Stick to ceasefire: military chief

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers his opening address. (Photo - Nay Yine)


Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in his address at the first day of the so-called 21st-century Panglong summit, said that the any process towards peace must be built upon the foundations of last October's national ceasefire agreement.


The Tatmadaw leader mentioned that the summit was the result of the achievements of previous leaders and all parties must stay faithful to its foundations.


“The signing of the ceasefire and the holding of today’s Union Peace [Panglong] Conference are the positive results of democratic efforts to restore peace,” said the military chief.


He claimed that those who had lost the most from decades of civil war were the Tatmadaw and ethnic armed forces and to abolish the cycle of “sacrifices in blood, sweat and lives”, the military “will negotiate in every possibility”.


He insisted that deals must all adhere to the rules set down the ceasefire.


“Most of the contents in the agreement were mainly based on the demands of the ethnic organisations that participated all along the way in drafting the agreement. So my advice is to firmly keep the ceasefire as the baseline principle of the Union Peace Conference and further meetings.”


The ceasefire began under the administration of ex-president Thein Sein and only included eight ethnic armed groups, with others rejecting aspects of the deal.