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Statement by the Restoration Council of Shan State

By Restoration Council of Shan State  •  June 27, 2013

In recent trip, invited by the Union Peacemaking Working Group (UPWG), RCSS chairman, Lt. Gen. Yawd Serk led a delegation of RCSS Peace Making Committee to meet and discuss with president U Thein Sein. At this golden opportunity, the delegation also met with political parties, foreign diplomats, civil societies and Shan State people of the north, the south and the east. The trip started on 09 June 2013 and ended at RCSS headquarters, Loi Tai Leng on 23 June 2013. This statement is released as an outcome of the trip.

On 10 June 2013, at 10 a.m. RCSS chairman had a meeting with president U Thein Sein and discussed the following points.

  1. To re-establish the country as a federal union.
  2. People to have full self-determination.
  3. The country to be governed through democratic system.
  4. To reconsider the fighting still happening after the ceasefire.
  5. To soon setup “Peace Monitoring Committee” as in the agreement reached in Kengtung on 19 May 2012.
  6. To reconsider the request of agricultural land and economic issues already made.
  7. To soon make implementation of the agreement reached in Kengtung on 19 May 2012 on the cooperation of drug eradication.

On 10 June 2013, in the afternoon a meeting between RCSS and the ministers of all ministries was held and it was chaired by U Aung Min and U Soe Thein. Analysis was made on the content of president’s discussion in the morning. Thereafter, the government gave answer to the 7 point discussion made by RCSS as follow.

  1. With regard to the registration of national identification cards for the people, RCSS will have to take responsibility of collecting the data and minister, U Khin Yi will take responsibility of issuing them.
  2. With regard to the agricultural land of 5,000 acres requested, the response was given in Taunggyi.
  3. To soon implement the setting up of “Peace Monitoring Committee”

There was dinner party in the evening.

On 11 June 2013, in the morning RCSS met with Minister U Aung Min and Minister U Soe Thein and it was mentioned that with regard to the release of people and RCSS/SSA’s troops sentenced under political laws and acts, the completion of release will be made batch by batch before December 2013 except those sentenced under criminal laws.

On 12 June 2013, in the evening RCSS delegation arrived in Yangon meeting with Sao Khun Tun Oo, Lung Sai Ai Bao, Sao Hsor Hten and Harn Yawnghwe at dinner party and discussed about cooperation in building a developed and peaceful country.

On 13 June 2013, RCSS delegation had a meeting with UNODC at UNODC office in Yangon and some foreign diplomats. UNODC and RCSS made a joint press conference for the cooperation on drug eradication. Thereafter, there was a meeting with diplomat from Norway who encourages peace process in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and says that Norway will help Myanmar to speedily achieve peace and will provide any assistance needed by RCSS.

On 14 June 2013, at 10 a.m. a meeting with 13 ethnic parties and civil societies was arranged at Royal Rose in Yangon. RCSS chairman stated in the meeting to co-build the country as true federal union and through democratic system. People must have self-determination. Ceasefire will be effective only through cooperation from both sides. Most parties agree on the same principle of true federal union and governance through democratic system.

On 15 June 2013, at 02:00 p.m. RCSS chairman had a meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Gyi and raised 3 questions as follow.

  1. How would you cooperate with the ethnics for the development of the country?
  2. How to develop democracy to flourish throughout the country?
  3. What is the starting point to change the country?

Her answers to the questions were

  1. She opens the door for every individual and ethnic to co-build the federal union because she is also an ethnic herself.
  2. To make change to the governing system of the country, it mostly depends on the leaders who have power. If they want to change, it can be achieved just in a short time.
  3. For democracy to flourish, it needs to be taught in schools and to the adults.
  4. She is positive about RCSS drug eradication plan. It has been 5 years now that she has been talking about the cooperation on drug eradication and she asks for constant contact on this issue. She is open hearted.

On 16 June 2013, a trip was made to Mandalay. In the early morning on 17 June 2013, the delegation proceeded from Mandalay to Kyawkmae where it was welcomed by over 800 people. RCSS opens the opportunity for questions from the people and hears what they have to say.

