Published on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:34
President meets with Lt-Gen Ywet Sit (Photo- SSA Facebook)
President Thein Sein held peace talks with Lt-Gen Ywet Sit, Chairman of the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday.
According to Ywet Sit, the President accepted his proposal to form a peacekeeping committee so as to ensure a lasting peace.
“Our discussion focused on how we can continue to cooperate in the peace process. We also discussed with the President the repercussions of civil war that has left the country underdeveloped. We also highlighted the importance of the country being under democratic rule and the people acting freely,” Lt-Gen Ywet Sit told Eleven Media.
The President said that the country has to exert a long and difficult period of effort so that national brethren can finally sit at the negotiating table, according to the state-run Myanmar Radio and Television. The main objective of the meeting was to take steps towards a lasting peace process. However no agreement has yet been signed.
The President said both sides were born within the same Union, which belongs to Shan nationals as well as to him and his party. The government wanted to seek a new political path that ensures political tolerance and dialogue, ignoring past differences, he added.
Thein Sein also said that if peace prevails in all the regions, the government will ask all the ethnic armed groups to meet in Nay Pyi Taw or somewhere appropriate to sign a total ceasefire truce.
More than fifty skirmishes have occurred since the government and RCSS-SSA signed a ceasefire agreement on January 17 last year. Many people say that the clashes occurred because both sides do not trust each other to maintain a ceasefire.
As regards to the increase of poppy cultivation in Shan state, Ywet Sit said it was a matter that concerned the entire country.
“If the Shan nationals are given opportunities to improve their economy, poppy growing rate in Shan state will reduce,” he said.
The military plays a very important role in peace efforts, and any oppression can disrupt such efforts. As the peace agenda is well on track, Myanmar needs a constitution that is perfect for achieving peace and accepted by the entire nation, Ywet Sit said.
“The President told me his government is trying to make Myanmar a genuine Union. But he cannot do it alone. The entire nation wants is to establish a federal union under democratic rule. We however will continue to work to achieve genuine peace.”
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