A peak ethnic group has urged its member organizations, currently holding ‘peace-talks’ with the government, to stop all communications if the Burma Army continues its offensive against the Kachin.
The Ethnic Nationalities Council (Union of Burma), an umbrella ethnic group, yesterday, issued a statement following their Third Annual Meeting (from September 11 to 12), held at a undisclosed area on the Thai-Burma border.
Dr. Sui Khar, the general secretary of the ENC told Karen News that the group’s intention is not to upset the ‘peace-talk’ progress made so far between its members and the government.
“Our intention is not to destroy the ceasefire agreements. We are urging those ethnic groups who have made a ceasefire agreement to put-on-hold their current meetings or negotiations with the government.”
The ENC’s statement condemned the government for denying humanitarian aid access to over 90,000 villagers who have been displaced by the Burma army offensive against the Kachin Independent Army -the Burma Army has twice ignored the country’s President, U Thein Sein’s orders to stop its operations.
The ENC’s general secretary Dr. Sui Khar explained to Karen News that the country’s military is acting in contrary to its parliamentary lawmakers.
“To put it bluntly, there are two parts to this government. While the Union government is implementing ceasefire agreements with ethnic armed groups the Army is not following the orders they have been given by the government.”
The ENC statement urged the government and the country’s ethnic groups should convene an assembly that was similar to the 1947, Panglong Conference, to negotiate a framework for political dialogue between all sides.
Dr. Sui Khar said a consistent framework that all ethnic groups trusted for ongoing political dialogue and negotiations was important for the peace of the country.
“We will negotiate as much as possible for a framework and we will help all ethnic nationalities to come up with their own structure.”
Following the 3rd Annual Meeting, the ENC’s rotating chairmanship now goes to Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong – all members of the country’s ethnic nationalities attended, except for the Karenni.
The ENC (Union of Burma) was formed in 2004 with the main ethnic nationalities members from seven States, it includes the Kachin, Karenni [Kayah], Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan.