By Kantarawaddy Times
The military regime aims to present its commitment to peace by initiating talks through the country’s long-struggling Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). However, according to U Aung San Myint, the first secretary of the Karenni National Progressive Party, it is a lie.
“The State Administration Council (SAC) wants to show…that they are earnestly working towards implementing the NCA. In reality, they are liars and want to decrease the pressure from the international community,” he explained, adding there will be no political agreement as a result of 15 October ceremony.
Aung San Myint stated that most of the armed groups did not attend the 8th-anniversary event of the NCA held in Naypyidaw. Out of its ten signatories, only five are really committed to the accord, he said.
Ostensibly, the SAC leader Min Aung Hlaing offered a warm welcome to all of the country’s armed groups at the event a week ago. He invited non-NCA signatories to the table for “discussions and negotiations for the country’s development, social welfare, and economic prosperity, with the goal of building a union founded on principles of democracy and federalism”.
Despite receiving a written invitation to attend, the KNPP declined. The Karenni leader said they have no faith in the SAC, believing that the NCA is merely another ruse by the military regime to conceal its true agenda.
The KNPP hasn’t signed it but holds state-level and union-level ceasefire agreements from the previous Thein government.
Over the past eight years, the ethnic groups have made no progress toward achieving justice and self-determination. However, during this time, Aung San Myint has observed numerous violations of the NCA by the Burma army while it has reprimanded the other signatories for their perceived mistakes. After the coup, SAC has targeted both NCA and non-members with shelling and other airstrikes.
In a joint statement released a few days prior to the ceremony, the Karen National Union, Chin National Front, and All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, all NCA- signatories, asserted that the 2021 military coup ended the NCA.
According to AP, KNU spokesperson Padoh Saw Taw Nee said in a video posted on Facebook, “Under current conditions, no meaningful peace talks can take place. With the coup, there is no legitimate government, no constitution and no parliament.” He said, “We don’t see any potential positive outcomes from the eighth year anniversary of the NCA that they are organising now.”
Representatives from various NCA-groups that attended the meeting included the Karen National Liberation Army/Peace Council, Pa-O National Liberation Council, Arakan Liberation Party, Restoration Council of Shan State, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, New Mon State Party, and Lahu Democratic Union.
According to SAC, the event was attended by 35 members of political parties, 11 officials from non-governmental organizations, and 32 diplomats, including Chinese Special Envoy for Asian Affairs Deng Xijun and Indian Deputy National Security Adviser Vikram Misri.