national equality and self-determination is the life-blood of the ethnic peoples. Leaders of ethnic nationalities had struggled for their rights in parliament by democratic means from 1948 to 1962. But General Ne Win seized the Union power and began the armed oppression against the struggle of ethnic nationalities. The civil war broke out and today almost more than 60 years.”

“Until and unless this political problem can be solved by political means, the civil war will not be ended. If the political dialogue is started to solve the crisis by political means, the civil war will be reduced corresponding to the development of the political agreement. Sustainable peace and development can come out when President Thein Sein government precede the problem solving by political means. Peace for economic development will cause undefined misery and peace for political solution can assure constant peace and sustainable development.”

 

Dr. Khin Maung (ANC), the Central Committee member and Deputy Head of Foreign Affairs of United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)

“We don’t want to sign ceasefire agreement again with the present government as we had already signed with the government since February 24, 1994. We have maintained ceasefire agreement with the government for nearly 18 years, but this was destroyed by the government after attacking Kachin’s outpost on June 9, 2011. As retaliation, on February 12, Kachin forces attacked to the Burma’s army after two days later. Soon after, the government offered to make ceasefire with them. In a ceasefire meeting, Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) representatives asked the government to withdraw some of the Burma’s army camps from Kachin’s area. Regarding this, the government asked us to make lists, which camps are to be withdrawn. We made a list of Burma’s army camps and it was sent. But, Burma’s army camps are not withdrawn, so far, said Dr. La Za, the head of Research and Legality of UNFC, in the press conference.

“We too asked them to allow a third party in the next ceasefire meeting. If so, we want to start political dialogue, but, we do not know what will happen in future.”

The Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), central committee member Sai Awn Sai said, “We hold meeting with the government and gave proposal to them that we want political dialogue. But, they did not want political dialogue and told us to discuss it in the upcoming parliament. In addition, we also asked 13 points demand from them, but they did not agree any point. However, on March 13, 2011, we were attacked by the Burma’s army and started talking ceasefire with us. This made us suspicious on them whether they are sincere or not. So, we need very careful to deal with them.” 

Participants in the UNFC press conference

The Vice-chairman Khu Abel Tweed,the Karenni National Progressive Party  (KNPP) said at the end of the meeting that “We are not terrorists, we are freedom fighters. We have been fighting for our rights since independence of Burma.” 

The participants of UNFC leaders were—Khu Abel Tweed (KNPP), the vice-chairman(1), Nai Hon Sa, the New Mon State Party (NMSP), the joint secretary (1), Col Hkun Okker, the Pa-Oh National Liberation Organization (PNLO), joint secretary (2), Dr. La Ja (KIO), the head of Research and Legality, Dr. Khin Maung, the Arakan National Council (ANC),deputy Head of Foreign affairs, Tar Aik Bong, the Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Central Committee member and  Sai Say Awn (SSPP), Central Committee member. But, the representatives of Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), the Wa National Organization (WNO) the Chin National Front (CNF), and the Karen National Union (KNU) were absent.

The UNFC is composed of ethnic resistance forces, particularly between the ceasefire and non-ceasefire organizations. The reunification process started in early 2010.

For meaningful dialogue, it is necessary to ease the military offensive against the members of UNFC by Burma army, to announce nation-wide and ceasefire by present government and to enter into negotiation table to solve the long standing ethnic problem through political means, according to press release of UNFC.

The press conference was completed at about 7:45 pm, and about 50 persons participated in the press conference.