A Karen National Union delegations met with Vice-Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the Defense Ministry and the Tatmadaw (Burma Army), in the country’s capital, Naypyidaw, to talk about the need for nationwide ‘concrete ceasefire agreements’ between all ethnic armed groups and the government.
Padoh Mahn Mahn, joint secretary of the KNU and a member of its delegation to Naypyidaw spoke to Karen News.
“We discussed that both the government and the country’s ethnic groups need to put-in-place firm ceasefire agreements. The KNU specifically talked about the [ceasefire] code of conduct that we’ve drafted.”
Aside from the ceasefire, Padoh Mahn Mahn said that the KNU delegation discussed with General Min Aung Hlaing the current conflict in Kachin State and made it clear to army chief that the KNU will move to political dialogue only after the fighting in Kachin State stops.
Vice-Senior General Min Aung Hliang was reported in the Kachin media that he told the KNU delegation that he is trying to reach a ceasefire agreement with the Kachin Independent Army. General Min Aung Hliang was reported as saying that he is satisfied the government has achieved around 70% ceasefire agreements with ethnic armed groups and said that the Tatmadaw [Burma Army] wants peace.
The KNU’s Padoh Mahn Mahn said that it is critical that there is a nationwide ceasefire.
“The main responsibility to achieving a stop to all the fighting lies with the government. However, all our ethnic groups have to be united and cooperate with each other. As we can only move forward to political dialogue after a ceasefire, there’s need to achieve ceasefire agreements with all ethnic groups.”
Following the meeting between the KNU and President Thein Sein, the president office’s website stated that President Thein Sein “called for cooperation on common ground for granting equal constitutional rights to all national races despite political differences.” The official website noted that the discussion with the President included that it would go ahead with “peace talks, ceasefire, liaison offices and regional development tasks.”
The KNU delegation was led by General Mutu Say Poe, the KNU chairman, other members included its general secretary, Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, joint secretary 2, Padoh Mahn Mahn, Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung , Padoh Roger Khin and Padoh Saw Hla Tun. President Thein Sein invited the KNU delegation to Naypyidaw on January 3, 2013.