Padoh Naw Zipprah Sein Leads KNU’s Delegation to Attend Today’s Ethnic Leaders’ Summit to Discuss Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement

The Karen National Union’s vice chairperson, Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein will lead its delegation to attend the ethnic leaders’ summit to be held today 1st May, in Pangshang.

Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein was selected at the KNU by its central standing committee at an emergency meeting on 25th April to discuss the draft Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement at the ethnic summit.

Padoh Saw Eh Wah, the district chairperson of the KNU’s Taungoo district spoke to Karen News on the selection of its delegates.

“I feel very satisfy with the delegates we have chosen. This is inclusive and is a fair selection of everyone who should be included. We have taken time to choose our delegation that represent different viewpoints within our organization – it is democratic.”

Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein, KNU delegate leader for the Phanshang Summit, spoke to Karen News and explained about the points that need further discussion in the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.

“There are seven points that need further discussion in the draft [NCA]. For example, a section in the agreement on the security sector integration, we see that the government’s understanding and our understanding is not the same. We think that as we haven’t totally agreed on these issues, we need further negotiations. What we want is that if everyone agrees, the security sector should be discussed at the political dialogue stage.”

In an earlier interview with Karen News, Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein had stressed that the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement needed to be discussed, amended and ratified by the leaders of the ethnic armed groups.

Ms Sein explained at the time to Karen News that the “current document does not contain all the important issues that we wanted included in it. One excluded issue is the role of the military. The draft agreement does not include a Ceasefire Code-of-Conduct, this is a military issue but it was agreed that it would be discussed later.”

Ms Sein said that her political organization, the Karen National Union, had put forward the issue of militarization for inclusion in the NCA.

“The issue about the relocation of [Myanmar Army] troops in our [controlled] areas, comes under the Ceasefire Code-of-Conduct is not included in this draft agreement. This is one issue that the Karen National Union wants and has been putting it forward for inclusion but it was not included.”

The KNU delegation left for Pangshang, the headquarter of the United Wa State Party in Shan State this week. The official delegation members led by Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein include Padoh Kwe Htoo Win, general secretary and Lieutenant General Saw Baw Kyaw Heh, the Karen National Liberation Army’s vice chief-of-staff while other KNU leaders such as Padoh Roger Khin, Padoh Thamein Tun, Padoh Saw Ta Doh Moo, Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung and Major General Saw Isaac will be attending as observers.

The Karen National Union selected its delegates when it met for five days from 20th to 25th April at its Lay Wah Headquarters in Hlaingbwe Township. The KNU said that they will focus their discussions, with other ethnic leaders at Pangshand summit, on the seven points.

The Phanshang Summit is scheduled to be held from 1st to the 3rd May and will be hosted by the UWSP. The UWSP invited 12 ethnic armed organizations to attend the summit.

The KNU delegation said that aside from focusing their discussion at the summit on the NCA draft and the current political situation, they will also exchange views on the participation of other ethnic armed organizations in the NCA process and what conditions can be set to encourage inclusiveness for all the groups.

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