Government and KNU reinforce peace agreement

The Karen National Union and Burma government held further peace talks in the Thai border town of Mae Sot yesterday. The government delegation led by Railway Minister, U Aung Min, met with KNU representatives to discuss and reinforce the agreements they made in earlier meetings.

The six member KNU delegation was led by its general secretary, Naw Zipporah Sein, and the Burma governments nine member team was led by Minister U Aung Min.

Naw Zipporah Sein, KNU general secretary spoke to Karen News.

“We discussed about what we agreed with the government at our previous peace-talks and what we will continue to do to ensure the process is on track. We also let them [government] know about the changes we have made in our working procedure.”

Zipporah Sein said that the discussions also covered issues that included how to evaluate the liaison offices set up to ease conflict between the two sides and the concerns of Karen people about their land being confiscated.

At the meeting, Minister U Aung Min said that, “local villagers can submit their reports through the liaison offices about their difficulties. They can discuss the issue at the liaison offices.”

On April 6 this year, the KNU peace-talks delegation, led by Naw Zipporah Sein and government delegation led by Railway Minister U Aung Min met and signed a 13-point peace agreement in Rangoon.

According to sources close to KNU, there was no discussion about military issues or any decision was made during that meeting. A date for the next official peace-talk meeting has yet to be announced.

Although there was no concrete outcome from yesterday’s meeting, Naw Zipporah Sein said she was positive that the meeting was useful, as it brought the KNU and Burma government closer to a relationship where muddied issue are able to be discussed. Ms Sein said this meeting with the government was an important step that is needed to make sure the peace building process continues.

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