A senior member of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team explained to Karen News that the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and Restoration Council of Shan Sate/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) will not attend a conference to discuss the nationwide ceasefire draft documents.
Padoh Kwe Htoo Win, a senior member of the NCCT told Karen News that the “conference is about informing the remaining member groups about what the NCCT has already contained in the NCA final draft.”
Padoh Kwe Htoo Win said that the two groups were invited to the conference the UWSA and the RCSS/SSA are invited to give their suggestions on the NCA. They are not attending because they think it might seem as if they are not directly involved. It will not affect the NCA process.”
Padoh Kwe Htoo Win said that 21-armed ethnic groups, including UWSA, RCSS/SSA and Naga groups have been invited to the Lawkheelar Conference that will run from, 2nd to 6th June to discuss the draft of the NCA that was signed in March between the NCCT and the Government’s Peace-Making Working Committee (UPWC).
Karen News understand that in their responding letter on May 26th, the UWSA and the RCSS/SSA explained that as they are not members of the NCCT that is composed of 16 armed ethnic groups they would not be sending representatives to the Lawkheelar Conference, taking place in the Karen National Union controlled area, in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State.
A RCSS/SSA spokesperson, General Sai Hla told Karen News “It may seem as if we are not participating in the ethnic causes, but we are going to be involved. This is a NCCT internal matter. We are waiting the results of the NCCT leaders negotiations and after that we will discuss and analysis the result.”
The first armed ethnic conferences to discuss a nationwide ceasefire was held in Liaza Town, the Kachin Independent Army Headquarters, in October 2013, the second conference was in held January 2014 at Lawkheelar under the control of the KNU and the third conference was also held in Laiza in July 2014