By Maw Mee Myar/Kantarawaddy Times
The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) refuses to participate in the so-called peace talks of the regime-appointed State Administration Council (SAC), which the ethnic armed organisation (EAO) says are not inclusive, citing the regime’s insincerity in ending the year-long conflict in Karenni State that has displaced two-thirds of the population.
“The reality is that while they are calling for peace talks, they are launching a military operation against us. Who can trust them?” said Khu Daniel, first secretary of the KNPP, to Kantarawaddy Times. The Burma Army (BA) must withdraw from the contested areas before we will consider meeting, he says.
In a KNPP statement, the EAO called for an end to SAC’s military operation to allow international organisations to provide humanitarian aid to 200,000 people displaced by the BA offensives in Karenni and southern Shan states, as well as punitive measures against its soldiers for their human rights abuses against civilians.
On 2 May, the KNPP received an invitation letter to send two representatives to the peace talks in Naypyidaw, to which the army chief Min Aung Hlaing promised a face-to-face meeting in his speech broadcast on the state media mouthpiece MRTV.
KNPP leaders have speculated the SAC leader’s call for peace talks indicates that the army has a weak hand after more than a year of fighting with several groups opposing the dictatorship on several border fronts in the Southeast Asian country.