Peace Talks: KNU and Govt go slow, but agree to meet again in July

Following an informal meeting between the Karen National Union and Burma government officials, at the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) in Rangoon on June 15, to talk about a ceasefire “Code of Conduct” both delegations plan to meet again in July.

Padoh Saw Aung Win Shwe, head of the KNU’s foreign affairs department and a member of the Karen’s delegation told Karen News that both meetings are unofficial.

“The current discussions are informal. Both sides need to get confirmation of the points that were discussed during the meetings with their leaders. Next month’s meeting will also informal.”

Despite numerous ceasefire Code-of-Conduct discussions, Karen News is led to understand that there is general dissatisfaction among a wide range of community groups and ethnic armed groups that the talks have not yet delivered any concrete results.

The KNU delegation included Padoh Saw Tar Doh Moo, a center executive committee member, Padoh Saw Eh K’lu Say, head of the Justice Department, Major Tamla Thaw, the Karen National Liberation Army, Padoh Saw Hla Tun from the Information Department, Padoh Saw Aung Win Shwe from the Foreign Affair Department and Saw Tar Moo Lar.

Government officials included, Myanmar Peace Center officials Dr. Kyaw Yin Hlaing, Dr. Min Zaw Oo, U Tun Tun Oo, Colonel KyawSoe Win, Dr. Naw Rebecca Tin and Colonel Aung Lwin the Minister of Border Security Affairs for Karen State.

Padoh Saw Eh K’lu Say, head of KNU Justice Department said that the contents of the draft code-of-conduct was discussed in detailed. The code-of-conduct is more than a 30-chapter document and delegates spent their time making changes as necessary to word usage and terms of reference.

Speaking to Karen News, Padoh Saw E’lu Say said.

“We mainly discussed about troops repositioning and having ceasefire monitoring groups. We also discussed about clarifying and simplifying words for easier understanding – we took time to get both sides agreement on all of that.”

The KNU and the government have held three official meeting – Hpa-an where they signed the State level ceasefire agreement on January 12, 2012, Rangoon for union level peace talks on April 6 and at Zwekapin Hall in Hpa-an in September 2012. There has not been an official meeting between the KNU and government since September 2012.

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