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Why NMSP Not Attending Union Peace Conference

By Mon News Agency  •  January 15, 2016

The New Mon State Party (NMSP) will not be attending the Union Peace Conference (UPC) currently happening in Nay Pyi Taw, according to NMSP Vice-Chairman Nai Hongsar.

In an interview with the Mon News Agency he said: “This conference is concerned with multiple ethnic nationalities. The NMSP had its representatives participate in the UNFC [United Nationalities Federal Council] conference on 7-8 January. If all [the UNFC] members are not joining the UPC, we won’t join, either.”

He added that NMSP representatives are not participating in the conference for reasons also cited by other UNFC members, primarily that several of the other ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) have rejected the new political dialogue framework.

Originally when the political framework was first drawn up by the government and the Tatmadaw (Burma Army) there were going to be representatives from three different groups participating; the government, the EAOs and political parties, but this was then expanded to also include representatives from the Tatmadaw and parliament.

Nai Hongsar said that this gave the government too much control over the outcome of the conference.

According to a statement released on 5 January by over 130 civil society organizations, the political framework’s structural change threatens the forum’s effectiveness to address the key issues of democracy and equality for ethnic groups.

The statement said: “At a time when a sustained ceasefire that is inclusive of all ethnic armed revolutionary forces is yet to materialise, we, the civil society organizations, call for the postponement of political dialogue, reconsideration of the representation proportions and voting quorums in the political negotiations and the gathering of suggestions and views from those ethnic armed organizations which have not yet signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement [NCA].”

According to Daw Khin Ohmar of Burma Partnership, a network of advocacy groups in the Asia-Pacific region, the Tatmadaw’s influence over political decision-making should be curtailed to allow ethnic armed forces and political parties to cooperatively decide on actions resulting from the current political talks.

The UPC started on 12 January in Nay Pyi Taw, Burma’s capital, with speeches by President U Thein Sein, Defence Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and ethnic leaders.

View the original post here: http://www.bnionline.net/news/mon-state/item/1425-why-nmsp-not-attending-union-peace-conference.html

This post is in: News Clip