“It is very gratifying not to hear gunshots and bombs even though they haven’t signed the NCA yet.”

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Kantarawaddy Times

We have interviewed with Hpruso Township Pyithu Hluttaw representative, U Pe Du, who is also a member of Lower House Races Affairs and Internal Peacemaking Committee, about his satisfaction upon the state peace process.

Q: Since you are also a member of Lower House Races Affairs and Internal Peacemaking Committee, are you satisfied with the state peace process, or how do you see it?
A: Regarding to the question whether I am satisfied with the peace process or not is, as I said recently, it is very gratifying not to hear gunshots and bombs even though they haven’t signed the NCA yet. The KNPP side also really consider for the citizens and control the condition not to have any gunshots and bombings. Sometimes, there are unexpected small conflicts occurred between the Tatmataw and them (KNPP). However, it is not that much. They know how to settle it. I would say we are very gratified with current condition even though they haven’t signed the NCA. We, the residents, would be more than happy and they will reach their peace related goal if the NCA is signed.

Q: The government and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) have already signed a state-level ceasefire. But we have heard that the most responsible person from the state government was not present at the monthly meeting. What do you want to say about this?
A: I think, in fact, about the person whether they will be the decisive person at the state level in case of peace in the state, so this is a very sensitive issue. If he had been asked to do so through a State Counselor on the job, he would have been given the right to do so. For this case, would it be that he did not attended the meeting because he did not have the right to decide? If it is something like that, I think it is the decision could not be done with only the state government. I think it should be done through cooperating with the central level because, as usual, it is always in consideration who has the right to decide and who has the right to speak, so I think our state cannot make much of a decision. So, I have to say thanks for being so calm with this mutual understanding.

Q: So, can we assume the central government control the state government?

A: Currently, as I said, it might mean there is a lot of centralization. But as I said, I don’t think mistakes can be controlled. I don’t think we can see that this is like a dictatorship. Why? Because we are controlling it. The State Counselor is not acting like quick-tempered person. The NCA signing process also doesn’t need to be in a hurry. We have to think about it somehow. So I see this depends on an extent how much time we need to take and control on it. Because the government is organized mostly with wise people.

Q: The 21st Century Panglong, which is supposed to be held every six months, is no longer a regular activity. So why does it happen like this? How do you see and are you satisfied about this?

A: I am not satisfied with the Panglong Conference as it is not conducted at set time. However, it comes in mind there would be some reasons. For example, the unexpected outbreak of COVID. It is the later reason though. In case of the initial issue, there might be some reasons. But, is it the “reason” we should talk transparently? So we may have to consider it is because it needs to be controlled as it is confidential. We have no right to know why. We also do not have right to talk or interfere in every issue and it is more than the no right to know why. I see as they are doing their own job. As I said, we Hluttaw representatives see with our eyes, hear with our own ears, and talk back with our mouth. But, as I said, the state government is like “foot and hand”, they are the people who must play all their role. Besides, the union government is the one who should do their duties intensively.

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