By Kantarawaddy Times
Following a series of oppugnant episodes, exacerbating an existing climate of distrust in Karenni (Kayah) State towards the government and Army, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) said now is not the right time to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).
Shwe Myo Thant, the KNPP general secretary, said there are many difficulties Karenni are facing including the conflicts between youth and the state government and criminalizing of Karenni farmers. More trust needs to be established between the government and KNPP before it will consider signing the NCA.
“There are problems between the Army and Karenni farmers, and we still have many things to negotiate with the government…We can’t sign the NCA without solving these problems,” Shwe Myo Thant told Kantarawaddy Times.
The fourth round of 21st Panglong Conference, scheduled to run before Burma’s 2020 general election, probably won’t include all the ethnic armed organisations (EAOs), he said.
“The armed conflict in Rakhine is intensifying and unlikely to be solved quickly. At the same time, it’s unrealistic the Northern Alliance will sign the NCA. The UWSA (United Wa State Army) hasn’t committed to joining the Panglong Conference,” Shwe Myo Thant said.
Ko Kyaw Htin Aung, a political analyst, said relations between the KNPP and Union and state government is weak and he remained skeptical the EAO would join the NCA.
“I think the Union government doesn’t try hard and at the same time, the state government doesn’t maintain its relationship with the KNPP. For instance, the chief state minister and other state-level ministers didn’t attend peace meetings between the KNPP and Union government. Only the General Department Development (GAD) officer could be counted.”
As part of the bilateral ceasefire, the KNPP meets with the Karenni State government every month. During last month’s meeting, at the end of February, only the GAD attended.
Given the right circumstances, Ko Kyaw Htin Aung told Kantarawaddy Times he thinks the KNPP would join the NCA.