RCSS chairman explained about the trip and the meeting with the president. After taking lunch together, the delegation got back to Mandalay.

On 18 June 2013, the delegation met with Shan Literature and Cultural Association in Mandalay and Sa Kaing, and Shan Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS) in Mandalay. Then the delegation went to Taunggyi where it was warmly welcomed by SNDP chairman, Lung Sai Ai Bao and youths from Shan Literature and Cultural Association.

On 20 June 2013, a meeting was held between the delegation and the Shan State ministry led by Shan State Chief Minister U Aung Myat. The discussion was made for a close friendship, to find solution to the problems faced between the two parties and to solve the issue of continued fighting still happening even after the ceasefire. RCSS made request to open another liaison offices in Mong Pan and Kyawkmae in order to approach one another and build mutual understanding to see no more fighting.

In the afternoon, the delegation had a meeting with SNDP and other 9 ethnic parties. Discussion was made on the amendments of 2008 constitution for a federal union, the governance through democratic system and clear dissemination of the 3 ultimate powers.

On 21 June 2013, the delegation went to pay respect to the abbot in charge of the monastery (Pitaka Monastery) and in the afternoon, public consultation was held in Taunggyi where more than 1,000 people participated and raised the questions that they have. A 6 point policy of RCSS during ceasefire has clearly been explained to the public in this event.

On 22 June 2013, the delegation proceeded in the morning to Panglong and was received by more than 1,000 people including both monks and laypersons. The delegation then led people in paying respect to the leader of Shan monk community of Shan State, Venerable Dr. Baddanta Pannananda, Sao Sukham, Sao Nadavansa and 20 other monks, listened to the dhamma and offering lunch to the monk community. Public consultation was held thereafter. Before leaving for Taunggyi, the delegation visited and took memorial photos of the historical Panglong monument statue that marks the 1947 Panglong agreement in bringing together the hill tribe ethnics and lowland Bamars to form a union. From there, the delegation paid a visit to Ko Yin Lay in Ho Pong before getting back to stay the night in Taunggyi.

On 23 June 2013 at 8:00 a.m. the delegation visited the Haw of Yawnghwe chief and his remaining cemetery. Then the team got the flight from Heho to Tachileik where it was warmly received by more than 500 people. The delegation explained about the trip and the situation of the meeting to them and proceeded to the headquarters, Loi Tai Leng.

Summary of the opinion and the analysis on the experience of recent trip

1. RCSS sees that the invitation to RCSS/SSA by UPWC and MPC for this trip is for the leaders to meet, know one another and talk clearly of what is wanted to be done in order to find way in building everlasting peace and this is good. It is better to even invite each and every group for such a trip.

2. After meeting him, we see that president U Thein Sein is a calm, persistent and open minded person. He is worrying about the long term peace process and the fighting to occur. And it can be observed that the controlling power that he has over the tatmadaw does not carry much weight. Inside of the ruling body, there are soft-liners as well as hard-liners for the reform of the country. President U Thein Sein will have to work hard and take the challenge.

3. Chairman of Pyithu Hluttaw, Thura Shwe Mann and Daw Aung San Suu Gyi, both of them aim for the position of president. For the changing of the country to federal union, we will still need to wait and see.

4. Tatmadaw is not seen to have sided with any party and it can be said that it still wants to use force to solve the problem. Tatmadaw is also very important for changing of the country’s governing laws.

5. The questions mostly made by the public are

  1. Why is there still fighting after the ceasefire?
  2. About narcotic drug issues
  3. Can safety be ensured for them after our meeting?

We see that people want the country to speedily be peaceful. The answer has been given that for our meeting not to incur any danger, the unlawful association act 17(1) needs to be taken out and co-building of the country is needed. The Shan State people all from the north, the south and the east the delegation met this time number about 4,000 people.

Central Executive Committee
Restoration Council of the Shan State
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This post is in: Peace and National Reconciliation, Press Release

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