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The Ethnic Armed Organizations’ Summit In Panghsang Addressed Key Issues In The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement Draft

By Ethnic Nationalities Affairs Center  •  May 8, 2015

The Ethnic Armed Organizations Leaders Summit attended by a total of 65 leaders and observers from 12 Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) was successfully held in Panghsang, the capital of the Wa special region of Northern Shan State on 1-6 May 2015. The attendees included the Arakan Army, Kachin Independence Organization, Karen National Union, Karenni National Progressive Party, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, National Democratic Alliance Army, New Mon State Party, Pa-Oh National Liberation Organization, Palaung State Liberation Front, Restoration Council of Shan State, Shan State Progress Party, and United Wa State Party.

Upon concluding the six-day summit, a 12-point statement was issued. The following three points highlight key issues concerning the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) draft:

  1. The statement’s fifth point calls “to establish a federal union that guarantees the rights of national equality, self-determination, and democracy”. This point is in line with the EAOs’ core principles agreed upon at the previous EAOs Summits in Laiza and Law Khee Lar and the United Nationalities Federal Council’s Basic Principles. It is contrary to the Basic Principles in Chapter 1 of the NCA draft, “…we agree to establish a democratic federal union in accordance with the outcome of political dialogue”. This NCA draft signifies that the establishment of a federal union is contingent on the outcome of political dialogue, therefore, it does not guarantee the establishment of a federal union since it is unclear how the political dialogue will proceed. It remains unchanged because there has not been an EAOs Summit to review the text.

The EAOs have not imposed any conditions with their concession to the government’s core principles in Chapter 1 of the NCA draft, “Upholding the three main national causes of non- disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity, and perpetuation of national sovereignty…”.

  1. The statement’s second point is a position stating that the EAOs who have not signed bilateral ceasefire agreements must be included in the signing of the NCA. This addresses the situation of the remaining organizations without bilateral ceasefires, including the Arakan Army, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Palaung State Liberation Front. The government does not recognize the Arakan Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army as potential signatories of the NCA, despite being members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team.
  1. The statement’s seventh point refers to the role of international community by welcoming and urging deeper involvement from the United Nations and China in the ceasefire talks. The previous EAOs Summits called for the involvement of China, the UN, and a number of western countries, however, this statement does not mention the involvement of western countries.
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This post is in: Ethnic Nationalities

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