Published on Thursday, 27 June 2013 19:41
Myanmar's President has stressed the importance of political dialogue between the government and various ethnic armed groups to consolidate fragile ceasefires and pave the road to a sustainable peace after 60 years of civil war.
President Thein Sein delivered a speech at the Planning Commission Meeting held in the capital Nay Pyi Taw on June 25.
"Much is still left to be politically discussed although we have reached an agreement with ethnic armed groups on a ceasefire, this has to lead to peace dialogue," said President Thein Sein.
He added that the government had met almost all the armed groups and managed to sign a ceasefire deal in order to end clashes. In near future, this matter would be submitted to the Parliament to sign for a ceasefire agreement.
"We can't say we have gained peace just with ceasefire. There are many things left to be discussed politically," added the President.
The Working Group for Ethnic Coordination drew up a framework for political discussion and sent it to Myanmar Peace Centre.
During one and half years, a total of 74 meetings have been convened between the government and the ethnic armed groups. At present, the government has made ceasefire agreement with 13 armed groups out of 14. The Rehabilitation Council of Shan State (RCSS) made the first ceasefire agreement with the new government, but 70 clashes have recently broken out threatening to jeopardise the pact.
The Union Peacemaking Group is trying a nationwide ceasefire joining hands with all ethnic armed groups in addition to Kachin Independence Army (KIA) which is yet to sign the ceasefire deal with the government.
In Myanmar, there are a total of 30 ethnic armed groups numbering over 100,000 troops, according to Hla Maung Shwe, the senior advisor of Myanmar Peace Centre.
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