Paper outlining stance of ethnic groups to be sent to govt

Writer: 
Kyaw Zin Win
The fourth ethnic summit is being held in Pangkham, the capital of Wa territory. (Photo-UWSP)
A paper proposed by the Wa and approved by the leaders of ethnic armed groups at the fourth ethnic summit will be sent immediately to the government, Brigadier-General Tar Phone Kyaw, general secretary of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), has said.
 
The fourth summit was sponsored by the United Wa State Party/United Wa State Army (UWSP/UWSA) and held in Pangkham, over five days up to Wednesday (April 15 to 19). 
 
The Union Peace Dialogue Negotiation Committee (UPDNC) was formed at the summit and it wants to discuss issues with the government-formed peace commission. 
 
Brigadier-General Tar Phone Kyaw said: “The paper will have to be submitted to the government as soon as possible. It was submitted by the Wa and contains 30 pages. 
 
“It is the same paper that was submitted to the First Union Peace Conference, but it was a little reformed by our seven ethnic armed groups. 
“All of us agreed on the little-amended paper to stick to it as our fundamental policy paper. We have decided to send it to the government so it knows our thinking.”
 
The UPDNC was formed with 29 members. Five came from the Wa, plus there are four members each from six ethnic armed groups, he said.
Working groups are under the committee – one group is formed with three members each from the different ethnic groups. 
 
“We also have a secretariat team,” Brigadier-General Tar Phone Kyaw said. 
 
Ethnic armed groups will not be allowed to talk to the government peace commission directly after the Union Political Dialogue Negotiation Committee (UPDNC) is formed, a statement released by the Wa-sponsored Pangkham ethnic summit said.
 
The summit was attended by 27 representatives from the Arakan Army (AA), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), and United Wa State Army (UWSA).