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Published on Monday, 07 January 2013 12:09
Karen National Union (KNU) leader said they are planning to help make a ceasefire between government and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and restore peace in Myanmar’s northern state of Kachin.
General Saw Mutu Say Poe, KNU’s newly-elected chairman, was speaking at a press conference between the government’s central level peace-making committee and KNU in Nay Pyi Taw on January 5 evening.
“The government took ceasefire measures as a first step towards internal peace. But no success has been achieved in this context. Anyhow, it is necessary to continue meaningful talks for ceasefires. Another thing is that there is a barrier to some parts of a political dialogue for the Kachin conflict. But we will continue for peace efforts,” the KNU leader said.
According to the committee vice chairman Aung Min, President Thein Sein and KNU leaders discussed steps to continue peace efforts during their meeting before the press conference. They made a decision to hold round-table talks with all ethnic armed groups, he said.
He added that the plan was proposed by KNU leaders. Aung Min also revealed that President Thein Sein had a plan to invite national race leaders, including Karen leaders, to the reception of Union Day, which falls on February 12.
“About 40,000 war refugees in Laiza (the HQ of Kachin Independence Organization) is not that much. The number has reportedly increased as the war escalates – 40,000 in KIA-controlled areas and 40,000 in government-controlled areas. Local people have fled for a year as there is no security. Many children have lost their education, health and social opportunities. We have talked about addressing those difficulties in every peace talk,” Aung Min said.
He continued: “The government is giving aid to those refugees in its controlled areas while NGOs are also giving help in the KIA-active areas. UNHCR also offer to help. The government approves the help but Kachin leaders need to accept it. Both sides need to take security responsibilities. We are willing to accept any organizations but within the framework of principles.”
Padoh Mann Nyein Maung from the KNU said: “we have requested the president and his government to reduce the offensive and make a ceasefire. We will seek practical solutions. It is true that the local people voice their concern over a worsening situation if the war continues. More than 60 years of war experience has made them feel insecure. Our national races, including Karen, do not accept many paragraphs in the 2008 Constitution written by the government. When the issue comes to a negotiation table, we views the problem among our brethren as that of ours. We will resolve differences in round-table talks. The government’s stance will be the same as well.”
President Thein Sein and KNU leaders talked about taking steps to cease the war in northern state of Kachin and hold political dialogues during their meeting earlier before the press conference on January 5. The meeting was arranged after the president invited the KNU delegation. It was the second time of meeting between the president and KNU delegation.